The Buyers That Stole Christmas (Reprise)

The Buyers That Stole Christmas (Reprise)

December 9, 2021
Procurement

It is that time of year again, where our halls are decked with holly, presents are under the tree, plans for a well earned break are definitely afoot. Yet despite this seasonal joy, a group of buyers have inexplicably decided to ruin Christmas for some of their suppliers by publishing tenders that need to be completed over the Christmas period.

Every year, we celebrate the grinches of public procurement and rank the most egregious fun sponges we can find in our data. This means setting the deadline for your tender to be either three days or less before Christmas itself or within five working days of the start of the new year.

Sitting atop our tree of bureaucratic misery this year is the MOD with 24 tenders that close during the Christmas period, followed by Bristol City Council on 22. A special mention must go to Birmingham City Council with 15 tenders. Birmingham have featured in the top 10 in three of the last four years, one can only assume that this sort of consistency takes effort.

The misery doesn’t stop here, we’ve found 758 Christmas deadlines this year, a depressing climb of 82% more than 2020.

Whilst we are happy to indulge in a bit of seasonal sarcasm about bidding at Christmas there is still a serious element here. Each of these tenders will receive fewer than the average numbers of bids and one can only wonder at the quality of bids that are scrabbled together at the last minute. Perhaps the only consolation for suppliers this year is that they won’t be missing the Christmas party in order to hit their deadlines. Merry Christmas indeed.

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