Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Preferred bidder - but A4e didn't get the contract

Back in April we reported that the Exaro website was saying that A4e was the preferred bidder for the Home Office's contract to run the Equalities and Human Rights Commission helpline.  Given all that was going on at the time it was not surprising that the Daily Mail took up the story.  Well, Exaro now reveals that A4e hasn't got that contract, which has gone to an American company, Sitel, which has beaten the CAB as well as A4e.
It's difficult to know what was really going on here.  Exaro naturally wants to claim credit for its previous revelations.  "A spokeswoman for A4e claimed that it had never been the preferred bidder and so did not really lose the contract, saying that the award process 'was discontinued earlier this year and we understand that a revised contract award procedure was launched. A4e did not enter this revised procurement process.'"  But Exaro claims that the EHRC has confirmed that A4e had been the preferred bidder originally.  Who knows?  Perhaps the Home Office decided to scrap the tendering process when the storm broke, and re-opened it after advising A4e not to bother.  Does this tell us anything about future contracts?  probably not.
Mark Serwotka, leader of the PCS union, is glad that A4e lost out, but doesn't want the helpline privatised at all.


  1. A slight digression, but having visited my local office today I asked the manager, the manager please note, what happens after 104 weeks if I'm still out of work. Answer "Quite frankly I have no idea, try asking the Jobcentre but I don't suppose they'll know either" I quote verbatim.

    1. I think you'll find the answer to your question is"The Community Action Programme - or as it appears to now be ironically titled "Support(!)For The Very Long Term Unemployed". In reality 30 hours pw of unpaid and forced drudgery and 10 hours pw of supervised jobsearch.
      What joy.

    2. Would travel expenses be paid for this? If so that would end up costing the government even more, if not I would say I can't afford to travel without any extra money.

    3. I couldn't get my travel back for two interviews in the same week. They said as they was within 15 miles of my home I was expected to cover it out of JSA. It would be fine if that is all JSA had to go on. Actually Job Seeking.

  2. After 104 weeks the work programme will be a distant memory.

  3. For the first year of unemployment I was with the JC, then a private company for a year, then back to the JC for 6 month, now on the work programme. It is a bloody joke, every interview I have had has been off my own back, as these companies are just about bums on seats. The Government should be creating jobs for us, not all of this round about stuff. It has been a full time job looking for these non existent jobs, and over 20 courses. I have really put myself out there and done loads of things to help me get paid work. Two and half years of being a job seeker. :(

  4. I think this failure to win a contract is a sign of things to come for A4e.

    Wait until the big ones are tendered for...........

    A4e is a tarnished brand destined to fade away


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