Am I reading your recent article correctly reporting how the Office of Government Commerce is sticking to its strategy for e-auctions in the construction industry (24 March, page 13)? Exactly how does this approach represent best value?
Sir Peter Gershon’s Independent Review of Public Sector Efficiency (July 2004) states: “There is little evidence that the procurement of professional services is managed to ensure value for money”, so to my mind e-auctions and reverse auctions are not the way to address the problem. This is obviously not a view shared by Transport for London, which is reportedly adopting a reverse auction strategy for what could be up to £1bn of consultancy services.
As a senior person within an IT company specialising in construction solutions, I am also surprised to read that the process is being justified due to its wider use within areas such as IT. If that is the case I would like to say that our customers view our company as trusted advisers, a situation we would not have arrived at if we had been subjected to a reverse auction process.
James Atkinson, Causeway Technologies