Estonian design agency on state procurement in the creative field: and still – everything is allowed to the procurer

Read the first part here: “Creative agencies in Estonia from public procurement: is it now time for technocrats to shine?

And the second part here: “Creative agency from public procurement: isn’t it magic?

Let’s continue on the positive side. Public procurement improving performance in the creative field includes a number of strategies that can increase transparency, efficiency

procurement procedure and encourage effective cooperation between suppliers and providers.

At this point, the design agency points out some possible measures:

Establishing clear and specific requirements

Procurement documents should have clear and precise requirements, describing the project’s objectives, expectations and evaluation criteria. This helps to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that providers understand exactly what is “expected”. Feedback is often heard that “this provider’s vision matched our expectations the most”. But those expectations were not given!?

Adequate budget

A reasonable and realistic budget ensures that the necessary resources are available for the creative project. Too small a budget can lead to low interest from bidders and reduce the quality of the project. At the time of writing this article, there was once again an unfortunate situation where the tender was declared invalid because the bidders’ quotations exceeded the “possibility” of the procurer.

  1. this limit could have been negotiated with the professionals;
  2. the bidders could have been informed about this as well.

Consultation with stakeholders

Before launching the procurement procedure, the procuring entity could consult with creative stakeholders to get input on the needs and specifics of the projects and to ensure that the procurement plan meets the actual needs. Officials need exposure to the “real life”.

Open and transparent preparation of procurement documents

Procurers should be open in communication and ensure that all procurement documents and intentions are publicly available. This helps to build trust and reduce the risk of disputes. Of course, this means the correct transmission of all important input information to all participants in the bidding round. Incl., provider-oriented trainings and guidance procurement procedures about can increase their awareness and willingness to participate in public procurement. There are worse situations where the tenderer, winning the competition, falls into the trap of the procurer because the preliminary work is not done or incompletely done, and the entire burden of the work is placed on the shoulder of the executor.

An objective and professional evaluation process

Evaluation criteria should be objective, clear and measurable. It is clear that this requirement may remain unattainable because a certain subjectivity remains. However, the members of the evaluation committees should still be competent in the field, and the evaluation process should be transparent and fair. One hears of cases where evaluators are not completely oriented in what is offered, because they themselves have never come across this kind of work. 3-5 times disorientation in the market price level is unfortunately not uncommon.

Regular feedback

Feedback to bidders, especially during and after the procurement process, allows them to understand how they have performed and improve the quality of their bids in the future. Everyone is developing, that’s only good.

Development of cooperation between procurers and providers

Closer cooperation between procurers and providers can help to understand the needs and expectations of both parties and create a basis for effective cooperation.

Encouraging innovation

Procurers could consider measures that encourage innovation and creativity in tenders and allow the creative sector to introduce innovative solutions, which in turn is a good prerequisite for raising the level of projects. This means that the procurer does not write down the task exactly from his point of view, but leaves room for creative thought (by valuing it). I have participated in tender negotiations where it was clear within the first three minutes that the supplier had made very poor base decisions, which in turn resulted in even worse (and more expensive) tactical solutions. Having recognized this, the procurer also stated that “yes, he should have contacted the agency earlier”…

Long-term vision and strategy

Procurers should have a long-term vision and strategy that considers the long-term impact of a creative project, not just the short-term results. These measures can help improve the performance of public procurement in the creative sector by increasing the transparency of the process, fairness and cooperation between procurers and providers.

But in conclusion. In any case, we can blame the supplier for shortcomings and injustice

or to complain about professionalism, the procurer has the right to be ignorant, subjective, uncommunicative, non-contact, lazy, convenient, etc. Because the procurement officer is also a person…

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