The difficult tendering process between equipment companies and the Government Procurement Service (GPS) will be re-examined next year, according to an agreement made between the GPS and the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA).
In the meantime, GPS has offered to help catering equipment companies who were unsuccessful in tendering for a place on the framework agreement this year on a "one to one basis", to explain the process and how to complete tenders more effectively.
In addition, GPS and CESA will work together to set up training seminars to help companies to submit compliant proposals.
Many companies have complained that the new e-sourcing system and tendering process is onerous and over-complicated.
GPS has confirmed that, in future, it would "engage earlier". CESA chair Mick Shaddock (pictured) said: "Consultation in the future will be better and there will be time to take account of CESA members' concerns."
Further discussions took place on the issue of sustainability and GPS confirmed it was investigating whole-life costs of catering equipment, and that these could form part of the evaluation criteria for future tendering exercises.
As part of this process, CESA is going to arrange to invite GPS representatives to the newly established Defra Carbon Trust working group on lifecycle models.
The association also agreed to provide a briefing on the current situation with energy efficiency standards in the EU, as part of its role as the chair of the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM) Technical Committee.
By Lisa Jenkins
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