By Apta Consultancy on 03/04/18 | Category - Procurement Services

British firm De La Rue to challenge government on passport. 

As a previous government procurement professional, who led many major projects, our first impression of this was simply "Get over it". After all this is what competition is all about and you ('De La Rue')  new the rules of the game when you decided to enter this open and transparent procurement process.

However, having worked on many private sector bids, tendering for public sector government business, we are (in our opinion) seeing far to much emphasis being put on price, even though the evaluation criteria for price still typically averages out at 40%.

So whats occurring!

Professional buyers across government, in my opinion, are not doing enough to address the quality aspects of the bid. Consequently, they are relying far too much on what is put in front of them (in terms of a written submission) and they are not following through with the appropriate due-dillegence.

Over the last couple of years, there appears to be a growing trend, whereby suppliers (who are attempting to penetrate certain sectors) are now submitting bids at a cost, that is quite frankly  unsustainable, simply to pick up the max weighted score in order to buy the contract. They know they might not achieve the best quality score, but so long as its reasonable to stand the test of robustness, this for them is a risk worth taking, as government is very much influenced by price even though it states its overall criteria is based on MEAT. 

It's all very well government putting in such conditions that address 'abnormally low price tenders' but in our considered view the UK government is now prepared to take a risk on all of this. This is because, the Regulations do not define what constitutes an "abnormally low” offer, nor is there much helpful guidance to date on the point from the ECJ or the courts. Thus it only ever really comes to a head after the award of contract and the successful supplier then starts to expose itself, because it struggles to transition and mobilise itself effectively, due to the unsustainable costs that were put forward in the first place. Consequently, one of two things then typically happen:

(1) the outgoing supplier has to step in to support the transition period and help government save face, as a result of pressure being applied upon them because the out going supplier still has other contracts in place.

(2) the good old change control process kicks in and before we know it, we start to see the costs rise, by which time the public interest is no longer as visible, as it was before the contract was awarded.

I think the procurement buyers and the SRO on this particular project are going to be tested more than ever and this is going to be of great interest going forward. The supplier industry always said that they will one day 'bite back' after the bruising that 'Francis Maude' gave them when centralisation kicked in and started banging the big drum about 'more for less'.

Has that day come? 

By Apta on 01/02/18 | Category - Charity
Thanks for taking the time to visit our Charity Blog in support of Macmillan Cancer

Andy P, our Managing Director, did his first Macmillan Hiking Challenge in Cambodia - 2015 in memory of my mother in law, who sadly passed away to cancer at an early age. The Cambodia event was an amazing experience and even as a result of some very intense low points for me, it proved to be one of the most inspiring weeks of my life. As a result of the tremendous support i received from friends, sponsors, family, work colleagues.... you helped me raise over £4,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Sadly my walking buddy, Robert Thomas (Bob) Bell, who i became very good friends with died whist we were in Cambodia and therefore (2.2 years on) i have now decided to do a new event (in the UK) in memory of Bob.

When is the Event?

The South Cost Mighty Hike will take place on Saturday 7th July 2018 where Andy P will cover a distance of 26 miles. This will be a undulating route with some fairly demanding ascents and descents and Andy P hopes to cover this within 8 to 9 hours. I'm sure that you will want to wish Andy P every success and support him in this very good cause.


Donating through Just Giving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with Just Giving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

If you would like to sponsor Andy P simply click on the following link. Every pound counts and will be very much appreciated.

By Andy Pestell on 09/01/17 | Category - Procurement Services

Our  procurement web portal search engine for worldwide government live tenders is available for subscription and FREE trial access.

Why not check out our new Tenderspedia subscription plans and stay one step ahead of your competitors.

Sign up at and we will ensure you get off to the right start by giving you one of our incentive offers below:


Subscriptions can be paid for via PayPal.

If you are interested in finding out more about Tenderspedia please call us on ( 44) 07505 672419 or email us on

By Apta on 05/01/17 | Category - Bid Consultancy Support


Get more out of your consultancy budget.

I know what your thinking! "If i don't know what the price is to start with, then 50% saving means nothing to me"

Well here at Apta we believe in price transparency. Our man-day rates are published on our website, so you can determine if our services fall within your budget parameters.

So here is the deal for new clients who may want to engage with us this year. So long as you sign up via a purchase order in January 2017, then our discount offer will remain valid. i.e If you want to retain us for 10 days but have the option to call these days off post January then the discount will still apply.



Happy New Year from Apta and we look forward to engaging with new clients this year.

By Apta Consultancy on 01/11/16 | Category - Bid Consultancy Support

Pre-Qualification Questionnaire is replaced with a Standard Selection Questionnaire. 

The standard Selection Questionnaire (SQ) is to replace the current standard Pre-Qualification Questionnaire with immediate effect. This new SQ aims to simplify the supplier selection process for businesses, in particular smaller firms, across the public sector. In developing the SQ the opportunity has been taken to make the questionnaire compliant with the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD), and amended the rules on the selection of suppliers.


Here at Apta we can assist you in familiarising yourselves with the new process and to ensure that you submit a fully compliant SQ when seeking opportunities in the bidding process for public sector bid opportunities.


Contact us if you would like to know more more or discuss how we can support you in creating a winning bid.

By Apta Consultancy on 12/07/16 | Category - General

APTA Consultancy appreciate how budget constraints have impacted the public and private sector markets, when it comes to engaging external resources to support their tendering and bidding process.

As such its no surprise that organisations are becoming more and more dependant on utilising there own internal resources, but only too often this can lead to a detrimental effect on your business. For example:

  • Public Sector contract complaints are on the rise
  • Your success rate is dropping because your bidding for the sake of bidding i.e Your really not bidding to WIN! 
  • The internal resources that you are using all have operational day jobs today, so they haven't got time to undertake such business opportunities - its just another chore for them and this will start to impact staff morale!

However, there will always be a need for subject matter expertise where such knowledge and information does not exist in the organisation and where such resource is needed for a finite period. The importance of striking the right balance in terms of the buyer and the seller agreeing a fair price - what the buyer considers affordable in return for the appropriate skills offered by the seller is becoming more and more important to a successful relationship.

Apta Consultancy has therefore taken a decision to publish its rate card so that buyers have full price transparency for the  services that Apta Consultancy has to offer. This allows buyers to determine very quickly if these rates full within there budget before embarking on any discussions with us in order to determine if Apta Consultancy are the right supplier for your organisation.

Our Price transparency rates are therefore as follows:





Daily Rate

Services (excluding Independent Reviews)

1 – 5 days max


6 – 29 days max*


Independent Review of Bid

1 – 3 days



Hourly Rate

Strategic Advise/Discussion by Telephone.

45 – 60 mins




The above rates are based on a 7.5 hour day and are inclusive of travel costs within the Central London and M25 radius
* For assignments of 30 days or more Apta Consultancy would recommend that you consider exploring the contingent contract labour market for interims as apposed to using a consultancy service.

Overseas assignments are subject to discussion.
All rates are exclusive of VAT at the prevailing rate.


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