Could the G4S security contract have worked?

Last week Win that Bid published a blog quoting a director from G4S as he proclaimed the rise of police privatisation. I wasn’t entirely positive about the prospect… and even as it went live on the site G4S became embroiled in a massive contract scandal reported across the world, destroying their share price.

There has been lots of press coverage about the company’s failures, but what about the contract itself? Could they have succeeded in meeting it at all?

There were warning signs last September, when the firm reported that it would not be able to recruit more than guards than it was originally contracted for without a great deal of prior warning. The Home Office then took four months to confirm what it actually needed (far more than the contract called for, naturally). All security staff have to be centrally vetted and licensed through the Security Industry Authority (SIA) before they can be deployed, drastically slowing down their recruitment process. There seems to have been an awful lack of clarity about the pricing structure of the tender contract, which allowed the Olympic Sponsors to add more and more requirements to the contract. G4S simply couldn’t provide the resources asked for, and didn’t communicate that very well.

This raises a second issue with the contract: there was no provision for outsourcing. The authorities wanted to hand the entire £200 million contract to a single security company. This created problems for G4S and seems like a wasted opportunity; Win that Bid has worked with plenty of qualified security companies in London. Many of them were very interested in pursuing Olympic security contracts and were disappointed to find that there were no opportunities for them do so, either because of the sheer scale of the contract or because they were vulnerable to changes in the tender contract. The tender contract isolated G4S; before taking the contract they should have considered their contingency plans in the event the requirements changed, as they usually do in contracts this large and politicised.

Based on these facts, G4S certainly appears to have a strong case to complain about the government’s conduct in this contract. It hasn’t taken that opportunity. Possibly, it simply doesn’t want to jeopardise the security contracts it already has with the government. The political climate and the scale of the bid certainly left G4S in a very poor negotiating position; something that any company should consider before bidding for a tender.

A company trying to win any bid, let alone a security contract, should make sure they plan for contingencies. G4S weren’t prepared for big changes in the contract, and have paid for it.

Police privatisation: an arresting opportunity?

David Taylor-Smith of the security company G4S recently grabbed headlines by stating that private companies will be running large parts of the UK’s police service within five years. His statements were supported by news that at least 10 police forces are considering outsourcing parts of their service to the private sector in response to funding shortfalls brought on by government cuts.

Taylor-Smith’s statements simply focused minds on a trend already causing consternation among many observers. The American experience in privatised law enforcement has been riddled by stories of corruption, genuinely horrible scandals and enormous pork barrel spending at taxpayer’s expense. And while people laugh at the classic Fry and Laurie sketch from decades ago, areas of London have already reverted to the Victorian situation of overlapping private spaces patrolled by company personnel, disrupting police response times and creating some disturbing civil rights issues. If frontline police services are privatised, precedent suggests that most of those tender contracts will go to established firms with extensive backroom contacts.

Not all of the requirements being investigated by the police are so controversial. Managing the vehicle fleet, providing legal support and even helping victims and witnesses; these opportunities for bid writers are all less likely to be delayed or prevented by political clashes.  Existing companies experienced in public sector tenders for maintenance, human resources or social care could find important roles within the police force.

Bid writers looking to win public sector tenders in the police force must be aware of how politicised the process could potentially become.  Consider the image of the company and be ready to discuss issues of social value during the bidding process. The stated goal of the outsourcing deals is to reduce costs; bid writers will encounter procurers who hope they can reduce their overheads while improving levels of service at the same time.

As more information about potential police tender opportunities becomes available, companies should carefully consider their options. Win that Bid can help bid writers, both in putting together an appropriate tender document, but also in deciding whether an apparently lucrative policing tender contract is going become a dangerous albatross in the long term.

latest LOCOG Procurement schedule

Latest LOCOG Procurement Timetable

There are still tons of Olympic opportunities up for grabs.   Have a look at LOCOG’s latest procurement schedule to find out when it’s your turn to bid.  If you need any advice on tendering for the London games we’re always ready to help.

There are still tons of Olympic opportunities up for grabs.  Have a look at LOCOG’s latest procurement schedule to find out when it’s your turn to bid.  If you need any advice we’re always ready to help.

Category Date Opportunity
Artists, Performance & Events Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

Apr – June 2011

?     Sport production services

?     Sport creative design

?     Sport production (workforce)

?     Torch relay – staging

?     Retail – shopping bags

?     Orchestras

?     Gifts and promotional merchandise

?     Collectibles and awards

?     Professional artists and performers

?     Costumes and props

Facilities Management & Catering Jan – Mar 2011 ?     Catering equipment
Security Jan – Mar 2011 ?     Security contracts audit
Services Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

?     Accessible formats – BSL, Easy Read, Audio description

?     Broadcast monitoring

?     Artwork production for advertising

?     Website moderation

?     Workforce training venue (large)

?     Training delivery & materials

Sports Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

Apr – June 2011

Modern Pentathlon, Horses, Fencing Equipment, Athlete Boats, Numbers-Bibs-Stickers, Buoys, Anemometers, Equestrian Show jumps, On Water Safety, GPS, Rowing Equipment, Equestrian Equipment.

Sailing Equipment, Boccia Equipment, Canoe Equipment, Beach Volleyball, Swimming Pool Equipment, Alcohol Test Units, Hockey Equipment, Athletics Equipment, Goal Ball, Handball Equipment, Scoreboards / Charts, Cycling Equipment.

Swim / Triathlon Boats, Whistles, Cones, Heat/Light Monitors, Tools/Repair Material, Ropes/Belts, Sports Specific Flags, Goal ball Equipment, Stationary, Consumables, Sewing Services, Coolers/Refrigerators, Triathlon Equipment.

Sports Medical Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

?     Dental Equipment and consumables

?     Optometry

?     Weymouth and football venues services.

Technology Oct – Dec 2010 ?     IT reseller agreement.
Transport & Logistics Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

?     Mobility vehicles

?     Village blinds and curtains

?     General tools and outdoor furniture

?     Fire equipment

?     Office furniture and safes

?     Sat Nav and tracking units

?     Press centre furniture

?     Driver scheduling and rostering

?     Traffic management consultancy

?     Driving license checks

?     Vehicle livery and graphics

?     Plant and machinery

Venues & Infrastructure Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

?     Technology support structures

?     Portable water and waste

?     Alterations to existing buildings and CAT B fit out

?     Scaffold and superstructure systems

?     Site works and infrastructure

?     Temporary event fit out

On Your Marks – LOCOG Advertises New Opportunities – Catering and Cleaning First off the Starter Block

Drum roll please….Working in the cleaning business? As mentioned a couple of weeks ago on this very blog, the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) is now starting to advertise fantastic business opportunities in the field of catering and food services and cleaning and waste.

With approximately £700 million to spend on goods and services in preparation for the London Games in 2012 – 20% of which will go to on catering, cleaning and waste and many provided by small and medium sized enterprises – we just know there is an opportunity out there with your name all over it!  As usual, LOCOG opportunities will be advertised on the online portal www.CompeteFor.co.uk.  So if you haven’t yet registered your business on the site, what are you waiting for?

And if you’d rather not do all this kind of dirty work yourself – why not save yourself some time and energy and employ the services of Win That Bid? We will hunt down the most relevant opportunities for you and make sure you get those bids done and dusted.

There is no place like the Olympics! Creative biz are needed to communicate transport changes around the Games

It seems that there will be no yellow brick road leading to the London Olympics. However, there will be a green one: it was revealed that cycling will be a favoured means of transportation in the capital city. The Mayor of London has recently announced £1.49 million of funding for the first two Cycle Superhighways and a Cycle Hire scheme will also be launched: no less than 6,000 bikes will be available from a planned 400 docking stations!

All good here for private commuters – however, massive disruptions are expected in public transports during the Olympics. As the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Chairman John Armitt recently admitted ‘Moving hundreds of thousands of spectators and tens of thousands of athletes, media, officials and Games workers in the summer of 2012 is a huge logistical challenge.’

How is that good news for creative businesses? The London 2012 Olympics is approaching advertising and media agencies with a brief to communicate transport changes around the Games. Professionals in the field of advertising, media buying, digital, CRM and PR are needed.

The winning agencies will be briefed to create campaigns such as door-drops in the most affected areas, posters at Tube stations, TV executions and online updates to keep the public, workers and spectators informed of any day-to-day changes. These will include information on such transport issues as travel to and from all of the sites, including the Olympic Village in Stratford and the rowing venue in Eton; any transport disruptions or road closures caused by the Games; any changes caused by building work in the run-up to the event; and any disruption once it has finished.

If this sounds like a gold opportunity to you and your creative business, you can either click the heels of your red shoes or give Win that Bid a call – we’ll make sure you make your way to the Olympics!

Get your Fish and Chips, Pies and Pasties and Chicken Tikka Massala at the London Olympics!

80% of the food served at the Olympics will be sourced from local British businesses!

Hello food lovers and entrepreneurs! Here is some great news for those of you working in the UK food and catering industry: the London 2012 Organising Committee has recently pledged in its ‘Food Vision’ http://www.london2012.com/publications/food-vision.php to serve ‘the best of British food’ during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

And what fantastic opportunities for British businesses: 80% of the food served at the Olympics will be sourced from local British businesses – the remaining 20% being supplied by London 2012 commercial partners, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Cadburys etc.

The recently disclosed London 2012 Food Vision aims to set new standards for catering at UK events; Local, seasonal, healthier and sustainable standards will be favored. All dairy products, beef, lamb and poultry must be British. In addition, bananas, tea, coffee and sugar will be Fairtrade. And 100% of the 19 tonnes of eggs that will be served will have to be cage-free.

And to help you get a feel for the size of the operation – a whopping 14 million meals to be served, this roughly means businesses will need to supply some:

*25,000 loaves of bread
*232 tonnes of potatoes
*82 tonnes of seafood
*31 tonnes of poultry
*100 tonnes of meat
*75,000 litres of milk
*21 tonnes of cheese (yum) and
*330 tonnes of fruit and vegetables

If you would like to be one of the lucky businesses that will cater at the Olympics, the search to find catering suppliers is now underway! For your chance of obtaining a piece of the 2012 pie (sorry couldn’t help it!) get your business onto www.competefor.co.uk And if you’re more pie filling than form filling let us foodies at Win That Bid give you a helping hand. Growing businesses is really what we do best.

Coming Soon!! London 2012 opportunities for Services, Sports, Artists, Catering, Technology, Photography and Flowers too!!

Fresh off the press, get your diaries ready. If you’re in the business of Services, Sports, Art, Performance, Events, Soft Facilities Management, Catering or Technology – Now is your time to be part of history!!

During a seminar held on Friday at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the ODA announced that there’s still a massive £1 billion left to spend on the remaining 50% of the construction of the Olympic sites. And if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, there’s also £700 million of private investor money that LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) will be using to procure. As always, all direct ODA and LOCOG opportunities will be advertised on the online portal www.CompeteFor.co.uk. For your chance at striking gold get your business registered today!

So, here they are…

Services

  • Late 09/early 2010: Graphic Design, Translation and Public Relations
  • January – March: Office Accessories, Supplies and Services
  • April – June: Operational Readiness Support and Information Services

Sports

  • Late 09/early 2010: Equestrian Surface, Gymnastics, Athletics and Archery Equipment and Athletics Flooring
  • January – March: Gym Fitness, Canoeing and Swimming Pool Equipment and Support Boats for Sailing
  • April – June: Rowing, Sailing and Cycling Equipment

Artists, Performance and Events

  • Late 09/early 2010: Major Event Production Services
  • January-March: Photographic and Video Services and Photographic and Filming Equipment

Soft Facilities Management and Catering

  • Early 2010: Catering and Food Services, Cleaning and Waste, Clothing and Uniforms, Signage and Flags, Soft Facilities Management, Luggage and Cases, Plants and Flowers

Technology

  • Late 09/early 2010: IT Master re-seller, Unix Servers
  • January-March: Framework for New Media Providers up to