Office of Government Commerce (OGC)'s Supplier Feedback Service
Why we need a Supplier Feedback Service
The main aims of the function are:
- To provide a clear, structured and direct route for suppliers to raise concerns about public procurement practice when attempts at resolving issues with a contracting authority have failed.
- To provide reasoned feedback to enquirers on their concerns.
- To help OGC to identify areas of poor procurement practice so it can work with the contracting authority to put them right, and help to ensure that similar cases do not arise in future.
- To take action to reduce the likelihood of similar issues arising in other authorities.
The OGC's Supplier Feedback Service provides a clear, structured and direct route for suppliers and public bodies to raise concerns about significant or systemic instances of poor practice in public sector procurement. The Service is managed by OGC the Government body with responsibility for setting standards and best practice in this area.
How does it work?
Feedback should be submitted via an online form, available from the OGC website, which will be considered by a team of procurement policy specialists.
Feedback meeting the OGC's published acceptance criteria will be taken forward through one of the following channels: in respect of concerns relating to a central government body, OGC will liaise directly with that organisation in seeking to resolve the issues raised; in respect of feedback relating to a wider public sector body, such as a local authority, OGC will work with a designated lead body to facilitate a reply.
It should be noted, however, that OGC cannot provide legal advice and this service is not a legal avenue to resolve complaints or to obtain compensation.
What outcomes can suppliers expect the Feedback Service to achieve?
It really depends on the situation. In some instances, an enquirer might be satisfied by a simple clarification of the concerns they have raised, especially if the contracting authority has not been communicating as effectively as it could.
Alternatively, OGC may act to broker a solution between parties once the position of both sides has been established, work with an authority to put a problem right on a live procurement exercise, or issue a set of (non-binding) recommendations to avoid similar issues arising in the future.
The publication and dissemination of guidance on new policies or a revision of existing ones may also be a key outcome. OGC is keen to use any learning from the operation of the Service to inform its wider network, and is particularly interested in persistent or emerging issues that conflict with OGC guidance.