The Times newspaper is reporting that companies bidding for supply contracts with UK Government Ltd., will need to demonstrate in their bid documents how they will “build good relations with unions” as part of their contract.

I can’t help but wonder if that would fall foul of the EU rules on open tendering – as any contract offered by the state should be judged on the merits of providing the service – and not as a tool of political change.

It’s also worth noting that most companies in the UK are actually quite small and don’t have union representation as the people working there are rarely actually that interested in joining one. So, would a small business be effectively barred from bidding for a contract simply because the staff and management are not disposed to chatting to trade unions? A UK where government contracts can only be awarded to companies the size of Crapita (eyes passim) would not be a good one.

Oh, and any bidder would also have to offer training to their staff if they do not have basic literacy and numeracy qualifications. Ignoring the subtle fact that any sensible company wouldn’t employ such a person in the first place – isn’t it actually the responsibility of the government to ensure school children leave school able to at the very least read and write?

Why are they now expecting the private sector – which pays the taxes to fund the schools – to then also repair the damage done by the schools.

If people are leaving school unable to read and write – then fix the schools, don’t try to “fix” the bidding documents for government contracts.

Still – as someone who used to write replies to bid tender documents, I know that the government demands are probably going to be ignored anyway as most of the RFP’s I used to write were works of pure fiction – and I gather that is the same for most contract tenders.

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