Patient record supplier Cerner has written to Cambridge University Hospitals foundation trust over its recent award of a major software tender to Epic, Government Computing understands. The letter, understood to be from Cerner's European managing director Alan Fowles to the trust's interim chief executive Dr Karen Castille, …
Someone has finally realised cheapest is not best.
Or maybe they're just trousering a few mil in kickback after all...
The key word here is 'compliance'. If the requirements were written properly and if the more expensive bid was the only one that fully complied with the written requirements, then it wins. Being seen to fiddle around with the procurement mid-way is a bad thing though.
This is not exactly much of a story. Companies ask why their bids were rejected all the time. If the hospital is able to answer properly, then the process is being run as it should. The opportunities for when the cheapest bidder could then screw the public authority mid-way through the contract, while not completely eliminated, are now much harder.
it all depends on the scoring
Having been involved in a non-IT tender.
We scored maximum on the quality of service but not sufficiently so to outweigh the points shortfall on cost of the service to beat the competition.
Now if the scoring has been drawn up in a fair and neutral manner, then the best tender has won.
Best Value does not equal Cheapest
The procurement process for the public sector requires you to get "best value". A lot of people (including suppliers) have taken this to mean cheapest, it is not.
For a patient record system (or any other public sector system betting life and limb), quality of system, ease of use/training (less staff mistakes), and projected levels of support from the supplier (i.e. do they forget you after you sign the cheque, likely to be bankrupt, etc.), should all score higher than the initial contract costs.
You also need to watch for the little sods (sorry suppliers), putting in low ball initial signing costs, and then loading it up for renewals and support services. (for example on year 2 of the contract, they get to pick a large random number and call it a liscense fee increase)
as others have stated
Cheapest is not best!
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