Time to reveal who will get the LIFE tender, as promised in our previous articles. You don’t need to be a fortune teller to guess:
EASME is preparing to award the tender to very same consortium that has won it the last three times. So, for the fourth consecutive term, the three times beneficiary of the tender is ready to get the juicy LIFE monitoring tender of 80 million euros, setting a record of 16 consecutive years of “ownership” of this tender.
Truth be told, it is not exactly the same consortium – as that would simply be inappropriate. In reality, in order to avoid losing the tender, the core composition of the consortium has stayed the same while bits and pieces have changed over the years.
It is highly likely that the European Commission and EASME will claim that the winner made the best proposal. But beyond the repeat-winning of the tender, let’s have a closer look at that argument of providing the best proposal.
An EU source told Kassandra, that the proposal of projected winner was the “heaviest”. It had more pages than its competitors as it includes some fifty (50) annexes more than the other participants. These annexes specify methodologies to be used by subject – and were attached to the proposal as proof of added value. Ultimately, this will be used to justify the tender award.
However. The consortium included in its proposal so many work methodology annexes because these methodologies were available to them exclusively. You see, they were developed by the consortium during its three previous contracting periods under the guidance (and with the funding) of EASME and the Commission. In simple words, the designated winner has been using materials paid by the Commission, which means by European taxpayers, in order to prepare its proposal and win the tender for a fourth term. That means, it prepared the proposal not by investing its own money, as others did, but by presenting the works paid for by the Commission with tax-payer money.
Why did the other two contenders not present such methodology annexes? Because even though this was a publically funded project, the Commission did not make public the particular findings of the previous three contracts so for other European companies not to be able compete on equal terms.
This, Kassandra has learned was one of the sensitive matters discussed in the Prague conference strategically organized by one of the companies of the designated consortium, in which executives of the Commission and EASME participated. It appears that the purpose of this one-week getaway (fantastic hotel by the way), which took place few days before the tender participation deadline, was to “facilitate” the better understanding of the process of the tender. Kassandra has also learned, that one of the matters discussed in the “corridors” of the event was how the designated winner, will present these annexes to the proposal, in an appropriate manner.
In short, this explains why in one of the biggest tenders of the European Commission (€80 million), only three consortia participated.