5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Ian Thompson
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Ian Thompson » Wed May 01, 2019 2:11 pm

ECF Regulation No. 1 wrote:6. Once a decision is taken, the responsible Director has the duty to advise all those bidding of the decision reached. No reasons shall be given.
That doesn't seem very sensible. It's reasonable that unsuccessful bidders are told why they weren't successful. It's in the ECF''s interests that they know so they can address any shortcomings in future bids.

J T Melsom
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by J T Melsom » Wed May 01, 2019 2:40 pm

I'm sure that transparency is an admirable thing, but I think those advocating full disclosure in this instance are wrong. Firstly there are commercial sensitivities - would a re-dacted version really be of interest? Secondly I don't believe it is for a membership organisation to re-run board decisions. It is for the organisation to set the broad objectives in this case of the Academy, and arguably the budget permitted, the rest seems to me at least an operational matter. I'd be interested to learn of other similar bodies which act as Angus suggests and the overall resources of said organisations, because transparency of this type also costs resources.

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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by JustinHorton » Wed May 01, 2019 2:50 pm

Just as an aside, did anybody else find it a bit confusing that you have "regulation No. 1", which is then split into a series of numbered sections? (Also, the version I saw had DRAFT written across it, and probably shouldn't have.)
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Angus French
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Angus French » Wed May 01, 2019 2:50 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 2:40 pm
I'm sure that transparency is an admirable thing, but I think those advocating full disclosure in this instance are wrong. Firstly there are commercial sensitivities - would a re-dacted version really be of interest? Secondly I don't believe it is for a membership organisation to re-run board decisions. It is for the organisation to set the broad objectives in this case of the Academy, and arguably the budget permitted, the rest seems to me at least an operational matter. I'd be interested to learn of other similar bodies which act as Angus suggests and the overall resources of said organisations, because transparency of this type also costs resources.
Who's asking for "full disclosure"?
Why a redacted version of a report? Why not have a report for publication without redactions?
Who's looking to "re-run board decisions"? Something a bit more informative and which provided general reassurance would be useful though, that's all.
Last edited by Angus French on Wed May 01, 2019 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

J T Melsom
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by J T Melsom » Wed May 01, 2019 3:01 pm

The board conducted a tender for x and after due consideration of bids from a number of parties in accordance with the required criteria awarded the tender to y. Accurate, transparent but not terribly helpful. Just look at the extra efforts the Board have had to take as a result of misinformation being spread by others and consider how much worse things would be. I've not seen your evidence of other bodies being more informative yet either.

Those who currently bang the drum loudest for transparency to my mind just want an extra few sticks with which to beat the board.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed May 01, 2019 3:02 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 2:11 pm
ECF Regulation No. 1 wrote:6. Once a decision is taken, the responsible Director has the duty to advise all those bidding of the decision reached. No reasons shall be given.
That doesn't seem very sensible. It's reasonable that unsuccessful bidders are told why they weren't successful. It's in the ECF''s interests that they know so they can address any shortcomings in future bids.
I can assure Ian that, sensible or not, the procedure described applies widely in the public sector - meaning UK governmental or quasi-governmental organisations - and, in particular, the unsuccessful bidders (commercial sensitivity being one concern here) are in no manner identified. Reasons are not given for failure - typically, bids are scored on a pre-determined grid and there may be no single simple reason why a bid was unsuccessful.

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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Angus French » Wed May 01, 2019 3:20 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 3:01 pm
I've not seen your evidence of other bodies being more informative yet either.
How much time have I got? You only just asked didn't you?

Anyway, the copy I have of the Sports & Recreation Alliance's Voluntary Code for Good Governance (which I quoted from earlier) has this:
6 SIXTH PRINCIPLE - Accountability and transparency

The board needs to be open and accountable to its athletes, participants and members and its actions should stand up to scrutiny.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

• Fully engaging with members and participants.
• Running consultations with different stakeholders.
• Putting in place appropriate complaints and appeals procedures.
• Being ethically responsible and treating everyone fairly and equally.
• Embracing diversity and ensuring board representation reflects membership and wider society.
• Ensuring published accounts are made available to members.
• Informing people about the organisation and board’s work.
• Ensuring all processes and decisions are transparent.
• Ensuring there is a conflict of interest policy in place; that declarations of interest are updated at least once a year; and that these are declared in relation to agenda items at each board meeting.
• Having appropriate mechanisms in place for participants to feed in their thoughts and have their concerns and questions answered appropriately.
• Being able to appropriately manage formal communication, engagement with members and social media activity
EDIT: A more up to date version is here: https://www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/p ... ubgroup-11

J T Melsom
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by J T Melsom » Wed May 01, 2019 3:31 pm

Fair enough as aspirations, but success is rather more subjective to determine is it not? And you've found time to post on this since my original post, but not to share good practice from elsewhere. Is the ECF not a signatory to the Voluntary Code and therefore seeking to reach these targets however they are measured?

I apologise if my request for evidence from other places seems unreasonable - I assumed that you having asserted that it happened, the examples would be readily to hand.
Last edited by J T Melsom on Wed May 01, 2019 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by John Upham » Wed May 01, 2019 3:36 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 3:01 pm
bids from a number of parties
Are you confident that the number of parties was greater than one ? I agree that 1 is indeed a number.
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J T Melsom
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by J T Melsom » Wed May 01, 2019 3:40 pm

John

No desire to engage in ping pong with you today -:) I was giving a generic form of words that might be used in the event of a tender process. No reference was made to the number of parties who submitted bids in respect of the Academy tender.

Ian Thompson
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Ian Thompson » Wed May 01, 2019 3:51 pm

John Upham wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 3:36 pm
Are you confident that the number of parties was greater than one ? I agree that 1 is indeed a number.
appears to be answered by
Charlie Storey wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:21 am
I have compared the offerings of the bid and mine had nearly 100 percent points Sarah and Alex L clearly did not, further I have an arrangement from Chessbase to sponsor the Academy, they had no sponsor according to a prese tation they gave to parents at the last Academy.

Ian Thompson
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Ian Thompson » Wed May 01, 2019 4:01 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 3:02 pm
Ian Thompson wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 2:11 pm
ECF Regulation No. 1 wrote:6. Once a decision is taken, the responsible Director has the duty to advise all those bidding of the decision reached. No reasons shall be given.
That doesn't seem very sensible. It's reasonable that unsuccessful bidders are told why they weren't successful. It's in the ECF''s interests that they know so they can address any shortcomings in future bids.
I can assure Ian that, sensible or not, the procedure described applies widely in the public sector - meaning UK governmental or quasi-governmental organisations - and, in particular, the unsuccessful bidders (commercial sensitivity being one concern here) are in no manner identified. Reasons are not given for failure - typically, bids are scored on a pre-determined grid and there may be no single simple reason why a bid was unsuccessful.
In the parts of the public sector I've been involved with it is normal for unsuccessful bidders to be told why they didn't win if they ask, this being typical of what might be provided.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed May 01, 2019 4:05 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 3:51 pm
John Upham wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 3:36 pm
Are you confident that the number of parties was greater than one ? I agree that 1 is indeed a number.
appears to be answered by
Charlie Storey wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:21 am
I have compared the offerings of the bid and mine had nearly 100 percent points Sarah and Alex L clearly did not, further I have an arrangement from Chessbase to sponsor the Academy, they had no sponsor according to a prese tation they gave to parents at the last Academy.
Perhaps I have misunderstood Charlie but, since the details of the competing bids are supposed to remain confidential, I don't entirely understand how he is able to make comparisons between his bid and that of the Longsons, let alone know how the respective bids were scored. Please elucidate.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed May 01, 2019 4:24 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 4:01 pm

In the parts of the public sector I've been involved with it is normal for unsuccessful bidders to be told why they didn't win if they ask, this being typical of what might be provided.
Grid/criteria yes, scores yes, specific reasons no in my experience. There's one simple reason for this. The scoring is normally done by a panel whose scores are averaged out. This means that, because panel members will score differently, their 'reasons' would be likely to vary - probably not significantly but enough to make it difficult to agree phraseology acceptable to all members of the panel.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed May 01, 2019 4:31 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 4:05 pm
Perhaps I have misunderstood Charlie but, since the details of the competing bids are supposed to remain confidential, I don't entirely understand how he is able to make comparisons between his bid and that of the Longsons, let alone know how the respective bids were scored. Please elucidate.
I've probably answered my own question in that Charlie has presumably seen the information referred to in my last answer. Assuming that's the case, is he actually saying that his bid was scored higher than the successful bid?

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