Status of competitive bidding for public sector consultancy

In the coming years, Science and Technology’s public sector consultancy will be subjected to competitive bidding. The work involved in preparing for this is in full swing.

2017.08.29 | Anne-Mette Siem

Photo: Colourbox

Prior to the summer holidays, Esben Lunde Larsen – Minister for the Environment and Food of Denmark – announced that all the ministry’s contracts with the universities offering public sector consultancy would be subjected to competitive bidding.

This is very important for Aarhus University (AU) and naturally for Science and Technology (ST) in particular. Public sector consultancy plays a key role for the faculty. The annual turnover in this area is DKK 1 billion, but it also provides significant opportunities for synergy between ST’s unique trio – basic research, engineering, and applied research and consultancy. These are opportunities that open up for contributing to societal development in a completely unique way.

Competitive bidding is a major challenge for the university. The management has therefore appointed a steering group consisting of Brian Bech Nielsen, Niels Chr. Nielsen, Kurt Nielsen, Berit Eika, Arnold Boon and Anders Correll; a working group at ST consisting of Niels Chr. Nielsen, Kurt Nielsen, Niels Halberg, Hanne Bach, Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen, Erik Steen Kristensen, Michelle Williams, Erik Østergaard Jensen, Thomas Skjødeberg Toftegaard, Peter Henriksen and Carsten Suhr Jacobsen; and a communication group consisting of Anders Correll, Anne-Mette Siem, Claus Bo Andreasen and Michael Strangholt.

“The aim of this work is to prepare our strong academic environments in the area of public sector consultancy as well as possible for the new situation with competitive bidding. We must focus attention on our skills in the different service agreements, the synergy between subject areas, and the financial framework conditions. AU provides world-class consultancy today, and we’d like to continue doing so,” says Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen.

The next tender in the area of public sector consultancy is expected in October 2017, but the area concerned has not yet been announced.

“This new situation has resulted in new challenges and a considerable number of new tasks for a large part of the faculty. We have maximum focus on solving the challenges as well as possible by involving all the faculty’s players in this area, so as to submit our offer in a professional way when the time comes,” says Vice-Dean Kurt Nielsen.

Tenders for all the universities’ contracts are expected to be invited according to a plan with services amounting to DKK 180 million from 2018 and every second year until 2022.

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Is it wise to subject public sector consultancy services to competitive bidding?

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