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Consultants blast framework delays

CONSULTANTS BIDDING for places on Transport for London's (TfL) lucrative professional services frameworks this week expressed frustration at delays in awarding work.

TfL held a controversial reverse auction in March for the cost element of 10 consultancy framework contracts worth a total of £1bn.

Quality assessments of bids were due to take place by early summer (NCE 21 April).

But it is understood that TfL is still deciding which consultants were to be included on several of the frameworks.

Consultants that spoke to NCE this week confirmed that they had been told which frameworks they were likely to be awarded, but no formal announcement has been made.

'We haven't finally signed it all up yet. We understand it to be imminent, ' said one consultant.

Firms that knew they were to be selected said they were not the lowest bidders, suggesting that price was not the main criteria for choosing firms.

'We took a full and active part in the auction process. It is just like any bidding process, ' said one.

'You just have to be smart and understand what you are doing, ' said one consultant. 'We weren't the lowest, because we wouldn't be pricing to be a cutprice Joe.'

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