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Standardised EOI Form Released

A new standardised interactive Expression of Interest (EOI) form has been launched for potential subcontractors of welfare to work services. The Merlin Advisory Board and ERSA, the trade body for the welfare to work industry, are encouraging all prime contractors to use of the form.

The standardised form has been developed in consultation with prime contractors and subcontractors, with support from emqc and the Department for Work and Pensions. The aim is that organisations who wish to express an interest in working with more than one prime contractor can fill in just one form, rather than one for every organisations they are seeking to work with.  This will cut the amount of resource required by subcontractors at the EOI stage of a tender and could encourage more smaller organisations to participate in the procurement process.

The interactive form, available via the Merlin Standard website, gives prime contractors the ability to search for subcontractors based on a range of different criteria such as delivery location, service experience, policies, quality standards achieved etc.  Once a search is completed the EOI will be downloadable once permission has been granted by the user.  

With this interactive feature it is probably wise for any organisation who may have a future interest in subcontracting within the sector to complete the EOI now, before any major contracts are open for competition.  If the option to use this form is embraced by all potential prime providers, there may come a time where this database is used by some as the only source for their supply chain.  There is a danger that providers who don't have an EOI saved to the system could lose out on future opportunities.  W2W Solutions is sure that this is not intended, but there are often unintended consequences to well meaning projects!  

In addition, the more widely used the database is by subcontracting organisations, the more prime providers are likely to embrace it and not subject their potential supply chain to completing multiple versions of an EOI!

14 June 2013

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