The government has dropped the ‘experience’ requirement for those competing for public tenders

Published: December 21, 2013 at 10:20pm

Yesterday morning, members of the Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise received a circular advising/warning them that the rules governing government tenders will be changed as of the 1st January.

The email from the Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise attached the relevant government circular which states that experience is no longer to be a requirement and part of the selection criteria in the procurement process for tenders of a value lower than half a million euros.

The reason the government gives is to enable new companies to compete, which means that it must have some new companies in mind.

I don’t think it is particularly worrying if jobs go to companies with no experience in the sector, if the individuals who run those companies have that experience. For example, John and Mary may leave company X after years of running it for somebody else and set up their own outfit. The new outfit won’t have experience or a track record, but John and Mary have both.

What is very worrying is this: the ‘no experience necessary’ directive does not only refer to companies, but also to the individuals who run them. The government circular states: “When requesting key experts in public tenders, reference should be limited only to the educational and professional qualifications without requesting relevant experience.”

This makes no sense at all, and that is why I think the government must have certain people/companies in mind.

Let’s take one example. Roads built by companies with no experience in building roads is bad enough, but roads built by people who may not have experience building roads is infinitely worse.

Many such parallels can be made.

While this is something of a technical matter, it is a continuation of the trend to deliberately lowering standards in everything and in every way.

12 Comments Comment

  1. ciccio says:

    When you think about it, even those at the helm of the country are an incompetent, inexperienced bunch. How can they expect others to be better?

  2. Joe Fenech says:

    Ghax l-aqwa li jkunu ‘kuwl’ u ‘antrepprenirjal’.

  3. U Le! says:

    But I am sure one criterion will be adhered to, allegiance to Malta Taghna Lkoll!

  4. Josette says:

    How can you be an expert by just having education and qualifications without having any experience? All university students think they are experts once they complete their degree but are soon disillusioned! But then we have a Prime Minister who believes he is a financial expert after having had one job for a relatively short time in the sector.

  5. Rahal says:

    Would you invest your money with an inexperienced entity?

    But alas this is not their money but the people’s they are administering or should I say squandering.

  6. SM says:

    This is going to cause havoc in the knowledge industries.

    Experience in these sectors is not only limited to technical aspects but it also includes estimation of the required effort which can be trickier.

    A knock on effect is the probable demise of established organisations trying to compete with new entrants. What will happen to existing long term maintenance and support contracts once they go belly up?

  7. Charles Darwin says:

    The Patient Administration System at Mater Dei Hospital comes immediately to mind.

  8. La Redoute says:

    That more or less justifies appointing Phyllis Muscat as head of the organizing committee of CHOGM 2015.

    Well, what could we expect of a government led by a Super One reporter who never worked at a real job at any time in his life?

  9. Angus Black says:

    Why do a job right, the first time, when it could be done over twice creating additional jobs by fixing what has just been finished? ‘Inexperience’ is a useful tool in this case.
    It’s all part of the job creation plan.

  10. Stephen Forster says:

    Seems like the govt is going down the African “national content” road. God help them with that.

    I have first-hand experience of what a disaster that can turn out when you have specialist projects being given to companies with zero experience. I think that companies with a proven track record involved in the tender process can appeal to the EU if they are discriminated against.

  11. Calculator says:

    Unbelievable. Just saw the circular myself and I am pissed. We’re currently involved in a newly-launched project which is based on providing practical training. How can we be expected to say that anyone who has just graduated with no experience in the required fields can qualify to provide such training? The trainees would probably have more hands-on experience already.

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