Developed by the European Federation of Cleaning Industries (EFCI) and UNI Europa with European Commission support, the guide aims to assist buyers of cleaning services in their tendering process by highlighting the benefits of choosing quality.
BCC Chairman, Simon Hollingbery, says the document is an excellent piece of work and has commended the EFCI on its findings.
He says: “ This guide is something that both public and private organisations should read and use to help guide them in the buying process. It is very detailed, but at the same time very easy to use, with sections independent of one another and executive summaries at the beginning of each section to provide an overview”.
He continues: “ The BCC fully supports this new guide and the ideas within it, and we hope, over time, it will become standard practice in the industry.”
The guide’s authors, the EFCI and their social partners, say they want to help stakeholders learn how to include and measure both quality and social aspects in their procurement process.
The message from their research is that there are huge benefits to be gained by choosing best quality.
They say that whereas quality of cleaning services is determined by technical merit and professional ability, social aspects include the respect for collective agreements and good employment conditions, and they should both be seen together as they represent two sides of the same coin. They argue that if these two factors are not taken into account, unfair competition between companies and social dumping of employees is likely to be the rule.
The social partners say that cleaning is a highly labour-intensive service where labour accounts for around 85% of costs and a consequence, they claim that awarding contracts purely on price or cost will lead automatically to quality shortcomings and unlawful practices.
In addition to an executive summary the guide has four sections; 1 Why Opt For Best Value. 2 Understanding European Legislation for Public Tendering. 3 Achieving Best Value. 4 Evaluation Guidelines.
The authors say the guide can be used before entering into a contract, but is also a useful resource to have at hand right through the contract and has been written so that it is easy to dip in and out of when required.