Finance Research Contract for Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Finance Research Contract for Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

The Ombudsman would like to review the policy on financial redress and is seeking background research on the way this is approached in other Ombudsman offices to provide context.

Invitation to Tender for the provision of research on financial redress to the SPSO


1 Authority Details


Authority Name and Address

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Corporate Services, 4-6 Melville Street,




Fiona Paterson

+44 8003777330

+44 8003777331


Address from which documentation may be obtained

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Policy and Communications Team, 4-6 Melville Street,




Valerie Malloch

+44 8003777330

+44 8003777331


Completed documents must be returned to:

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Corporate Services, 4-6 Melville Street,




Fiona Paterson

+44 8003777330

+44 8003777331

2 Contract Details



Invitation to Tender for the provision of research on financial redress to the SPSO


Description of the goods or services required

1. Overview of Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO)

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) is the final stage for complaints about

organisations providing public services in Scotland and deals with complaints about most Scottish public bodies including councils, the National Health Service, housing associations, the Scottish Government and its agencies and departments, colleges and universities, and water complaints.

The Ombudsman is an independent public official appointed by HM The Queen on the nomination of the Scottish Parliament. The decisions of the Ombudsman can be judicially reviewed by the Court of Session.

The Ombudsman’s Reports must be laid before the Scottish Parliament and are all available on the SPSO website –

Details of the Ombudsman’s team are available at:

The Ombudsman’s most recent Annual Report is available at: spso-publishes-annual-report-2012-13

Context and background

1. All actions of the SPSO flow from the SPSO Act 2002 and subsequent amendments.

2. The SPSO is also required to comply with the common law principles of natural justice and procedural fairness in its decisions and actions. This means that the reasons for a decision must be intelligible and they must be adequate. They must enable the reader to understand why the matter was decided as it was and what conclusions were reached on the principal important controversial issues, disclosing how any issue of law or fact was resolved.

3. There is no specific provision in the legislation for the provision of redress. However, there is recognition that an Ombudsman seeks to remedy outstanding injustice (section 16). And in 2006, the previous Ombudsman produced a policy on financial redress which explains when this option would be considered in a recommendation. The recommendations made by an Ombudsman are not binding but there is an almost 100% compliance rate with SPSO


4. The Ombudsman would like to review the policy on financial redress and is seeking

background research on the way this is approached in other Ombudsman offices to provide

context. He would also like to consider what other options there may be, outside the

complaints process, for members of the public seeking financial redress in key areas.

2. Details of the project

The Ombudsman is inviting tenders for the provision of a research study on the comparative use of redress by Ombudsmen and also on other routes for redress in certain specified areas.

The purpose of this work will be to:

– Identify and assess relevant policies and practices of other public sector Ombudsman, with a focus, including but not necessarily restricted to the UK and Ireland;

– Identify and assess any alternative avenues to redress in areas of particular interest to the


– Identify and assess any upcoming Scottish developments which may impact on the SPSO

redress policy; and

– Provide the SPSO with a report providing details of the identification and assessment work


Project Aims and Objectives

The project is intended to inform a review of the current redress policy, and to provide context to the review through:

(1) An analysis of the current practice of other public sector ombudsmen with an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach;

(2) An analysis of the avenues currently open to those seeking financial redress in Scotland for failings by the public sector, with an assessment of the ease of access of each; and

(3) An analysis of upcoming Scottish developments and their likely impact.


The study will concentrate on the approach taken by Ombudsmen in the UK and Ireland although Ombudsman practice outside the UK and Ireland could be included. The exact number of bodies to be considered will be discussed between the contractor and the SPSO but should be no fewer than 5 and not exceed 10.

The SPSO and researcher will discuss how to identify possible alternative avenues for redress and upcoming Scottish developments. The SPSO will provide a series of short case studies relating to the health, local government and other sectors in which we have a particular interest, to provide a framework for the analysis.

The policy focus of the assessment should concentrate on key differences and evidence of the benefits and disadvantages of each. The Ombudsman is interested to know whether there is any available evidence to assess the impact of financial redress not only for the individual but general service improvement.


Bidders should set out their proposed methodology in their tender documentation. We anticipate that the study will largely involve desk-based analysis. There may be scope for direct discussion with Ombudsman staff and those who may represent individuals seeking redress, such as advocacy groups. This is, though, a project seeking to explore current understanding and not to provide new data.


A full written report accompanied by a summary document, setting out the findings and

recommendations is to be provided in an accessible style. This should be around 10 but no longer than 20 pages of times new roman 10 point normally spaced.

Milestones and timescales

The work must be completed (including a written report with executive summary) by end June 2014.

Bidders should set out, along with the methodology for completion, a proposed timetable for


A project initiation meeting will be held with the successful contractor and there should be at least

one discussion at the mid-point of the project.

3. Invitation to Tender Response

Tender submissions must include:

– A detailed response addressing all areas identified in the project scope

– A full CV including details of the bidder’s experience relating to similar work

– A breakdown of costs for the work, detailing costs per day. It is anticipated the research itself will take between 5-7 full working days. We may in exceptional circumstances consider

longer or shorter timescales if it is clear that this is possible/required to fulfil the brief. An

additional day should be included in the costing for briefing and feedback

– A description of the methodology that will be employed along with timescales for proposed


– Summaries of relevant work carried out for two clients (with contact details) or appropriate

academic referees who would be willing to provide the Ombudsman with a reference

– Payment will generally be on completion, but the Ombudsman may make a part payment on the mid-point of the contract on the submission of evidence of suitable progress

– Please advise if you are aware of any conflict of interest in providing services to the SPSO

– Please advise if you are self employed or if you are an employee of a company or other


– Please advise what level of Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurance cover you / your company/organisation have in place

– Please clearly state any assumptions you have made in formulating your proposal

4. Contract Terms

4.1 Length of contract

The contract will be for the work to be completed in a timely fashion, commencing as soon as possible, and by end June at the latest.

4.2 Location

At the service provider’s preferred location. Office space can be made available within the SPSO’s office in Edinburgh if required.

4.3 Confidentiality

The service provider must undertake not to publish or communicate the results or content of any of their work to anyone other than the SPSO. This undertaking continues beyond the life of the contract.

Any breach of confidentiality of contract or restricted information will constitute a material breach of contract and enable the SPSO to terminate the contract.

5. Pricing

All pricing should be submitted in GBP. It is anticipated that the work will be conducted at the

bidder’s choice of location or SPSO offices in Edinburgh. Therefore expenses will not be

applicable for this work.

The available budget for this project is up to a maximum of £3,000 GBP.

6. ITT Process

6.1 Questions

Any questions relating to this ITT should be sent via e-mail to

Your proposal must be sent via e-mail to close of business (1700 hours) on 10 March 2014.

The subject header should be: TENDER DOCUMENT: Ref: SPSO Process Benchmarking

7. Evaluation Process and Criteria

Upon receipt the SPSO will review and evaluate the proposal. The SPSO may request clarification from the service provider if there are questions concerning the proposal.

Proposals will be evaluated on:

– understanding of the SPSO’s requirements

– quality of draft sample work

– skills and relevant experience

– reference sites (previous client list) or references

– appropriateness of methodology and timescales to comply with the deadline and meet the aims of the project

– evidence of previous ability to work to deadlines

– interviews with bidders (those that are short-listed, if appropriate; we reserve the right to appoint without interview)

– value for money

8. ITT Terms and Conditions

8.1 Confidentiality

The service provider will not issue any public statements or otherwise disclose any information concerning this ITT, the process and its participation in the process without the prior written approval of the SPSO.

8.2 Legal Disclaimer

This ITT is an invitation to propose and does not in any manner create an offer or other obligation on the part of the SPSO to enter into any contract.

All expenses and costs incurred by the service provider in completing, submitting and delivering the bids, together with any costs incurred during the post tender stage, will be to the adjudicator’s account. The SPSO are not bound to accept the lowest or any bid.

8.3 Use of Information

This ITT and any other information furnished hereunder shall be used solely for the purpose of responding to this ITT. Reproduction of any part of this ITT is authorised only to the extent

necessary for the preparation of your response. The service provider shall ensure that all such copies are destroyed when no longer required in connection with this ITT. The above shall supersede any confidentiality agreements between the SPSO and the service provider.

9 Timeline

An indicative timetable is outlined below. The SPSO reserves the right to amend the dates if


Issue Invitation to Tender 17 February

Response Due Date 10 March

Bid Analysis 13-14 March

Interviews with short-listed bidders (this is an optional

part of the process) March

Award contract subject to agreeing terms and conditions 31 March

Contract start date 1 May

NOTE: To register your interest in this notice and obtain any additional information please visit the Public Contracts Scotland Web Site at

The buyer has indicated that it will accept electronic responses to this notice via the Postbox facility. A user guide is available at

Suppliers are advised to allow adequate time for uploading documents and to dispatch the electronic response well in advance of the closing time to avoid any last minute problems.


Notice Coding and Classification

151400 Financial Consultancy
281300 Legal Opinion

100 All Scotland
120 Highlands and Islands
130 Aberdeen & North-East
140 Tayside, Central & Fife
150 Glasgow & Strathclyde
160 Edinburgh & Lothians
170 Scotland South
180 Outside Scotland


Total quantity or scope of tender

3 Conditions for Participation


Minimum standards and qualification required

4 Administrative Information


Type of Procedure

Single stage – Any candidate may submit a tender.


Reference number attributed to the notice by the contracting authority



Time Limits

a) Time-limit for obtaining documentation 10-03-2014

b) Time-limit for receipt of completed tenders
10-03-2014  Time  17:00

c) Estimated award date 31-03-2014


Language or languages in which tenders or requests to participate can be drawn up



Tender Submission Postbox

The buyer has indicated that it will accept electronic responses to this notice via the Postbox facility. A user guide is available at

5 Other Information


Additional Information

(SC Ref:296111)


Additional Documentation

14 02 17 SPSO redress tender document


Publication date of this notice