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Cloud Services RFT Template

Arvo have been supporting public bodies with public procurement compliance, efficiencies and effectiveness for many years now and we are regularly asked –

“Do you have a template for that?”

That” can be an entire tender document, evaluation scoresheet, service specification, or any range of selection/award criteria (& most recently often GPP related + thankfully the OGP have a great GPP resource here). So in reply to the above question, Arvo do have many templates so we have decided to share some of these – technically most are in the pubic domain already via published eTenders…

The first in our series is a Cloud Services RFT Template pack to tender “Contact Centre as a Service” which includes:

  1. A guideline to project plan your Cloud Services Procurement project (Contact Centre as a Service)
  2. A tender template with resulting service contract template
  3. A Requirements and Specification template file (excel)
  4. A sample Pricing Schedule document

We make these available to download for free but suggest you to contact [email protected] with any queries on these templates.

Please complete the form below to access these documents:

Finally, let us know what other areas in public procurement you require templates for and we will consider publishing these in future.

Contract Modifications

As the consequences of COVID-19 continue, it is reasonable to assume that making changes to commercial contracts may become more of a necessity both now and over the next number of months as requirements and demands change due to this global pandemic.

Allowing and regulating contract variations should be a standard feature of all contracts once any proposed variations are planned accordingly

The reasons for the variation should be clearly documented and it is important that any variations are not used to mask poor performance or underlying problems. The variation impact on original timeframes, deliverables and value for money should be assessed thoroughly before undertaking any changes.

There are specific laws that apply to changes in Public Sector Contracts.

Material changes to a contract after it has been awarded give rise to a new contract which needs to be retendered.

The test for material change is-

Does the change introduce conditions, which had they been part of the initial award procedure, would have allowed for the admission of the tenders other than those initially admitted?

Does it extent the scope of the contract considerably?

Has the economic balance of the contract shifted in favor of the contractor in a manner not provided for in terms of the initial contract?

However, there are some steps that public bodies can take legally to make changes mid-contract which are-:

Review Clause Exception:

Provision for a modification included in the original Procurement Documentation/Tender which states in clear and precise terms the conditions under which modification provisions may be used stating the scope and nature of such possible modifications. It is imperative that any such clauses don’t alter the overall nature of the contract

Interoperability Exception

Where there is a requirement for additional works, services or supplies not included in the initial procurement and where a change of contractor cannot  be made for economic or technical reasons and it would cause significant inconvenience or substantial duplication of costs for the contracting authority. Must not exceed 50% of the original contract value and an OJEU notice of the change is required.


A modification to the contract is permitted where the value of the modification is below threshold and below 10% of initial contract value for services/supplies (15% for works). The modification must not alter the overall nature of the contract.

Unforeseen Changes:

A modification is necessary due to unforeseeable circumstances e.g. Covid 19. Such modifications should not exceed 50% of the original contract value. Necessary to keep written justification with reference to specific facts outlining the reasons for the modification. Publication of OJEU modification notice is required.

Change of Contractor:

Allowed following corporate restructuring ((e.g. takeover, merger, insolvency) and new operator fulfils qualitative selection criteria.

The specification and administration of change is vital as it needs to be fully documented and agreed between both parties and any additional demands on the incumbent supplier must be carefully controlled.

Change can be difficult however, often necessary.


Ethical Procurement


Ethical Buying


Consumers are increasingly aware of the provenance of the good and services they consume and want to know if these have come at an unacceptable cost to others.  The transparency and availability of information via the internet and particularly social media means companies must have confidence in their supply chains and the statements they make about their products.  Word of mouth spreads incredibly quickly among consumers, and it is extremely difficult to counter an online firestorm.  This is a major risk that any company, whether they are a supplier or a producer of end products, should be continually addressing and monitoring.

What is ethical buying?

Essentially, it is about ensuring that the products and services a company purchases do not cause undue harm or risk for people, animals, or the environment.  It overlaps with sustainability, since buying products which cause harm to the environment, via production methods, excessive freight, and haulage, or use of non-recyclable materials could be unethical.  It also includes people – no forced or child labour in the supply chain, fair wages and a safe hygienic operating environment for workers; animals – such as farming and testing practices; and even politics – avoiding purchase from certain regimes such as Myanmar and Zimbabwe.

There are generally three types of ethical buying practices, which procurement professionals can use in combination:

  1. Positive buying: actively selecting products that are ethically produced, to avoid harm to the environment, such as locally grown foods, energy-saving lightbulbs, or electric cars
  2. Avoiding negative buying: avoiding, as a policy, the purchase of items which do not meet ethical criteria, such as cosmetics tested on animals, or from factories which fail to provide adequate working conditions.
  3. Company selection: avoiding or favouring suppliers based on their ethical standpoint and standards.  This could include not purchasing fuels from companies which have caused environmental damage in sensitive regions such as rainforests and the Arctic

Ethics and cost control are not mutually exclusive!  Ethically produced products and services can avoid the need for expensive redress and can also produce higher quality which reduces wastage and improves efficiency.  Suppliers will increasingly need to meet and guarantee standards to win contracts with consumer-facing organisations, and it is more efficient to apply these company-wide, rather than have different terms for different customers.

The FAIRTRADE Industry is having a direct impact on the living conditions of approximately seven million people in rural areas in the developing world.


Social Procurement creating a benefit beyond the purchase of goods and services which enables buyers to support local economies have a positive impact on the environment, create more jobs and increase employee wellbeing

  • Making a positive social impact.
  • Resource Positive-Give more than you take.

Ethical buying is that ethically produced and sourced products are valued by consumers.  According to the 2019 PWC Irish Retail Consumer Report, 41% of Irish consumers are prepared to pay a premium for sustainable products, and 68% are prepared to pay a premium for locally produced food:

“Organisations who are able to consistently and transparently demonstrate their alignment with their customers’ values and beliefs have an additional advantage when it comes to where spend is directed, and how trust and loyalty are earned.”

Consumers increasingly correlate ethical production with higher quality, particularly younger people who are particularly conscious of their lifestyle choices and enjoy sharing these online.  Unethical practices within the supply chain present a big risk for any business.  Just look at recent examples of modern slavery conditions in Leicester’s clothing factories, that were widely reported as being Boohoo’s own workers, whilst they actually worked for a supplier.  However, it wasn’t enough for Boohoo to claim innocence just because they didn’t own the factories.

We live in a fickle world, and globalisation has intensified competition.  Ethical buying presents an opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves and meet customers’ needs.  This isn’t important only for end-user companies though – for an end product to be sustainable and ethical, all its’ input processes and components have to meet the same standards.  This is where the supply chain becomes so important.  Can customers really be expected to pay a premium for “locally produced” food products if thousands of air miles have gone into the ingredients?!  Therefore, as mentioned above, companies within a supply chain may find that ethical sourcing practices help to win more business and more customers.


Ethical buying might seem like a minefield, and yet another thing to consider when making purchasing decisions.  But it’s nothing compared to the extra work, costs and headaches that result if a company is found to breach acceptable standards, or to have been misleading (or even untruthful) about its’ products.  It could also be argued that this is the minimum that any responsible organisation should be doing.

Ethical buying practices shouldn’t be difficult or cause extra hassle.  Here are a few hints and tips:

  1. Use standards – other people have already done the hard work for you, and lots of standards are available, which can only be used if the producer or supplier meets certain objective standards. These include: Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, Organic, the Ethical Trading Initiative, Red Tractor, Soil Association – there is a long list, so the key is to find the right one for the circumstances.  These are easier for buyers than developing specific standards, and it is far simpler for suppliers to have one common standard for all customers. It’s worth mentioning that different laws and standards apply in different countries, so a supplier simply operating within the law might not be enough.
  2. Get to know your suppliers and ask the awkward questions! If something seems too good (or too cheap) to be true, then it probably is.  You can take this a step further and establish formalised supplier evaluation procedures such as scorecards.  These are helpful for organisations with large procurement teams, to make clear to buyers what’s important as well as price, e.g. factory standards, transportation distance, codes of conduct and standards.
  3. Internal practices – of course, it is also important that your own procedures do not contribute to or even encourage adoption of unethical practices.  For example, late ordering can put pressure on workers’ hours, and overly aggressive price negotiation (especially by dominant customers) can push down wages.  Too often, buyers turn a blind eye due to pressure to meet cost and margin targets.  Set standards within your organisation, make them public and stick to them.

It is no longer enough not to know what is happening within your supply chains.  Arvo’s procurement specialists can assist you to review your supply chain to find potential risks, and opportunities to embrace ethical buying, and the advantages it can bring

Author: Kate Sherry

Ready: Steady: Tender:

Are you struggling to win tenders and don’t understand why? Do you need to win that important contract but don’t know how?

We’ve got answers for you, during our 1-Day Public Tendering Training Day, we will demystify public procurement and provide you with practical tips for your next tender submission.

This training course will equip you with the necessary skills to win public contracts.


How to build your Tender Library.
Target appropriate Opportunities.
Produce best in class Tender Submissions with a detailed Tender Plan.
Post Tender best practice to build a winning tender culture.


Upon course completion, you will be able to-:
Successfully win public contracts in Ireland (NB: All Arvo clients won a public tender last year!)
Target, identify and select the most appropriate Tender opportunities.
Create Tender proposals to meet and exceed the evaluation requirements.
Build and leverage a robust Tender Library.

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