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Re: Accessible Procurement Policies

From: Jeremy Hurst <jeremy@slightlydifferent.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 15:27:49 +0000
Message-ID: <404DE275.7060507@slightlydifferent.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Bravo Mr Davis,

We have also noticed that some public sector procurement policies are at 
best flawed, and the amount of public money that is being poured into 
public sector online accessibility does not seem to generate anything 
like the kind of results that it should.

Although there are certain challenges in dealing with the public sector, 
and restrictions on the companies that are eligible to do so, it amazes 
us that so much money can be spent on a solution that does not justify 
the price tag at all.

While I have no problem with anyone making a profit on an honest day's 
work - this is the nature of business after all - we have several 
examples of public sector and European funded projects that have been 
carried out for a _vastly_ inflated price by companies/individuals who 
are clearly not up to the job and produce very poor results.

One particular case that we are familiar with was that of a UK based 
community disability forum that paid an EU funded six figure sum for a 
website that we calculated could have been done for about a tenth of the 
price.  The end result was a website that was not accessible in any way 
- when we asked the developers why the new disability forum website was 
not accessible and wasn't this a little negligent, the response was that 
they were not asked to make the site accessible so therefore didn't do 
it.  If they were asked to do this they would have charged more money.

On several occasions we have been asked to submit proposals and the 
project has been awarded in-house, or alternatively as Mr Davis has 
highlighted, the project is awarded to the company that wrote the tender 
in the first place which is less than satisfactory.

I am positive that this is just the tip of the iceberg with regards to 
public sector procurement, but the ever present concern of legal action 
prevents a lot of this information being made public.

On a more positive note, a previous comment mentioned that there was not 
one politicians site that was accessible.  All I can say is watch this 
space.....

Best regards

Jeremy Hurst
Business Director
Slightly Different Ltd.   http://www.slightlydifferent.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1326 372416   Fax: +44 (0)1326 372114

Winner - Dept for Education and Skills Cybrarian Awards 2003
Winner - British Interactive Media Association Awards 2003
Winner - Nat Library for Blind's Visionary Design Awards 2003
Received on Tuesday, 9 March 2004 10:26:09 UTC

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