Call for tender “Digitalising public services: Making it work for citizens, business and workers”

Tender specifications for research in the framework of CESI’s project “DiWork – Digitalising public services: Making it work for citizens, business and workers”


The European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI) is a confederation of 40 trade union organisations from 20 European countries and 4 European trade union organisations, with a total of more than 5 million individual members. One further trade union enjoys observer status. Founded in 1990, CESI advocates improved employment conditions for workers in Europe and a strong social dimension in the EU. CESI’s particular strength lies in the public sector, but CESI also represents private-sector workers. Most of CESI’s affiliates are employed in the fields of central, regional and local administration, security and justice, education, training and research, healthcare, postal services and telecommunications, defence and transport.

Tender specifications for research in the framework of CESI’s project “DiWork – Digitalising public services: Making it work for citizens, business and workers

Deadline for submission: 15.04.2021

To be sent to [email protected]

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To ensure large visibility, the tender will be publicly available for one month on CESI’s communication channels.

  1. Background

The impact of digitalisation, especially the therefore required competencies, equipment as well as working conditions and organisation, are increasingly challenging public services and their personnel. The COVID-19 crisis has impressively (and partly also painfully) demonstrated how decisive and essential public services are – and also how urgently their further improvement, among others through digitalisation, is needed.

Against this background, it is a priority to approach the challenge in a broad, yet incisive way, laying the focus also on the ICT competencies in the public sector. What are the concrete steps needed to meet the demands of the citizens and the economic actors?

The digital transformation of public services requires wide and heterogeneous skills at all levels. The European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI) wishes to support this process, by identifying the necessary methodology, the required tools, and the needed skills for the workforce.

The project aims to make a distinction between different sectors and selected countries with the final goal of strengthening and consolidating the basic and advanced digital skills of the employee.

It also aims to investigate the evolving realities, to provide trade unions’ representatives with a better understanding of how employees can benefit from new technologies, but also to assess and tackle associated risks in terms of working conditions and occupational health and safety.

2. Purpose of the contract

Support is being sought from a researcher or team of researchers (Think Thank / Institute / University) to help to facilitate the implementation of the project run by CESI together with its national members.

In particular, the researcher(s) will be in charge of carrying out:

–           A survey on the impact of digital transformation, including artificial intelligence, on the public sector workforce.

–           A study on the challenges and opportunities coming from the digital transformation for the public sector workforce.

The researcher(s) will carry out comparative research on the digital transformation of the public sector in the targeted sectors across the EU.

The researcher(s) will be in close contact with the project applicant to ensure that the appropriate initial research is prepared and presented in due course and that the final research report is useful for European organisations and their affiliates to anticipate the digital transformation.

The researcher(s) is/are also expected to attend the online events (to be agreed upon with the organizers) and the final conference. The evidence provided by the research will help CESI in drafting recommendations on how to provide trade unions’ representatives with a better understanding of how employees can benefit from the whole digitalization process, taking also into account the potential impact new technologies may have on working conditions and occupational health and safety.

3. Tasks to be performed by the Contractor

3.1 Description of tasks

  • Analysing the need for/and the impact of digital transformation where CESI represents most of its members:
  1. Central government administrations as well as local and regional administration, in all levels and sections of government, agencies and public bodies;
  2. Education and training, with a focus on teachers and educators in primary, secondary and tertiary education as well as in VET;
  3. Health services, in particular, hospital staff, nurses and physicians;
  4. Postal services
  • Drawing up survey to gather the point of views and the experiences of the personnel and their representatives, showcasing exemplary or inappropriate practices to prepare and open the workforce for digital transformation.
  • Showcasing good practices from public services and public administrations in implementing the digital agenda.
  • Drawing up a final study in English, based on the working groups’ contributions, the survey and the review of the latest publications on digital transformation.
  • Presenting the main results of the study at the online CESI working groups (to be agreed upon) and at the final conference.

3.2 Guidance and indications on tasks execution and methodology

The study will consist of comparative research on the impact of digital transformation in the public sector and its workforce also thanks to a survey addressed to CESI members. But also review of European Policies and take into account national specificities of the various sectors.

The contracting party is free to choose the methodology applied. However, a few video-calls will be scheduled to discuss the progress of the work and its direction. A draft report must be delivered by end of January 2022.

4. Expertise required

  • Having at least three years of experience in the field of public services, policies related to the use of ICT and digital transformation, occupational safety and health at work, with a focus on the importance of the information, consultation and co-decision of workers, and national and European social dialogues.
  • Being familiar with the European Commission’s strategy “Europe fit for the digital age” and related policies of DG Connect, DG Digit and DG Employment.
  • Ability of becoming familiar with the project leader’s and the EU institutions’ publications on similar topics.

5. Timetable

The project´s duration is from February 2021 until February 2023. The survey must be launched by the end of May 2021 and be completed by the end of November 2021. The study should be finalised by the end of February 2022.

6. Payments and standard contract

CESI will sign a contract with the subcontracted researcher(s).

Payments will be made in three instalments as follows:

The first payment of 20% of the contract value upon signature of the contract, a further payment of 40% of the contract value upon delivery of the survey´s results, and a final payment of 40% upon finalisation of the research report.

7. Price

The total budget for the research is 37 000.00 EUR (all taxes and charges included).

Travel and accommodation expenses for the contractor to attend potential physical events, like the final conference (all depending on the evolution of the pandemic and lockdown measures) or meet with the project partners will be covered by the overall travel and accommodation budget of the project and paid separately from the abovementioned instalments.

8. Selection criteria

  • Verifiable expertise, experience and skills, as required and described above;
  • Proven knowledge/ evidence/track record of research (supported by publications, academic articles etc.) on sectoral social dialogue, in particular focusing on the targeted sectors;
  • Respect of the budgetary constraints and timeline.

9. Award criteria

The contract will be awarded to the tenderer whose profile and offer best reflect the selection criteria. The principles of transparency and equal treatment will be respected.

It should be noted that the contract will not be awarded to a tenderer who receives less than 70% on the Award Criteria.

10. Content and presentation of the bids

Tenders must be written in English.

They must be signed by the tenderer or the duly authorised representative and be perfectly legible so that there can be no doubt as to words and figures.

Tenders must be clear and concise. They must make it clear that they can meet the requirements of the specifications.

All tenders must include at least two sections:

1) Technical proposal

The technical proposal must provide all the information needed for awarding the contract, including:

  • The relevant professional experience with an emphasis on the specific fields covered by the invitation to tender.
  • The documents necessary to enable the project partners to appraise the bid based on the selection and award criteria set out above.
  • A detailed CV of the expert(s) involved in the project activities.
  • Specific information concerning the proposed methodology for delivering the tasks listed in part 2.

2) Financial proposal

Prices of the financial proposal must be quoted in euros, including if the sub-contractor is based in a country that is not in the euro-area. As far as the tenderers of those countries are concerned, they cannot change the amount of the bid because of the evolution of the exchange rate. The tenderers choose the exchange rate and assume all risks or opportunities relating to the rate fluctuation. Prices shall be fixed and not subject to revision during the performance of the contract.

11. Selection of the bids

Offers must be received within 30 days of the date of publication of this call for tender by CESI, i.e. by 15.04.2021.

Applicants may be invited for a video interview in the week(s) following the submission’s deadline.

Offers must be sent to CESI by e-mail to Tomasz Koguc, Project Manager: [email protected].

The project is co-funded by the European Union

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash