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Love me tender?
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 08:09
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Aug 22, 2006

( I could not resist to put this header).

These days they are on the move again. Agencies searching translators for a "tender" for the EU.
To participate one has to send all kind of diplomas, invoices and proofs, that show that one has translated lots of related stuff already.

In the past I tried a few times to get accepted, but never got even a response.

Mostly it seems these quests come from agencies that are not qualified at all. Today came one from Spain for a tender EN-FI.

Has anybody had any luck with these "tenders"? Do they pay decently?

Regards
Heinrich


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:09
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not me Aug 22, 2006

I have sent my credentials many a time for these types of tenders but to no avail.

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Ingo Dierkschnieder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:09
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Not me either Aug 22, 2006

Same here: I was invited to apply for a few EU tenders but apparently never accepted as I also never received an update regarding this tender.

Recently, I've seen three agencies applying for a tender that I applied for to be a part of the translation team.

Sometimes, I've got the feeling that the requirements are too hard to meet, especially when an agency has to find ten to twenty translators, and in the end, the whole project stays with the EU and their own translators.


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Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:09
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Neither did I... Aug 22, 2006

I replied to the first one of this series of requests for EU-tenders.

I did get a reply, but a rather rude one, so I couldn´t be bothered to apply again.

Manuela

[Edited at 2006-08-22 16:59]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 08:09
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Seems to be a compulsory procedure Aug 22, 2006

According to EU competion rules those projects have to be announced publicly but that's it.
Good to know that I'm not the only disappointed.
Regards
Heinrich


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xxxdf49f
France
Local time: 07:09
abuse of freelancers and bidding fraud... Aug 22, 2006

In order to submit a valid tender for large procurement contracts, agencies have to include in the bid dossier a list of their "translator teams"... teams and lists that most of the time are simply non-existent, or if they do exist, they're generally not the best in the market and wouldn't look good enough in the dossier to compete against other agencies.
So they ask us freelancers to supply our own references, tantalizing us with wonderful promises of huge future volumes of work (even promising high rates... since promises don't cost much...), while all they want is to make themselves look good on paper.
Once the contract is awarded, either they didn't get selected and have no need for us and go on with their usual low-cost providers, or the one agency who was awarded the contract thanks to our wonderful references, also goes back to their usual low-cost translators and we never hear from them again either.

This happens frequently for EU contracts and for large corporate contracts in France. I know of one recent instance with the French gas distributor where the bidder simply picked names in the AIIC directory as supposedly belonging to their multilingual team of interpreters and translators - they had no list of interpreters since basically never sold interpreting services before and they have been using translators from low-cost countries - they also bid at ridiculously low rates for France. Once they were awarded the contract, they kept using their low-cost translators and hunted for interpreters by word of mouth, seducing them with an attractively high rate for the first meeting, following which all interpreters were informed that either they accepted a (very much) lower rate or they wouldn't be hired for the many future meetings, and actually proceeded to look for "students willing to work for low rates"...

I call this practice abuse of service providers and fraudulent misrepresentation by the bidder...

All we can do, is refuse to provide our references to agencies who have never worked with us before.

Stay well - df


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 07:09
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Beware... Aug 22, 2006

I stopped responding to this sort of "offers" as it did happened already a few times that my details have been used by agencies to actually win a tender (presenting "their" team), but I never got any work from this - they simply hired cheaper translators.

Since then, I only do this for trusted clients with whom I have already good working relationships - it worked a few times, to our mutual benefit.

It seems that it is is a widespread practice - to use names and resumes of established translators in the bidding phase, but actually outsource the work to someone else. An abuse in my book.

So, beware of this sort of calls!

Magda


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xxxdf49f
France
Local time: 07:09
exactly Aug 22, 2006

Magda Dziadosz wrote:
I stopped responding to this sort of "offers" as it did happened already a few times that my details have been used by agencies to actually win a tender (presenting "their" team), but I never got any work from this - they simply hired cheaper translators.

Since then, I only do this for trusted clients with whom I have already good working relationships - it worked a few times, to our mutual benefit.

It seems that it is is a widespread practice - to use names and resumes of established translators in the bidding phase, but actually outsource the work to someone else. An abuse in my book.

So, beware of this sort of calls!
Magda


yes, absolutely! that's exactly what I meant!
I'm duplicating your post, Magda, because it deserves to be re-read again and again
dominique


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:09
German to English
+ ...
Prices and mark-downs Aug 22, 2006

I once saw a price that the EU was willing to pay to the contractor that won the commission. Can't remember exactly what it was or where I saw it, but I remember feeling that it was about the amount that I would expect an agency to pay me.
My conclusion: no agency that wins such a commission would be able to pay me a decent rate (because they would have to operate at a loss to do so), so it's not worth even looking at the EU tender stuff. Let alone waging the paperwork and red tape wars.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 08:09
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Could and should we do something about it? Aug 23, 2006

Thanks for your information regarding the EU tender problem.

I posted this thread without checking, if this has been discussed before, but this doesn't seem to be the case.

I'd like to state some points:

The EU and its institutions are worldwide the biggest user of translation services. The EU is concerned about quality, and the services are of course paid with taxpayers money.

The current procedure for bidding for EU projects does not garantee, that the translator(s) presented to the EU during the bidding process actually do the translations. Rather it seems according to Victor, that the prices paid by the EU are too low to cover the costs of quality-conscient agencies.

Their seems to be no checks against fraudulent agencies. It would be easy to improve the procedure (I guess), if the responsible EU-body would contact the translators, which the tender-winning agency has presented, and tell them their agency won the bidding and to expect respective work. After half a year or so another contact would be established for feedback to make sure, the translator really has provided the translations.

Does anybody of you know at this moment, who is responsible for the translation services paid by the EU, who's the boss, commissioner?

Do you know, if your own MEP is interested about such questions like competition on the service sector?

Should we consider a concerted action to improve the current situation? Do our national translator's organisations know about this problem?

Finally I'd like to express concern, that this fraudulent behaviour does not seem to be restricted to EU-projects. I remember occasions, where an agency promised a big project from a well-reknown corporation. I did a paid test for them, they replied, the translation is great, expect to be contacted next month again. And after that silence! Nothing more.

Good night and good luck!

Heinrich

The home page for the body in charge is http://www.cdt.europa.eu
and the commissioner in charge is Ján Figel.

One tender related document says:
11.2. INFORMATION ON TRANSLATION STAFF
The Contractor undertakes to provide the authorising authority with the name of the translator(s) responsible for each assignment carried out and will, on request, also provide the detailed curriculum vitæ of the individual(s) concerned.
Any change in the translator team indicated in the offer must be brought to the attention of the contracting authority for acceptance and evidence of the education and professional qualifications of those concerned provided. Any change in the list of translation staff indicated in the offer is prohibited without the prior agreement of the Translation Centre.

[Bearbeitet am 2006-08-23 02:38]


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 07:09
English to German
+ ...
me not either Aug 23, 2006

Hi! infact they came last year twice and this year again, long procedures, but months long waiting and finally gave up, there was no response, feedback. Best Brandis

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Paola Dentifrigi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:09
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
same here Aug 23, 2006

Hi, it happened a couple of times. I sent faxes and mails with my datas in a hurry and never got any job from these agencies.
It happened just before and after Poland joined the EU. I'm waiting for Romania to join and a have a word with these agencies if they contact me again

Cheers
Paola


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:09
English to German
+ ...
Interesting Aug 23, 2006


One tender related document says:
11.2. INFORMATION ON TRANSLATION STAFF
The Contractor undertakes to provide the authorising authority with the name of the translator(s) responsible for each assignment carried out and will, on request, also provide the detailed curriculum vitæ of the individual(s) concerned.
Any change in the translator team indicated in the offer must be brought to the attention of the contracting authority for acceptance and evidence of the education and professional qualifications of those concerned provided. Any change in the list of translation staff indicated in the offer is prohibited without the prior agreement of the Translation Centre.


Heinrich, that sounds interesting. I have too been contacted by various agencies to apply for an EU tender, and to send my diplomas and certificates to them. So far I have never bothered because the agencies that contacted me were on the lower-paying end of the scale, and I already thought that they wouldn't be able to pay me a decent rate.

However, with this information of yours, we can do something about this. The problem here is to know if and when an agency has won a tender and to contact the authorities accordingly. I am not so sure the EU itself would hand out this information randomly, i.e. to just about anyone asking. I imagine they have some sort of confidentiality agreement with partnering agencies, and none of them can actually give out such information (at least, I assume so).

So how does an individual find out if an agency has won a tender with him/her on the list of translators?

Sonja


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:09
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Same here! Aug 23, 2006

Although I do not mind sending my CV and copies of my grade lists and diplomas, I refuse to send info about my clients and their work. And they did not want the general info we all provide with the client's permission.

At least, that is what a couple wanted. I consider the info and specific subject matter of my clients highly-confidential; furthermore. it did not sit well with me. Are they trying to muscle in on my clients?

I figured that I was better off without it. I am quite busy anyway.

PS Great heading! It made me chuckle.

Best regard,
Lucinda


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Sophia Hundt  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:09
Russian to English
+ ...
Same here Aug 23, 2006

Sent once to a "Greek" agency but didn't get a job - they actually told me that the credentials I sent were late.

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