DaeR l
Election Observation

Current and future missions:











































Dear Monitors

OSCE election monitoring is a key aspect of bearing witness to claims of democratic development in the countries concerned and an important part of UK’s soft power abroad.

Provision of UK members of OSCE election observation missions has to date been on a competitive bidding basis across three suppliers.

Two of the suppliers, of which BRC-BEWC was one, have consistently supported this competitive bidding approach. It ensures best value-for-money for taxpayers and also retains a diversity of suppliers that is good procurement practice and has benefitted FCDO in the past.

FCDO nevertheless decided recently to appoint a single supplier with a monopoly covering all observer missions for at least the next three years. This caused one of the two other suppliers with a long track record to fold.

BEWC felt that we should not go down without at least bidding, albeit that our bid would support the illusion of competition - as it was widely understood which supplier was the favourite before the tender was formally announced.

In the meantime, our earlier post on this site about the fiasco surrounding the 2021 mission to Russia drew a response from FCDO that indicated the folly of speaking truth to power.

We now regret to inform you that the expected outcome has indeed been announced and BRC-BEWC will no longer be recruiting observers once our current missions complete.

FCDO’s decision to appoint a monopoly, while no doubt making life easier for FCDO staff, simply puts BRC-BEWC, the remaining and most experienced of the three suppliers, out of business.

We note also that the monopoly now granted – to a public body already in receipt of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money from FCDO - will face no future challenge, as the monopoly means that no other organisation will have any election mission track record to offer for at least the next three years.

Observer missions have long been at the heart of BEWC’s raison d’etre and we have run a lean system - without a penny of public subsidy - for over 20+ years, as one LTO kindly said, for “so many years with BEWC at the helm of OSCE observer contracting”.

During that time we have also consistently sought to improve FCDO’s processes and taught successive rotations of FCDO staff about observation missions. This all now comes to an unnecessary and tawdry end.

We are proud of what we have achieved, of our independence (albeit that this has probably been our undoing) and of our track record in consistently delivering successful missions while also increasing the range and diversity of observers.

In closing, we therefore take this opportunity to give our sincere thanks to all of you who have been LTOs and STOs for BEWC and worked so successfully with us over the past 20 years.

A good number of you have participated in multiple missions for us, and for many others it was with BRC-BEWC that you undertook your first missions - a policy that we have continued to the last.  

Thank you and our best wishes for the future.

BEWC October 2021