The Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator will outsource the administration, publishing and distribution of the charities Statement of Recommended Practice, with a three-year deal potentially worth up to £100,000 due to be signed next month.
Last month, the regulators opened the tender process for two contracts – the provision of a printing, publication and distribution service for the Sorp documents, and the provision of a secretariat and administration resource for the technical drafting service of future updates to the accounting standards. Bidders can tender for just one of the two, but the tender document says that the preferred option is one provider for both services.
Bidders for the second lot, which includes arranging and coordinating meetings of the Sorp committee, would not have to be an accountancy firm, but would have to demonstrate "expert knowledge of accounting standards applicable in the UK and the ROI".
The bidding process for the two contracts, which have an estimated value of between £50,000 and £100,000, ran from 4 June to 25 June. A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said that seven proposals had been received. These will be evaluated during July and, after negotiation of terms and conditions, the contract will be awarded in the week commencing 18 August.
The total value of the contract or contracts awarded will be made public – the regulators say the contracts themselves will be published, minus any commercially sensitive information.
According to the bid document, the reason for outsourcing this work is the "continuing decline in commission resources". It says that the contract will be awarded "to the most economically advantageous proposal".
A spokeswoman for the commission said that the regulators would still have overall control of the Sorp. She said: "The role of the Sorp committee would be unaffected by these changes. The commission and the OSCR will remain as the joint Sorp-making body, but with secretariat functions no longer being provided in-house."
The bid document says that "further changes to the Sorp will almost certainly be required over the coming years" in light of the new EC Accounting Directive for SMEs, and the review in 2016/17 of Financial Reporting Standard 102.
New Sorps are due to be published this summer, with the commission saying last month that this could happen before the start of August.