Invitation to Tender - Travel Management Company

07 July 2023
Vacancy - supplier

Invitation to Tender - Travel Management Company

WFD is looking to procure the services of a single global Corporate Travel Management company with an online booking system to assist WFD staff based in the UK and across the world with all of their travel and accommodation requirements, both domestic and international across all geographic regions, underpinned by global contract management and consolidated management information to help WFD to improve its travel programme and meet its duty of care obligations.


Westminster Foundation for Democracy (“WFD”) is the UK public body dedicated to supporting democracy around the world. Operating internationally, WFD works with parliaments, political parties, and civil society groups as well as on elections to help make political systems fairer, more inclusive and more accountable. 

. We are a problem-solving, practitioner-led organisation that offers:  

  • High quality and impactful regional and country programmes that directly support the full spectrum of institutions in political systems to develop inclusive political processes, more accountable political systems, protection of rights and freedoms, and more pluralistic societies; 
  • Specialist analysis, research, and advice to inform policy makers on a range of democratic governance issues via its Centre of Expertise; and   
  • International elections observation on behalf of the UK.  

Aim of this Invitation to Tender  

WFD is issuing this Invitation to Tender (“ITT”) to a range of potential suppliers of services and would welcome a bid from your organisation. 

Due to the nature of the work WFD carries out, more than 50% of our staff and consultants travel on a regular basis both locally in and to the UK and overseas within or to a diverse range of countries. Our travel needs are often short-notice or subject to last-minute changes due to the changing needs of travellers.  

For the logistical arrangements of these business trips, WFD needs the services of a provider that can facilitate both an individual’s travel arrangements, complex group trips, and VIP travel. The successful bidder will provide the following services: visas; air travel (preferably with access to both global and local fares); rail travel (UK, Europe, and international); ground transportation (e.g. transfers); event venue/meeting space finding and booking;  and hotel bookings with no guaranteed minimum annual expenditure on travel and accommodation. This will need to be reflected in a flexible cost and billing structure.  

In particular, WFD is looking for a provider that has an effective online booking tool that conforms with our Safe & Sustainable Travel Policy and Expenditure Authorisation requirements, to enable staff to book their own travel if they wish to, bookable from international and UK points of sale. Additionally, we require dedicated agents on hand to help with any queries or to fulfil offline  travel bookings for staff and sponsored third party travellers and specialist agents to support with group, VIP, and complex booking needs.  

Bid submission 

All bids should be submitted by 23:59 on Sunday 8th October in writing, must comply with the requirements of this ITT, and must include the information requested in the Bid Requirements below.  

The bid should be sent electronically and addressed to: Selina Anand at  

The same email address should be used for any questions related to this ITT.  

WFD’s standard terms and conditions for tendering and key policies are found at Policies | Westminster Foundation for Democracy ( and you can find a copy of WFD’s Code of Conduct at Code of Conduct | Westminster Foundation for Democracy (

Detailed Specification 


WFD acknowledges that, to achieve its mission and goals, WFD staff, volunteers, experts, or Governors may, from time to time, be expected to travel or host delegations attending meetings or events in the UK and overseas. WFD requires the services of an outsourced Travel Management Company to ensure that all business travel is booked, approved, and managed in a way that represents value for money, keeps people safe, and mitigates negative environmental impact.   

Scope of work 

When submitting their proposal the travel provider will have demonstrate how they aim to meet the following specification: 

Functional area 

Requirement description 


Essential Requirements 

Desirable Additional Requirements  

Service Levels  

  • A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is expected to resolve travel query after initial contact from WFD staff (for all offline contact methods).  

  • Agents contactable by phone, SMS/WhatsApp (or equivalent), email and live chat  

  • Core availability at least 8am-6pm (GMT) Monday to Friday.  

  • 24 hour emergency contact line for out of hours bookings (including weekends).  

  • Dedicated agents to support WFD’s group, VIP, and complex travel requirements 

  • Dedicated account manager with regular account meetings, informed by high quality management information.  

  • 24 hour booking and enquiry line, enabling our staff to contact travel provider at times (not just in an emergency) that are convenient for them, regardless of their geographical location. 



  • Quoted fares for flights, rail, road transfers, hotels and VISAs.  

  • Multiple fare types – including negotiated, charity/humanitarian (or equivalent, e.g. public sector negotiated rates) and published rates. 

  • Ability to book extras such as additional baggage and extra legroom. 

  • Ability to hold flights, rail and hotels for travellers pending approval/ final confirmation. 

  • Arranging ground transportation (including but not limited to car hire, coach with driver, and taxis)  

  • Service offer to include event/meeting spaces and conferencing facilities, including venues that can offer adequate facilities for digital and hybrid events or meetings   

  • Access to global and local fares and/or UK and local points of sale 

Online and Mobile Booking  

  • An online booking system so that our staff can book their own travel and/or accommodation if they wish to.  

  • The online booking system must be able to conform with WFD’s safe and sustainable travel policy and expenditure authorisation requirements, please see process map below this table for more information. 

  • The provider should have full, global reach across all geographic regions for both travel and accomodation on their online travel booking system. 

  • Online booking system to be able to generate reports for both individuals and for the organisation, to keep track of movements.  

  • Ability divide bookings into departments 

  • Ability for traveller to input their own personal/travel details via an online form 

  • The online booking system to provide multilingual capabilities 

  • The online booking system should be compatible with Microsoft Edge (Chromium). 

  • A mobile application where you can book flights and accomodation and view tickets 

  • A network of international regional partners that can book specialised travel and accomodation offering locals fares 

  • Customisable landing page to highlight key internal policies and procedures. 


Value for Money – travel  

  • WFD staff should always be provided with the lowest rates, and given cost effective guidance and/or prompts/nudges to assist bookers.  

  • Cost transparency – all costs applied by the provider should be clear and auditable. 

  • The provider should continuously look to negotiate fares on behalf of WFD, including where possible, offering best in class negotiated air programmes to provide discounted fares  

  • Access to global and local fares and/or UK and local points of sale 


Value for Money – accomodation  

  • When booking accomodation, WFD staff must be provided with:  

  • The lowest rates 

  • Hotels with a full range of * ratings.  

The provider should continuously look to negotiate prices on behalf of WFD, including bespoke rates for WFD in destinations with high travel volumes (e.g. London). 

  • Proactive negotiated accommodation programme providing discounted/fixed rates for hotels  

  • Cost transparency – all costs applied by the provider should be clear and auditable for WFD.  



  • The travel provider must be able to advise and assist WFD staff members and sponsored third party travellers in acquiring visas for their travels, whether from or to the UK. 

  • The provider would be the point of contact to liaise with the embassy and provide updates on the status of visas. 

  • Courier service included for all Visas. 


Group travel  

  • Group bookings are commonly required. The successful bidder should outline their group/complex booking SLA and the percentage of tickets that have met this SLA over the last 12 months  

  • Added value services to support VIP travel 


Security / duty of care 

  • Travel advice and alerts issued by the provider (to WFD Management and the traveller), aligned to WFD’s threat ratings for countries, so that WFD staff or sponsored third party travellers are aware of any issues or circumstances that might hinder or affect their travel. 

  • Travel security management / tracking tool – to allow tracking of staff and sponsored third party travellers based on ticketed flights.  

  • Mobile application with built-in tracking option that staff can choose to enable in high risk locations. 

  • Airlines and accomodation must meet minimum safety standards stipulated by WFD; must be safe and secure.  

  • In the event that an incident occurs, the provider should be able to manage the situation and assist WFD staff or third party travellers impacted. 

  • Traveller profiles with up to date contact and medical information, which should be accessible to WFD Management/HR.  

  • Auto-generated travel/accommodation confirmations that include links to/copies of relevant security advice and WFD welcome packs/documents and signposting relevant FCDO travel advice 

  • Worldwide security portal allowing up-to-date information on the security situation in each country. 

Environmental Impact  


  • WFD is a socially responsible organisation, and we would like to work with partners who are environmentally conscious.  

  • Analysis and insights – the provider should be able to assist WFD to understand the organisation’s travel patterns by providing regular reporting.  

  • WFD staff should always be provided with the lowest environment impact travel options, and given effective guidance and/or prompts/nudges to assist bookers.  

  • Environmental transparency – all Co2 emissions related to WFD travel should be clearly reported and auditable. 

  • Carbon Offsetting option 

  • Management of airline loyalty point schemes and rewards 

Cancellation Policy 

  • Due to the nature of WFD’s work, staff may have to cancel trips at the last minute. A good cancellation policy will therefore be essential.  

  • In the event that cancellation of travel or accomodation occurs (e.g. flight is cancelled; hotel can no longer accommodate traveller), WFD staff impacted will need to be fully supported by the chosen travel provider.  



  • The provider should be able to integrate WFD’s approval processes for travel booking into the booking platform.  

  • Assist WFD by ensuring travel bookings are compliant with the organisation’s internal travel and security policies.  

  • Auto-notification of WFD’s security policy/requirements and safety guidance to staff who book travel.  

  • Data security policies to comply with ISO 27001 and information handling processes to comply with UK GDPR 

  • We would expect any provider to hold Cyber Essentials Plus  

  • Alert system that lets travel approvers know that a staff member has requested approval for travel.  

  • Multifactor Authentication-secured login. 


  • Comprehensive reports available for: 

  • Total spend across the financial year (April to March) 

  • Top bookers, destinations and airlines 

  • Booking time window (the time between booking and travel) 

  • Environmental impact / Co2 emissions  

  • Reporting portal that select WFD staff would have access to, generating data, analysis, and insights in clear, useful and engaging formats.  



  • Consolidated monthly invoice with all budget analysis codes printed per trip.  

  • A system that allows split coding across multiple budgets.  


Process Map 

A diagram of a travel company

Description automatically generated 


  1. Online booking system  


  • Development (including configuration or customisation to meet WFD’s requirements and WFD branding look and feel) of the online booking tool must be included 
  • Training and rollout plan for the implementation of the online booking platform to be included. 
  • Reporting dashboard for selected WFD admin users to generate reports on an ad hoc basis 
  1. Booking and enquiry line (24/7 desirable), enabling our staff to contact travel provider at times (not just in an emergency) that are convenient for them, regardless of their geographical location. 

  • Contactable via phone, email and live chat 
  1. 24 hour emergency contact line for out of hours bookings (including weekends).  

  2. Quarterly Account Management review meetings 

Working arrangements 

The Supplier will be expected to always work remotely with WFD colleagues in our offices around the world in different time zones. Regular Account review meetings will be scheduled quarterly with the WFD UK office with a clear path of escalation.  

Minimum experience and expertise 

The Supplier and its staff assigned to the Contract shall be expected to have worked on a global platform providing quality international travel booking services. Prior experience working with the public sector is preferrable. 

Bid process 


Below is the proposed timescale for the tendering process. Please note the dates are indicative and subject to change.   



Issue ITT 

11 September 

Deadline for supplier questions 

17:00 BST, Tuesday 3 October 

Closing date for receipt of completed tender proposals 

23:59 BST, Sunday 8 October 

Shortlisting of bids 

w/c 9 October 

Supplier interviews/presentations to tender committee (if applicable) 

w/c 23 October and w/c 30 October 

WFD announces preferred supplier 

10 November 

Contract finalised and signed 

17 November 

Bid requirements 

In general, the bid should include the following: 

  1. Organisational profile 
  2. Proposed solution and how it meets the specification  
  3. Financial proposal  
  4. References  
  5. Confirmation of compliance with General Terms and Conditions of Tendering 

Organisational profile:  

  • Company profile, including brief history and financial overview 
  • Case studies/credentials demonstrating relevant experience and skills profile  
  • Commitment to corporate social and environmental responsibility  
  • Names and brief biographies of key staff  

WFD is particularly keen to receive bids from organisations which are – or are working towards becoming – living wage employers and that have a broadly representative and balanced Board from gender and ethnicity perspectives.   

Proposed solution:  

  • Clear explanation as to the proposed approach to meeting the specification set out in this ITT.  
  • Detailed project plan for the onboarding and implementation process, including timelines, assumptions and dependencies, resourcing and risks.  

Financial proposal:  

  • Full breakdown costings for the proposed solution in GBP 
  • Separate accounting of VAT and/or any other applicable tax, duty, or charge.  
  • Detailing of any discount applied in view of WFD’s not-for-profit status.  


  • The bid should include details of two references relating to similar goods/services provided in the last three years. Please note – referees will only be contacted once Preferred Bidder status is assigned. 

Confirmation of acceptance of General Terms and Conditions of Tendering:  

All bidders should also note the following:  

  • all bids should be submitted in English;  
  • all bids should be submitted in electronic form only; 
  • this ITT and the response may be incorporated in whole or in part into the final contract; 
  • only information provided in response to questions set out in this documentation will be taken into consideration for the purposes of evaluating the ITT; 
  • bids which are poorly organised or poorly written, such that evaluation and comparison with other submissions is notably difficult, may exclude the bidder from further consideration; and 
  • any bids which do not fully comply with the requirements of this ITT may be disregarded at the absolute discretion of WFD.  

Evaluation criteria 

WFD intends to shortlist providers based on their response to this ITT and will use the following scoring criteria.  



Service offer and fit to specification 

30 % 

Indicative Service Level Agreement  

20 % 

Value for Money 


Relevant experience and commitment to corporate social and environmental responsibility  

20 % 

Total Weighting 

100 % 

WFD will score each criterion using the following table: 

The proposal submitted omits and fundamentally fails to meet WFD’s scope and specifications. Insufficient evidence to support the proposal to allow WFD to evaluate. Not Answered  

The information submitted has a severe lack of evidence to demonstrate that WFD’s scope and specifications can be met. Significant omissions, serious and/or many concerns. Poor 

The information submitted has some minor omissions in respect of WFD's scope and specifications. The tender satisfies the basic requirements in some respects but is unsatisfactory in other respects and raises some concerns. Satisfactory.  

The information submitted provides some good evidence to meet the WFD’s scope and specifications and is satisfactory in most respects and there are few concerns. Good.  

The information submitted provides good evidence that all of WFD's scope and specification can be met. Full and robust response, any concerns are addressed so that the proposal gives confidence. Very Good. 

The information submitted provides strong evidence that all of WFD's scope and specification can be met and the proposal exceeds expectation i.e. exemplary in the industry. Provides full confidence and no concerns. Outstanding 

Tender Queries 

Any questions related to this tender should be addressed to Selina Anand at 

Equal Information 

Should any supplier raise a question that is of general interest, WFD reserves the right to circulate both question and answer to other respondents, either via WFD’s website or by email. In this event, anonymity will be maintained. 

Annual reports 

Please provide a link or copy of your company’s latest audited annual accounts with the bid. 

Expected contract duration 

WFD expects to award a contract for a three year period, subject to an annual review.  

Other information 

If the potential supplier believes that there is additional information that has not been requested in the ITT but is relevant to your bid, please include that information as a separate attachment and explain its relevance to this ITT. 

Supplier FAQs

We will add questions and answers to this section as we receive queries, please check back regularly. The deadline for receipt of queries is 17:00 BST, 3 October.

Q: The management booking tool which is the preferred option, would be built bespoke for WFD and would require some scoping to ensure that the app and website are fit for purpose. Will the client allow a scoping exercise if the potential supplier gets through to 'preferred supplier' status? This would be planned in line with the go-live/project rollout date.

A: Yes we will allow a scoping session prior to the onboarding process if chosen as a 'preferred supplier'.

Q: Most clients will confirm that they are happy to work with SMEs however I was not able to find anything in relation to this in the notes, can I safely assume this is the case?

A: This tender opportunity has not been reserved for SMEs however we are open to working with an SME in line with our fair and transparent procurement process.

Q: Please can you provide more information with respect to your combined travel volumes, expenditure, and most travelled routings and airlines?

A: Our total ticket count for the last financial year was approximately 1400, our total approximate spend was £635,000, and our most travelled region is Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

Q: Please can you share more information with regards to your tender scoring methodology, in particular the weighting of the financial proposal?

A: We are unable to provide further information on the tender scoring methodology however we will be reviewing proposals against the minimum criteria set out in the tender.

Q: Please can your current travel policy or any relevant parts of it be shared so we can use it to inform our responses?

A: We are unable to share our travel policy due to security reasons.