Call for bids: welfare support for British detainees overseas

FCO Consular Directorate welcomes bids from organisations with relevant expertise in welfare support for British detainees overseas.


FCO project proposal form

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In support of our aim to ensure the welfare of British nationals in detention overseas, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office works in partnership with other organisations to provide specialist assistance to British prisoners.

There are currently over 2,000 British nationals detained around the world.

Proposals are invited from organisations with relevant expertise to form a partnership with the FCO to help deliver our policy aims.


To support Consular Directorate in our objective to deliver consistently high quality consular assistance for British nationals in detention overseas, to seek to reduce the number of British nationals dying in detention overseas and help ensure their basic welfare needs are met.

We welcome bids from organisations that can support this aim.

Examples of appropriate support include but are not limited to:

  • Providing additional welfare support to vulnerable British prisoners through e.g. providing survival funds for vitamins or food, medical or dental treatment and water as necessary.
  • Providing a mechanism for the prisoner to maintain links with the UK and with their family.
  • Delivering projects directly and/or with local (non-FCO) partners to improve conditions for and treatment of detainees in countries of particular concern to Consular Directorate.

Consular Directorate provides impartial support. Our partners should demonstrate how they will deliver support to British nationals consistently, ensuring that all cases receive due attention.

Proposal design

In previous years, the maximum budget for this work has been £270,000. The current procurement is undertaken subject to confirmation of funding. Bids are welcomed for a proportion of the funding or for the total amount, dependent on whether organisations have the expertise and resources to deliver support regionally or globally, or to provide a specific type of support aligned to one or more of the examples set out above. Where possible, bids should reference a sliding scale of activity, with linked funding amounts, should the bid amount need to be reviewed.

We are particularly keen to see proposals relating to project delivery. Proposals should either give details of an existing, non-FCO network to enable project delivery or should demonstrate an ability to develop that network independently. Proposals within the total budget which include staff costs for a dedicated project officer will be considered. Funding for specific projects will not be given under this contract. Where a project incurs additional costs e.g. by a third party, partners would be encouraged to submit bids to the separate Consular Programme Fund.

Potential partners are encouraged to submit realistic but ambitious proposals, including where this would require a higher total amount of funding.

Proposals should identify in which countries the partner is able to deliver effective support and what level of funding would be allocated to each objective. Funding will not be provided for organisational overhead costs not directly attributable to the support of British nationals’ cases.

Who can bid?

Project proposals are welcomed from organisations with experience of providing welfare support to British prisoners detained outside their country of nationality. Organisations should be in possession of all relevant licences and permits to enable delivery of the requirements in the countries where the services will be delivered.

We are looking for organisations which can demonstrate some or all of:

  • An understanding of prisons, prisoner issues and detainee welfare
  • regional expertise, including knowledge of and access to local legal networks
  • experience of working with British nationals
  • experience or understanding of productive working with government
  • capacity to deliver assistance in challenging contexts

Criteria for assessing project proposals

The Board will consider projects against the following criteria:

  • Strategy and outcomes based on closeness of fit with Consular Directorate’s objectives;
  • Evidence of ability to deliver at the scale required throughout the duration of the partnership, including consideration of past delivery;
  • Monitoring and evaluation planning to demonstrate delivery against objectives, leading to agreed outcomes;
  • Value for money
  • Evidence of ability to deliver projects internationally

Guidelines for submitting a project proposal

Proposals must be submitted on the standard FCO project proposal form. These should be submitted in full and in accordance with the guidance provided. Incomplete proposal forms will not be reviewed. If any aspect of the form requirements is unclear to applicants, we strongly recommend consultation with the Prisoner Human Rights Team at

Key points to note are:

  • Language used should be clear and succinct.

  • Part A should include both qualitative and quantitative milestones, which should be referenced in reporting.

  • Part B of the form should be completed by the FCO. Proposals submitted by external partners should however include annexed evidence of previous experience delivering similar projects.

  • In addition to the requirements outlined above, proposals must provide details of how the work will be monitored. Monitoring methods should be robust, transparent and include scope for beneficiary input. The methods identified should be designed to give a meaningful assessment of impact. The FCO places a strong emphasis on evaluation. Proposals for delivery valued £100,000 and over may be independently evaluated.

  • Proposals must demonstrate a full assessment of project risks. Partners should identify any risks which might apply to the project, what steps will be taken to mitigate those risks, and how risks will be reviewed during the delivery cycle. The partner must have an internal due diligence process in place to monitor these risks. Proposals will not be approved without realistic risk assessments, including duty of care to staff.

  • Projects should be budgeted in Pounds Sterling and demonstrate value for money and should be ex-VAT. Budgets should give a detailed breakdown of cost per activity per month and unit costs for staff where possible. Travel and accommodation costs incurred should be in line with FCO guidance.

  • Strong proposals will spread the cost throughout the year, avoiding where possible spend in the final quarter.

Terms of contracts

Agreements will be subject to FCO standard contract terms:

  • Payment will be made quarterly in arrears for quarters 1-3, and monthly in arrears for the final quarter.
  • The financial year runs from 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017. We intend to contract on a yearly cycle, renewable for up to three financial years.
  • Quarterly reports should be submitted to the FCO on the standard FCO template. This should make clear how funds have been allocated to and used to support, the cases of British nationals.
  • Draft copies of our standard T and Cs are available on request.


Proposals should be submitted to the FCO Prisoner Human Rights and Policy Team by 1700 GMT 21 January 2016 at


Prisoner Policy and Human Rights Team Leader 0207 008 0144 Prisoner Policy and Human Rights Team Desk Officer 0207 008 0421

Published 1 December 2015