I am astonished to see the response rate of 25% which was justified as comparing "favourably with that of a typical resident survey", given that the tender document said "It is hoped that a return rate in excess of 80% can be achieved."
The 2,995 responses returned cost the Comhairle over £13 each, virtually every penny of which went to Edinburgh.
We were part of consortium which submitted a tender assuming a response rate of 50% (which we did think was still high), which would have cost the Comhairle under £5 per returned survey, every penny of which would have been recycled in the islands.
We proposed to have a team of 10+ individuals doing manual data entry using an existing network of freelancers, whilst the winners took the documents and had them scanned on the mainland.
Strangest of all, the Comhairle approved the tender at the figure mentioned in the report to Policy & Finance (21/6/07 item 42), but awarded the contract at about 90% of this figure some four weeks later, for no apparent good reason.
No doubt my FoI request - due by next week, after interminable delays and a deemed refusal following the Comhairle's failure to reply - will shed light on the matter.
Still, I'm sure it was value for money.