The commissioning letter

Using the criteria outlined in this section, one of the agencies invited to submit a research proposal will be judged as most capable of producing research of an acceptably high standard at an acceptable cost. When the selection has been made, the research buyer should write a commissioning letter, authorizing the agency to begin the work, and restating all the points of agreement. This letter then provides the basic specification for the work and its costs, by which both parties to the agreement are bound. The importance of ensuring that a detailed commissioning letter is written occurs when the actual research design and costs agreed on differ from both the original research brief and the agency's original research proposal. At some stage an agreed set of rules for the conduct of the research must be laid down to govern the content of the research programme, and to avoid the possibility of later disagreement over exactly what the rules were.

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