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What does a call for tender look like?

June 15, 2021

Blog

What does a call for tender look like?

June 15, 2021

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Onderwerp: Gids

Niveau: Beginner

3 minuten leestijd

A ‘call for tender’ is the document that kickstarts the tendering process, and can also be referred to as: ‘call for bids’, ‘invitation to tender’ (ITT), invitation for bid (IFB), and ‘request for tenders’. This (paper or electronic) document is published by contracting authorities in order to find suitable suppliers for the goods or services they need. The suppliers asked to submit their tenders have likely been assessed as suitable based on the previous pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ). Yet, this procedure depends on the type of tender involved. This article will look into the typical contents of a call for tender, and the type.

What are the contents of a call for tender?

The structure of a call for tender varies depending on the complexity of the project and the industry the project pertains to. However, the general contents include the following:

The ‘call for tender’ letter

This subsection of the document is the formal letter that invites the supplier to bid for a tender. It provides the key personnel to contact in case the tenderer is interested. The conditions and details for the project follow.

Background (contracting authority's)

Here, the contracting authority gives a small introduction into their entity and the project. This section may involve information such as the contracting authority’s mission statement, role, organizational structure, and the project’s context.

Timetable

Displays all of the key deadlines when it comes to choosing a supplier.

Guidelines for tender submissions and responses

Provides information on the (legal) procedural steps for responding to the call for tender, and what a response to the call for tender may or may not contain (e.g. graphs, charts, etc). It also goes into detail on what information is required from suppliers (e.g. scope of work, supplier profile, success criteria).

Tender assessment

This subsection covers an array of areas on how the tender will be assessed. This may include: price, management information, contractual compliance, service capability (e.g. quality, delivery experience, continuous improvement plans), and financial implications.

Who can respond to the call for tender?

While completion of the PQQ usually comes before the call for tender is sent out, not everyone who thinks they’re suitable or want to bid can respond to a tender. This is because there are three types of tenders that dictate who can and can’t respond to a tender: open tender, selective/restricted tender, negotiated tender/sole source tenders.

1. Open tenders

All tenderers are open to tender for the project.

2. Selective/Restricted tenders

Only a handful of tenderers who are pre-qualified or have been selected to bid for the tender can submit their tender. This process usually results in a shortlist of suitable suppliers, as a result of the PQQ, which filters out unqualified tenderers.

3. Negotiated tender/Sole source tenders

Only one potential supplier is invited to bid and submit a tender.

A ‘call for tender’ is the document that kickstarts the tendering process, and can also be referred to as: ‘call for bids’, ‘invitation to tender’ (ITT), invitation for bid (IFB), and ‘request for tenders’. This (paper or electronic) document is published by contracting authorities in order to find suitable suppliers for the goods or services they need. The suppliers asked to submit their tenders have likely been assessed as suitable based on the previous pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ). Yet, this procedure depends on the type of tender involved. This article will look into the typical contents of a call for tender, and the type.

What are the contents of a call for tender?

The structure of a call for tender varies depending on the complexity of the project and the industry the project pertains to. However, the general contents include the following:

The ‘call for tender’ letter

This subsection of the document is the formal letter that invites the supplier to bid for a tender. It provides the key personnel to contact in case the tenderer is interested. The conditions and details for the project follow.

Background (contracting authority's)

Here, the contracting authority gives a small introduction into their entity and the project. This section may involve information such as the contracting authority’s mission statement, role, organizational structure, and the project’s context.

Timetable

Displays all of the key deadlines when it comes to choosing a supplier.

Guidelines for tender submissions and responses

Provides information on the (legal) procedural steps for responding to the call for tender, and what a response to the call for tender may or may not contain (e.g. graphs, charts, etc). It also goes into detail on what information is required from suppliers (e.g. scope of work, supplier profile, success criteria).

Tender assessment

This subsection covers an array of areas on how the tender will be assessed. This may include: price, management information, contractual compliance, service capability (e.g. quality, delivery experience, continuous improvement plans), and financial implications.

Who can respond to the call for tender?

While completion of the PQQ usually comes before the call for tender is sent out, not everyone who thinks they’re suitable or want to bid can respond to a tender. This is because there are three types of tenders that dictate who can and can’t respond to a tender: open tender, selective/restricted tender, negotiated tender/sole source tenders.

1. Open tenders

All tenderers are open to tender for the project.

2. Selective/Restricted tenders

Only a handful of tenderers who are pre-qualified or have been selected to bid for the tender can submit their tender. This process usually results in a shortlist of suitable suppliers, as a result of the PQQ, which filters out unqualified tenderers.

3. Negotiated tender/Sole source tenders

Only one potential supplier is invited to bid and submit a tender.

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