Contractor selection

Once the due date and time for submitting the tender elapses, all bids are reviewed in order to select and appoint the best contractor for the project.

Details of each bid are recorded on a tender opening form. Information recorded typically includes:

  • The tender price (perhaps split into preliminaries, overheads and profit and prime cost)
  • The proposed programme
  • Any key comments or exclusions
  • Any alternative tender offers
  • A confirmation that all documents have been submitted or not

An example of the tender opening form is available from the downloads section.

The review and analysis of the submitted tenders must be carried out methodically and thoroughly to ensure parity for all applicants and to ensure tender returns are reviewed on a like-for-like basis. All tender returns should be checked for errors before any detailed analysis is undertaken and a list of post-tender queries sent to each of the tenderers. This is to ensure that prices are reviewed on a like-for-like basis. Queries may be raised where additional clarification is required, where there is a conflict between information within the tender return, or where key information seems to be excluded. It’s important that the queries and responses to queries are shared with the entire tender list to ensure the information from each has parity to provide fair competition between tenderers.

Post-tender interviews are a chance to properly understand the tenderer’s proposals and raise any in-depth queries that could not be practically answered by correspondence. Questions and statements made at interview must be asked of each candidate company to, again, ensure parity, although not every tender company has to be interviewed (as long as this is made clear at the point of tender). Post-tender interviews also offer a chance to properly meet the proposed team for the project. For example, on a design and build contract, you may expect to meet the proposed designers.

Any agreement made during the tender interviews should be confirmed in writing back to the tenderer, bearing in mind that the correspondence may become part of the contract documents. If any significant information that comes out of the tender interviews could change the whole basis of the tender, the other tenderers should be given the same information and a chance to respond accordingly.

Your task

Produce five questions that could form part of a tender evaluation process. Share your answers with other learners.

After reading the other posts in the comments, would you be able to identify a preferred list of questions?

Further reading

If you’d like to learn more about tendering strategies, you may want to read the following publications:

JCT (2017) Tendering 2017 Practice Note

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (2016) Tendering Strategies, 1st edn. London: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

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This article is from the free online course:

Contract Management and Procurement: An Introduction

Coventry University