Tender documents are issued under the open or restricted procedure as previously described and usually consist of the contract specification, terms and conditions, form of tender, Certificate of Non-Collusion and all the information required to submit the tender documentation. For the open tender procedure, the tender package will normally include the required financial and technical questionnaire.
The return date will be clearly marked and all tenders must be returned by this time and date. Tenders received after this deadline will not be accepted under any circumstances and may be returned to sender. This rule is strictly observed to ensure fairness and true competition.
For tenders being run using the ProContract e-tendering system, tender documents and/or Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQ) are downloaded and submitted electronically but essentially follow the same procedure as paper based tender exercises. The Public Contract Regulations 2015 require that in most cases all contract documents, for example PQQ, Invitation to Tender, contract and specification are available at the time the Contract Notice is issued.
Once received, tenders are evaluated in line with the Procurement Practice Note (Approach to be taken to the evaluation of tenders) accordingly in a fully auditable and transparent manner.
The evaluation criteria will normally be stated within the tender document. The contract will be awarded to the contractor whose tender offers the council the best value for money regarding price, quality and ability to meet the terms of the specification. This is sometimes referred to as the 'Most Economically Advantageous Tender' or MEAT for short.
The council is not required to award the contract solely on the lowest price tendered or to make any award at all.
Before submitting tenders, potential contractors should ensure that they:
- have read the advertisement and fully understand the contract requirement
- have answered all questions accurately and in full
- have included any required documents and attachments with the tender submission;
- have discussed any queries about the contract or the tender with the lead officer named on the tender document before the due date; and
- return the tender by the due date and time duly signed where required.