What is a Tender?
A Tender is a bid submitted by a supplier, normally in competition with other suppliers where they offer to provide goods, services or works to the Council. Almost all tenders take into account award criteria covering both quality and price in order to identify the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT). Quality criteria will usually include method of delivery, quality of service, etc. and price or cost criteria will usually be based on price alone or total cost if volumes need to be taken into consideration.
Purchases that have an estimated value in excess of £50K are subject to the Council’s Contract Standing Orders which dictate that we undertake a formal tender process.
Why does the Council need to go to Tender?
It is important that the Council obtains value for money when procuring goods, services and works and to achieve this opportunities need to be opened up for competition in the market place. It also ensures that all of our procurement is open and transparent and compliant with both Internal Standing Orders and European Procurement Directives.
Where can I find out about Tender/Quotation Opportunities?
All procurement opportunities over the value of £25k are advertised on the National Procurement Website www.sell2wales.gov.uk and it is recommended that you register free of charge on this site. This will allow you to promote your organisation not only to Pembrokeshire County Council but to the wider Welsh Public Sector so that you receive automatic e-mail alerts of suitable tendering opportunities. Contracts over the EU Threshold are advertised in the Official Journal for the European Union (OJEU) which can be viewed and accessed via Tenderers Electronic Daily (TED), the on-line version of OJEU at http://ted.europa.eu.int. Where appropriate, tenders are also advertised in the local press and occasionally the national press, together with an appropriate trade magazine or publication. A list of current contracts appears on the Authority’s website (www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk) indicating start and expiry dates of existing contracts, current suppliers and the responsible Procurement Officer dealing with that contract.
Who is involved in the Tendering process?
Potential Supplier – Business, Individual, Third Sector Organisation
Buyer - A multi-disciplinary tender evaluation team is set up at the start of a Procurement exercise to include a Lead Officer from the relevant Service area and at least one Officer from the Procurement Service.
What is involved in the Tendering process?
All contracts over the value of £50k are subject to a Formal Tender process. However, there are different procedures which can be followed, depending on the nature and value of the contract. Tenders are normally invited under either an “open” tendering procedure but on occasion a “restricted” or other approach is adopted.
Open Procedure – Everybody who expresses an interest in a tender is able to access the “Invitation to Tender” documentation. You will also be required to complete a qualification assessment, to include areas such as those listed below.
Restricted Procedure – Everybody who expresses an interest in a tender is able to access a set of Qualification questions via the electronic tender portal. These questions are used to assess a tenderers suitability to be invited to tender by evaluating criteria such as their economic and financial standing and also technical and professional capability to deliver the goods, services or works. The response will be evaluated by the tender evaluation team with the shortlisted participants then being invited to tender, gaining access to the full Invitation to Tender documentation. This procedure is used when we expect a high level of interest in a specific requirement.
Negotiated Procedure and Competitive Dialogue – The use of the negotiated procedure and competitive dialogue are highly restricted and may only be used in exceptional circumstances where neither the open nor restricted procedure would be appropriate due to the complexity of the envisaged contract and whereby a buyer finds it difficult to define the specification likely to meet their needs, where there are insufficient suppliers in the market to undertake a truly competitive process, or where the works to be carried out are purely for research and development.
What is included in the tender documents?
Instructions to Tenderers – This includes instructions to be followed during the tender process, details of the closing date and how to submit the tender etc. Please read the instructions carefully.
Qualification Envelope – This section of the electronic tendering portal is designed to give the Council all the information it needs to assess whether a company is suitable to tender. It is important that all relevant questions are answered; an application may be rejected if insufficient information is supplied. A company may be required to provide additional documents as evidence supporting the information provided. Information relating to economic and financial standing, e.g. insurance cover – financial information, e.g. company accounts, etc. The Council may also undertake financial credit checks.
Technical Envelope – This section of the electronic tendering portal contains specific technical questions in regards the goods, services or works being procured. Each question is normally scored and may have a minimum pass threshold. The tender portal will specifically state the scoring methodology applicable to each question.
Pricing Envelope - This section of the electronic tendering portal contains instructions on how a tenderer should submit their pricing.
Specification - This provides a detailed description of the Goods, Works or Services required and background information about the contract.
Method Statement - The majority of tender exercises and some quotation exercises are evaluated on a price/quality weighting with suppliers being required to submit a method statement with their bid. This method statement will be scored and will form either part or all of the total quality scoring available. The weighting attributed to your method statement and the suggested topics to be covered will be outlined in the tender documentation. This is your opportunity to explain to us how you propose to carry out the contract. If successful and once the Council is satisfied with these documents, they will be incorporated into and form part of the contract.
Evaluation Criteria – Each tender exercise undertaken will detail the criteria used to evaluate your bid. The weightings and specific criteria will vary from tender to tender depending on the goods, services or works required and the way the supply market operates.
Pricing Schedule – Most of our tenders include a predesigned Pricing Schedule which tenderers are required to complete in the appropriate format. Ensure that you have read all instructions prior to completing.
Terms and Conditions of contract - the General Terms and Conditions set out the basis of the relationship with the Council and the successful tenderer, to which the successful company and the Council must adhere to. Tenderers are required to sign up to Pembrokeshire County Council’s terms & conditions in order to have their bids considered for evaluation. We may at our discretion accept other terms & conditions.
Form of Tender or Form of Quotation Tenderers are required to sign this form, which is included in all of our Procurement exercises and provides the Authority with the supplier’s written agreement to abide by all the terms & conditions and requirements of that tender.
Once I have submitted my tender what will happen next?
Tender Opening - Following the closing date for receipt of tenders, they are opened by our Legal Services Section to ensure a fair and transparent process. The appropriate Procurement Officer who will arrange to carry out the evaluation.
Tender Evaluation - Tenders will be evaluated by at least one member of the Procurement service and at least one officer from the relevant service area to ensure a fair and transparent process. Contracts are normally awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous offer (MEAT) which is assessed on a combination of quality and price, both of which are weighted to match the particular requirement e.g. 60% quality; 40% price. This is specified within the Invitation to Tender/Quotation documents along with the quality criteria, which are weighted in order of importance.
Interviews/Presentations - For more complex tenders, suppliers may be required to give a presentation or attend an interview to further clarify and/or promote their bid. This would normally be scored as part of the quality element with the weighting always being stated on the Invitation to Tender documents.
Contract Award - The successful and unsuccessful tenderers will be notified in writing of the award decision. If the value of the procurement dictates, the EU Procurement Directives will apply. The initial award notification will be subject to a minimum standstill period of 10 calendar days if communicated electronically and a minimum of 15 calendar days if communicated by post. If your bid is unsuccessful the notification will include the award criteria, your score and the score of the winning tenderer, the advantages and disadvantages of your bid compared to the winning tenderer.
How can I obtain feedback on what I did right or on where I went wrong?
Unsuccessful companies may request feedback from the Council as to why their tender bid was not successful. This request should be submitted in writing. A debrief meeting can be arranged if required.
How do I find out about quotations / opportunities under £25k?
Please ensure you are registered on www.sell2wales.gov.wales and that you have taken care to select the categories which accurately reflect the goods or services that you offer.