The invitation for tender
The invitation for tender normally consist of these five parts:
- Technical specification
- Commercial specification
- Demands on Tenderers
- Evaluation of Tenderers and their tenders
- Information to Tenderers (about what the tender should contain, what certificates or proofs you must enclose the tender, disposition of the tender, etc).
It is not necessary to list the different parts in a certain order. However, we usually start by listing our technical requirements, as these describe what we demand from the goods or services we want to procure. This is obviously for the reason that most would-be tenderers first of all will consider what it is that KTH actually wants to buy, and whether they could supply just that.
Then comes the commercial specification. We either list the most important details directly under the main headline. This is the usual thing when goods are to be bought. Or else we write these as an appendix to a suggested contract. This is common when procuring services.
Normally, our requirements are separated into requirements that absolutely must be met, and requirements that should preferably be met. (For a long time it has been common procedure to employ boldface type to indicate these two.) The “absolutes” may also be termed a kind of sorting criterion – unless they are 100 % met, the tender will not compete. Fulfilment of the “preferables” gives extra weight to an otherwise good tender! Here different requirements are treated differently – we will describe how, and why, under ”Evaluations of tenders”.
Both of these sections consist of demands that will mean expenditure to every supplier, one way or the other. This is why they should be considered carefully when tenders are written.
Next comes ”Demands on tenderers”, also referred to as ”eligibility demands”. This is to ensure thay we accept a supplier who has sufficient expertise and financial stability to conclude his business with us successfully. Thus these requirements are fully met by the tenderer, or they are not – they could not be ”more” or ”less” well met.
Hence, we are not in the process of evaluating each tenderer separately (unless it is a matter of restricted or selected procedure, where so many tenders have arrived that we have to exclude a number of them) – this is a matter of accepting all tenderers who meet our requirements! Some of the demands we always make are:
1. Each tenderer must be registered in the country where he is conducting business, in accordance with the rules and regulations of that country, governing company registrations and suchlike.
2. Each tenderer must not be in debt in the matter of taxes or social security fees unless this has been regulated with the local authorities. In the case of Sweden this authority is the Swedish Internal Revenue Service.
3. Each tenderer who is conducting business in Sweden must have:
a) registered for payment of VAT, whenever his activities are subject to such taxation.
b) registered for F-type tax.
Further to these, we usually require the tenderer to display proof of financial stability, i e what is required of him to be able to conclude the transaction with us. In other words, we want suppliers who do not run the risk of going into bankruptcy while the deliveries are being supplied to us. Here details may vary, depending on the type of order being negotiated.
Another requirement is that you have sufficient technical expertise to fulfil the order.
Evaluation of Tenderer and tender
This is where we explain what we will do to evaluate you and your tender. The basis of this is the certificates or proofs and the information supplied by you in the tender.
Step one is to determine the qualities of the tenderers. As said before, this is a matter of selecting not the very best among them but all acceptable ones! Here every tenderer who answers the requirements will be accepted and may go on to the next phase.
That consists of making sure that every must-type requirement from us has been met. Should any of these not have been met, we are obliged to discard the tender, in accordance with the Swedish Act of Public Procurement.
Step three means that we make an evaluation of the tender as such. Two main alternatives exist – lowest price, or most economically advantageous price. Lowest price means that we shall select the tender offering the lowest price for the goods or services. Most economically advantageous price means that we follow the given evaluation criteria and then compare these with how well the tender does answer the should-type requirements. The tender then selected will be the one that best answers the total sum of our requirements.
In this context, we must therefore indicate what these evaluation criteria are, and also weight them against each other. Such criteria could include grouping the should-type requirements, including, of course, price also.
Information to Tenderers
Above we have described our various requirements for tenders to be considered. We must also explain how we are going to make sure these requirements are met. This is usually done by requesting that you send us evidence of your ability to meet them. Normally this is part of section five, ” Information to tenderers”. Common requests may include:
- Copies of tenderer´s registration papers,
- the form ”Begäran/Svar Offentliga uppgifter, SKV 4820”, and
- F-type tax registration from the Internal Revenue Service.
These are sufficient proof of the Tenderer answering ”Demands on Tenderers”, above. Yet, here at KTH we usually do NOT request these very papers! This is because we have an agreement with a credit-rating agency, giving us access to such information. Hence you do not have to get copies of these for us; instead do concentrate on explaining well why you are the supplier we want!
Thanks to this agreement we can also have the required financial data about your business; we therefore do not need a copy of your latest annual report.
On the other hand, no official registers or documents could account for your technical expertise. Such proof is preferably given from your other customers, who may attest to your abilities as a responsible supplier. Thus we will request references covering goods or services of the type we also want. Normally we do NOT want references from other bodies affiliated with KTH but other ones, such as public authorities or business companies. Have in mind what we said about references under “Do not forget when you file a tender”!
Sometimes extra requirements are made by us. These are then specified, including demands for proof of your abilities.
Occasionally, a must-type requirement may be that such proof is enclosed with the tender, i e it will have to be enclosed from the very beginning! If this is missing, your tender will then be discarded – due to sheer formalities. This could occur if and when we expect so many tenders to arrive that we could not possibly ask for extra information about all of them. Again, read every contract document very carefully!
As to checking whether the tender does meet every requirement, we want you to answer individually about each of these, with reference to the different points in the technical specification.
In this chapter we also inform about when and how the tender should be filed with us, plus other formal details.