Public Sector Tenders

Challenging Tender Awards

Challenging Tender Awards and Public Procurement Decisions

You might think about challenging tender awards when you lose a bid. Was the decision unfair? Was the procurement process flawed? Or have you been scored incorrectly?

Challenging Tender Awards

Associate Consultant, Carl Rogers, is an expert on public procurement. In this post he explains what is involved in challenging tender awards and decisions: Understanding public sector procurement regulations, what you can object to and what to consider before commencing proceedings.

This only applies to public sector tenders and procurement. The private sector is not bound by the same rules. But many large companies have their own processes for making a complaint against a buyer’s decision.

What Are the Obligations on Public Authorities When Purchasing Goods, Services and Works?

All public sector bodies (Contracting Authorities in Public Sector Procurement Parlance) must follow the fundamental principles:

  • Transparency – Clear process undertaken
  • Equal treatment – All have access to the same information
  • Non-discrimination – No bias in favour or against companies
  • Mutual recognition – Market access across the EU
  • Proportionality – Requirements are relative and reasonable

These principles are the guiding light. Contract Authorities must consider them every time they procure goods/services and works. If an Authority believes that it may have breached these, it must take corrective action. Not wait for challenges and be directed by the courts.

New Public Procurement Thresholds for 2020

2020 EU / OJEU Procurement Thresholds

Procurement thresholds for public sector tenders are updated for 2020. Associate Consultant, Carl Rogers, is an expert on public procurement. In this post he explains the changes, the importance of contract values and the effects of Brexit.

Public Sector Procurement Thresholds for 2020

Timings

The new procurement thresholds affect new tenders from 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2021.

Why are Procurement Thresholds Important?

Public sector buyers must be aware of these thresholds. These are the values above which a European (OJEU) advert must be placed to ensure competition. Failure to do so can result in legal action being taken against the contracting body.

The procurement thresholds are applicable to public purchasing. This includes government departments, local authorities, NHS Trusts, utilities, housing associations etc. They cover the following:

What has changed

The actual thresholds have increased slightly. This might be due to the fluctuating exchange rates compared to the last threshold renewal. The new thresholds are net of VAT and are as follows:

Beginners Guide to Pricing Tenders

As part of our tender consultancy service, I often discuss tender pricing strategies with clients. This beginners guide to pricing tenders covers the most common topics we talk about when aiming for the winning bid.

You know your business, its costs, competitive pricing and your competition – if you don’t, act now! I cannot tell you what will be the winning price. But this guide to pricing tenders explains some the most important issues when bidding to win a tender.

Beginners Guide to Pricing Tenders

Beginners Guide to Pricing Tenders

General Pricing Strategy

Tenders almost always have price as part of their evaluation (see MEAT below). So, you must ensure that your company’s pricing is competitive in your market sector.

When undertaking a sales and marketing review with a client, pricing strategies are always on the agenda (part of the Marketing Mix). This is a much bigger topic than pricing tenders and is too broad to cover properly in this post but let’s look at some of the basics:

There are three elements to a price:

  1. Direct Costs are the specific costs incurred to provide the product or service e.g. staff, materials / sub-contractors and supervision
  2. Indirect Costs include premises, management, professional fees, administration etc.
  3. Profit is the difference between the selling price and (1) & (2)

How to Write Positive Tender Responses

Writing positive tender responses will help you maximise the impact of your bids. A positive tone will shine through – as will any negativity. Therefore, you want to ensure that you avoid sounding negative and always be positive. You will appear confident and so encourage the markers to read your tender in an affirmative way. Hopefully leading to higher scores and therefore a win! This article explains 3 simple techniques that will help you achieve the right tone.

How to Write Positive Tender Responses

Answering Tender Questions to Score High Marks explains how to use the right language and style when answering tender questions. This includes:

  • Using benefits
  • Correct, complete and succinct writing
  • Writing in terms of ‘them’
  • Using the second or third person
  • Supporting evidence
  • Differentiating from the competition

We are now going to add some more subtle aspects to this ‘to do’ list by showing you how to write positive tender responses.

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