Tender Evaluation: - the wrong way

 There is a potential risk scenario if Contractor's tenders are not read and evaluated very carefully. We have evaluated complex tenders and been a part of the evaluation panel. Sometimes we are the only people who read the whole tender. The client's reasoning is that they have 'experts' in particular fields, such as Health & Safety.

Accordingly, the tender response is 'split up' among different people. Not unnaturally, tender evaluation is not their strongest point and they have not been trained in the skill. They miss 'qualifying' words.

Only yesterday we read a tender that included the magic words 'We have a plethora of technical experience in this area'. Do they? It wouldn't be unreasonable to expect detailed evidence of the experience, but none was forthcoming.

The risk is that someone now scores the response as 'Excellent' when there is no evidence that the answer warrants anything but 'Poor'. In another situation it was vital that contract mobilisation occurred to enable a prompt start to a project. The tender wording amounted to, "We confirm that we will mobilise in such a way that the contract start will not be delayed".

The skilled evaluator is now wanting the evidence of the mobilisation plan, who is accountable and what needs mobilising. The plan was sketchy to say the least, omitting the fact that personnel had to be recruited in the open market.

So, was the statement a misrepresentation and if so how should that have been scored? Upon matters such as this, court cases have arisen when the project has failed. We could give countless other examples. Procurement should lead the tender evaluation process and ensure that risks are covered off in the process. Procurement should insist that the evaluation panel has the necessary training. If the risk materialises because of a flawed tender evaluation, the cost and reputational damage for the organisation can be exorbitant.

Our Managing Director, Brian Farrington, would welcome discussing this subject with our readers.

Please send an email to b.farrington@brianfarrington.com in the first instance. We look forward to hearing from you.