Clients continue to have a lot of questions concerning the procurement process and rightly so.? The risk of getting it wrong can be very costly for an organisation. So just how do you get the procurement process right?
A common pitfall under the procurement regulations is a failure to make the distinction between selection and award criteria. Such failures can be costly, leading to a challenge under the regulations. Although it seems that there is little guidance in the area, there are some useful hints that should be followed.
Usually, a procurement process will have a two stage assessment:
- Stage 1 ? Evaluation - comprising a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ)
- Stage 2 ? Award - comprising the submission of tenders and award of the contract
What should the PQQ cover?
- This is the appropriate place for quality-related questions
- The PQQ should concentrate on the quality of the bidder, not the bid
- The PQQ should be backward-looking, for example, it can ask for references, information on financial standing and experience etc.
- Scores for the PQQ stage should not be carried forward to the award stage
Following the PQQ, how do you introduce quality-type questions at the tender submission stage?
- You can?t ask the same questions at the tender stage as you asked in the PQQ
- All tenderers who pass the PQQ stage should be considered equal in terms of their ability to carry out the contract, no matter what their score for the PQQ was
- In light of this, you must consider a different approach to the quality assessment for stage 2
What can the tender document cover in terms of quality?
- As the PQQ is backward-looking, the quality-related questions at tender stage should be forward-looking
- You should focus on how the contract will be delivered
- You should consider the most important elements of the specification of the product or service being provided under the contract
- Award criteria should focus on the product or service being supplied and can include technical merit, sustainability, maintenance etc.
If you have any queries in relation to your procurement, please contact one of our team?for assistance.