Purpose of the bidding document
The most significant purposes of the Bidding Document are:
i) To instruct bidders on the procedure for submission of bids (steps, what to do, when, etc.);
ii) To describe works to be procured (specifications / BOQ, etc.);
iii) To inform the bidders of criteria for evaluation (price & non-price factors);
iv) To define the conditions of the contract.
The volume of the bidding document varies with the type and size of the project (less complex/more complex, civil works, etc.). It is necessary that the bidding document is coherent and comprehensive and that they reflect the intentions of the client and the end users.
Essential features of bidding documents
Essential features of good quality bidding documents are:
– Comprehensiveness in scope
– Clarity in content
Bidding documents must provide all the information necessary for bidders to prepare complete and responsive bids.
The bidding documents should describe clearly and precisely;
– The work to be done;
– The place of construction, time period;
– Maintenance requirements;
– Other relevant terms.
Drawings should be consistent with the text of technical specifications.
If alternative bids are permitted, this should be expressly stated. The manner of submission and the conditions under which alternative bids may be submitted and be eligible for consideration should also be clearly stated.
The bidding documents should indicate the methods, terms, and conditions of bid evaluation and the factors or bases (including those unquantifiable in monetary terms and the specific weight to be given) to be taken into account in comparing bids.
Elements of bidding documents
While the detail and complexity of bidding documents vary depending on the kind of work to be procured and the size of the contracts, they should normally include the following elements:
– Invitation to Bid (Tender Notice & Bid Data Sheets)
– Instructions to Bidders
– Bidding Data
– Bid or Tender Form
– Form of Bid Security
– General Conditions of Contract
– Special Conditions of Contract, Conditions of Particular Application, or Contract Data
– Technical specifications
– Bill of Quantities (where applicable)
– Specimen Form of Agreement
– Specimen Form of Performance Guarantee
– Specimen Form of Bank Guarantee
Invitation to bid / tender notice
The invitation to Bid normally takes the form of a letter inviting interested bidders to bid for the tender. It should describe briefly the:
i) Scope of the work;
ii) Bidders who are eligible to bid;
iii) Information on the closing date of the tender;
iv) The place where bidding documents can be obtained;
v) The fee chargeable for such documents;
vi) Availability of bidding document for inspection, free of charge;
vii) Bid Security amount;
viii) Name of client;
ix) Name of Project.
The purpose of the Letter of Invitation to Bid is to provide such information as is necessary to enable potential bidders to judge for themselves whether they should pursue the matter any further.
The fee for bidding documents should be only to cover the cost of preparing bidding documents. It should also be adequate to prevent frivolous requests for bidding documents. However excessive charges could discourage potential bidders from taking them out and thereby reducing competition.
Instructions to bidders
This section of the bidding documents is intended to explain to intending bidders the nature and scope of the tender and should provide all information that will be of assistance to bidders in preparing their bids.
It would naturally vary in contents and complexity from contract to contract but should ensure that intending bidders are quite clear about the requirements of the client.
The bidding document should include a general description of the project; and
– Work to be performed,
– Site location and information as to its accessibility and all other relevant local conditions,
e.g. geophysical or climatic conditions.
Qualifications of Bidders
The qualifications and experience of bidders considered necessary and acceptable to the client should be appropriately spelled out.
Normally, this takes the form of requiring the bidder to submit satisfactory evidence of having, in the last five years, undertaken a number of similar projects of the same or larger size, completed successfully.
Submission of Bids
The closing date, time, and place where sealed bids are to be delivered should be clearly stated. The time allowed for the submission of bids should be adequate so that competition is not impaired.
Extension of Bidding Periods
The bidding documents should expressly reserve the right of the client, at its discretion, to extend the bid closing date. The deadline for submitting bids should, however, only be extended where such an extension will result in greater competition.
Period of Bid Validity
The period of bid validity depends upon the complexity of the procurement. The client shall ensure that the period so specified is sufficient to enable the completion of the evaluation of bids, obtain all requisite approvals.
Lengthy periods of bid validity are discouraged as they could result in bidders quoting higher prices than necessary as a hedge against inflation.
Criteria for Bid Evaluation
Apart from price, other factors other than price that will affect the award should be kept to a minimum.
The invitation should identify those factors which, in addition to price, will be given consideration in the evaluation of bids and should explain how these factors will influence the bid evaluation.
Rejection of Bids
A statement indicating the client’s right to reject any or all bids is normally included in the bidding document. However, only bids that do not substantially meet the specifications or bidding requirements can be rejected.
Award of Contract
The manner in which the contract will be awarded should be clearly stated.