Public Sector Tendering: Your Route to Success!Ceri Evans (MCIPS) & Dr Ama EyoInstitute for Competition & Procurement Studies,Bangor University
Agenda1. An Introduction to the “Winning in Tendering” project2. The Tender Review Service (TRS) & what it can do for you3. Overview of Common Pitfalls to avoid in Tendering4. The TRS European Union Tendering Passport5. Remedies in Public Procurement – your responsibilities as a supplier!6. Conclusions
1. “Winning in Tendering” a €3.7m strategic project, fundedby the Ireland/Wales INTERREG (4A) ProgrammeOur Mission
1. THE TENDER REVIEW SERVICE2. THE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT REMEDIES REGIME LAW WORK PACKAGE3. THE „TENDER-READY‟ ON-LINE DIAGNOSTIC TOOL4. THE LOWER VALUE PROCUREMENT WORK PACKAGE5. THE SUPPLIER-FRIENDLY PROCUREMENT COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK•
2. What is the Tender Review Service (TRS)?The free, confidential and impartial TRS helps suppliers learn from previous unsuccessful PQQ/tender submissions via a bespoke Tender Review Report.Why is the TRS important?Because a vital part of the tendering process is to take on board lessons learned from unsuccessful bids!Who is the service targeted at? 1. Those relatively new to tendering 2. Those more experienced in tendering, but who still have a relatively poor track record 3. Those who have been successful in tendering, but are now bidding for larger contracts than they have historicallyWhy was the TRS established?A response to the Barriers to Procurement Opportunity Report (Welsh Government, 2009)
What does the Tender Review Service do for suppliers? Advises you how each element of your PQQ or tender response could have been improved Helps you see things through the procurer’s eyes Helps you to understand procurer’s expectations Ensures you fully understand what the procurer was looking for Furnishes you with a variety of tendering templates Provides good general business advice & ideas!•
3. Examples of common tendering pitfalls (A)Lack of supporting evidence to back statements up: Example: “Using our knowledge and experience in the ABC sector, we would be able to help influence critical decisions” This does not showcase the supplier’s knowledge or experience! Example: “We have an excellent track record in the delivery of past contracts” The supplier must prove this via for instance Client Testimonials and/or statistics!Lack of detail:• Why? Assumption procurer knows about the supplier! Awareness of depth required Insufficient input from different parts of supplier’s organisation Is the question clear enough?
Examples of common tendering pitfalls (B)Leaving it to the client to draw their own conclusions about the relevance and value of your experience: Spell out: What the customer’s needs and wants were? How you solved the problem for the customer? How successful you were? Various means of communicating the benefits of your experience: Explaining the logic of your approach Referring to lessons learnt from previous contracts Using the term “for example”
Examples of common tendering pitfalls (C)Presentation issues: Key messages/points Executive Summary Structure Proofing! Writing Style – conciseness, clarity and consistency!Addressing procurer risk issues: Quality Management Adequate Resources Delineation of the Project Roles of Personnel Confidentiality of data Business/Organisation continuity issues …Include a Summary Risk Log!
Examples of common tendering pitfalls (D)Addressing Contract and Project Management issues: Project Manager Project Timelines and Milestones Management of risks Communication with the clientSelection Stage Questions vs. Award Stage Questions
Examples of common tendering pitfalls (E)Other issues: Compliance Time and effort should be devoted proportionally in line with evaluation criteria weightings! Responses need to be fully tailored to the subject matter and needs of the contract Answers to questions are evaluated on a standalone basis! Answering the questions literally!
Avoiding common tendering pitfalls –one final piece of advice!Tendering is not a low skill form fillingexercise, but a real opportunity topresent a convincing Business Case –your tender is your chance to presentto evaluators the information andevidence they need to make thedecision to work with you!
TRS Principles: Our promises to you! A free service – worth £2,400! Impartial and Honest Review Bespoke service Provides constructive & supportive advice and guidance Understandable Totally Confidential Provides an opportunity to gain credits towards a Master’s level qualification
Participating in the TRS: a simpleprocess…1. YOU fill out a short application form2. YOU supply documentation to us: Previous recent tender (or PQQ) Procurer‟s documentation (and feedback)3. WE talk to you to: Establish personal contact & clarify expectations Understand your tendering experiences4. WE write the Tender Review Report & send to you!
The TRS European Union Tendering PassportWhat is it? A follow-up to your initial Tender Review Involves an assessment of how well you have implemented the advice & guidance from the TRS in a subsequent PQQ or tenderWhy participate? Provides additional support and guidance as to how you could further improve your responses Provides an opportunity to gain credits towards a Bangor University Master’s level qualification – e.g. LLM in Public Procurement Law & Strategy
What the supplier community think about the TRS…“We have not received any business support like this before! Wethought the Review was spot-on...it brought home to us the evaluatorsperspective and opened our eyes to the wide range of things toconsider and include within a tender. It has also enlightened us as towhat we as a Voluntary Sector organisation can prepare in advance ofa tendering exercise using the wide range of templates provided by theWinning in Tendering team."Anthony Flanagan, Development Officer & Director, Dynamix Ltd.What the procurer community think about the TRS…“The report suppliers receive from the Tender Review Service is anincredibly useful piece of work for SMEs who seriously want to improvetheir bids. The comprehensive nature of the report, together with thesimple language used in the key learning points, provides a clear routemap forward for those who want to better themselves in tendering.”Gunther Kostyra, Head of Policy Programme, Value Wales (WelshGovernment)
5. Remedies in Public Procurement – your responsibilities as a supplier!
Why can‟t the government get its requirement like private businesses
Procurement – What is it? The process of acquisition of goods, services and works… From pens and pencils through to major services
Why is Public Procurement different Subject to EU legislation – aimed to remove barriers in the EU single market The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) The Procurement Directives (2004/18/ and 2004/17) Subject to UK legislation Subject to audit Accountable to government and the electorate Many services are sensitive or high profile
Public Procurement – the basic facts The Treaty principles apply to most procurements irrespective of value The Directives apply to procurement above a certain financial value Type of Supplies Services Works body/contract Central £113,057 £113,057 £4,348,350 government Other public £173,934 £173,934 £4,348,350 authorities The Directives contain detailed rules on procuring a contract
Your responsibility when tendering for contracts Answer all the questions Keep to the point of the question Don‟t assume prior knowledge – this can‟t be evaluated Include appropriate references Seek clarification if unsure
Assuming you do these but fail to win the contract…What next? Review the experience internally Seek external professional assistance e.g Tender Review Service Prepare well for the next opportunity However there is legal help if you think that the tender exercise was tainted with some irregularity /the public body failed to follow the rules
What is the Remedies regime? Legal actions which allow economic operators to request the enforcement of public procurement provisions and their rights under those provisions in cases where contracting authorities, either intentionally or unintentionally, fail to comply with the legal framework for public procurement•
Purpose of the regime Increase the transparency of contract award procedures Build confidence in public procurement among businesses Facilitate competition Correct irregularities in contract award procedures Useful mechanism for monitoring contract award• procedures
Overview of the regime Directive 89/665 and Directive 92/13 as amended by Directive 2007/66/EC Implemented in the UK by the Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulation 2009, Utilities Contracts (Amendment) Regulation 2009 and The Public Procurement (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2011 Standstill and enhanced award notification requirements Remedies – automatic suspension, declaration of ineffectiveness, Damages, Alternative penalties
Emerging trends in the UK Previously no culture of bid protest Slight increase in procurement litigation cases with about 20 cases per year Most cases arise from Northern Ireland Areas of challenge: Award criteria Weighting Evaluation methodology Unequal treatment Lack of transparency Termination of procurement procedure before contract award
Your obligations Be conversant with the obligations that public body must comply with Keep every document/information relating to the tender in a safe place On receipt of notification letter – timing is of essence • Ensure early and careful consideration • Check for compliance with requirements • Was the procedure conducted without any breach of the applicable legislation • Does the standstill information contain “characteristics/relative advantages” If you are the successful bidder check that • the contract was advertised correctly and • there was a standstill period in which all the candidates were notified of the intention to award you the contract • If borrowing finance for the work, ensure adequate protection Get appropriate training
6. Conclusion Free high quality support available from the “Winning in Tendering” project – so why not take advantage of it!!!