Proposal Writing Course – Lesson #4: Understanding the Tender Opening Process

Government contracting is big business. Companies invest considerable resources into their bids and depend on winning contracts to support their business.

To keep the tendering process more transparent, there is now formal tender opening procedures where the tenders are officially opened.

For Europe Union contracts, this process often occurs in public to ensure that all is above board.

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The opening of tenders, and their subsequent examination, is essentially to check that they:

  • Contain all the mandatory submission forms.
  • Contain the requisite tender guarantee e.g. 2% of the tender value.
  • Bidder have signed and dated all the documents.

As mentioned above, tenders are opened in a public session on the date and time stated in Request For Proposal by the committee appointed for the purpose. The committee takes meeting minutes, which are generally available on request.

At the tender opening, the committee also announce the following:

  • Bidder’s names
  • Tender prices
  • Discount offered
  • Written notifications of modification or withdrawal
  • Requisite tender guarantee
  • Other information considered appropriate

After the public opening, no information relating to the examination, evaluation and comparison of tenders is disclosed.

However, in the interests of transparency, bidders can provide written clarifications within 48 hours.

Needless to say, any attempt by the bidder to influence an evaluation committee member, results in immediate disqualification.

Tenders are also disqualified if they do not make the submission deadline.

What has been your experience of tendering opening procedures? What type of issues have you seen arise at these sessions? How could they be improved?