Further price reductions considered possible but Post Tender Negotiation (PTN) not used
- Optimum terms (technical, quality, delivery schedule etc) are not obtained
- Seek clarification of any unclear aspects of the submissions – these may lead to opportunities to fine-tune the bid. Be careful that this does not materially change the submission and render it invalid.
- Seek discussions with the preferred bidder with the aim of achieving the quality defined in the specification for the most economically advantageous price
- DO NOT enter into PTN on tenders above the EU Threshold
Continued use of PTN on all, or most, competitions
- Bidders come to expect PTN and do not make their best offers when submitting bids
- PTN is not used and the submitted bids are not as good as they could have been because the bidders expected to be asked to refine their submissions under PTN
- Use PTN where it is appropriate and can improve terms.
- To always use PTN will lead to inefficient procurement because suppliers will expect the process and you will need to carry it out every time to achieve value for money and the bidders will build in some ‘negotiating-room’ in their bids
Potential for ‘Dutch Auction’ situation to develop
- Open to challenge of trying to negotiate one or more bidders terms to a level where they will win the business
- PTN should only be entered into with the preferred one or, at most, two bidders and used to fine-tune their own submissions. Only when the negotiations fail with one bidder should you start to negotiate with another one. It should not be used to set one bidder against the other
Use of PTN on, higher value, EU tenders
- Open to challenge under the EU rules
- PTN is not permitted under the EU rules especially if is it deemed to be likely to distort competition.
- Always discuss with, and involve the Head of Procurement in any proposed PTN.
Insufficient records kept of negotiations
- Open to challenge that PTN has taken place unfairly
- Ensure there is a precise audit trail of all discussions with the bidder(s) including the reasons for the discussions, what was agreed etc
- Should a challenge arise, this audit trail will provide the evidence of your actions