last updated: 30th January 2015
Action Risk Solutions
Inappropriate or insufficient advertising

- Potential bidders are not identified

- A complaint is received, under the EU procurement legislation, about the lack of, or the selected method of, advertising

- Procurement Office should develop an advertising strategy that aims to create sufficient interest in the requirement

- Advertise all requirements over a stated value on the institution’s own web site ie operate a ‘Living PIN’

- Advertise all requirements valued above the appropriate EU thresholds in the OJEU

Buyer selects bidders to submit bids for requirement

- Implication the selected bidders are considered capable of meeting the requirement ie already meet any selection criteria

- Other bidders are available but are not afforded the opportunity to compete for the business

- Only select bidders when seeking quotations or tenders for lower value requirements without a call for competition

- The use of a ‘Living PIN’ would enable potential suppliers to see current bid opportunities and ask to be included in the competition

Too many bidders

- The work involved in evaluating the submissions outweighs the value of the requirement

- The bidders start to loose interest in competing for work as there is little chance of winning any business

- Use the restricted rather than open procedures for EU tenders, only issuing invitations to tender to firms meeting the published selection criteria

- For repetitive requirements where there is a large supplier base, consider setting up a Framework Agreement with at least 3 contractors.

- For repetitive requirements where there is a small supplier base, and you have access to a fully electronic tendering process, consider setting up a Dynamic Purchasing System

Too few bidders

- There is insufficient competition

- It may not be easy to determine if the bids received represent value for money

- Complete market research to determine the size of the current supplier base

- If there are other suppliers available, try to find out why they are not submitting quotations and take action, for example,
  o Didn’t know of the requirement – look at your advertising practices
  o The specification is too restrictive? – redraft specification and, if necessary, re-run the competition
  o The institution is considered too difficult to deal with – seek to attract more suppliers using a ‘Dealing with this Institution Guide’ and running seminars aimed at attracting more suppliers
  o Could there be collusion or a cartel in operation? – this should be referred your Head of Procurement.

Long term relationships with some suppliers

- Relationship may become ‘too cosy’

- ‘Friendly/helpful’ sales representatives have input into drafting specifications and create a bias towards their products

- May be difficult to demonstrate that the on-going arrangements represent value for money

- While partnership relationships are encouraged these should be market tested by tendering the requirement on a regular basis (at least every 4 years)

- While technical discussions are permitted, care must be taken to ensure that no single supplier’s products are favoured in the final specification

Continued use of the same suppliers

- The value of repeat orders for similar products over time may exceed the published EU thresholds

- The relationship becomes ‘too cosy’

- While partnership relationships are encouraged these should be market tested by tendering the requirement on a regular basis (at least every 4 years)



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