What are the scores?
The OJEU procedures state that all contracting authorities have to issue a Standstill Notice at the point of decision regarding award of a contract. This notice allows tenderers 10 days to contest the award of contract before it is issued and implemented.
The Standstill Notice (also known as the Award Decision Notice and Regulation 86 Notice) needs to be sent to all tenderers and must include:
- The criteria for the award of the contract;
- The reasons for the decision, including: the characteristics and relative advantages of the successful tender; the score (if any) obtained by the economic operator which is to receive the notice and the tenderer to be awarded the contract / become party to the framework agreement;
- The reasons (if any) why the economic operator did not meet the technical specifications;
- The name of the tenderer(s) to be awarded the contract / become party to a framework agreement;
But once you have received the standstill notice how many of us utilise the information handed to us on a gift plate?
For some strange reason, when I was about 10 years old, instead of changing the settings on a toaster to suit the degree of toasting I preferred my bread, I used to hook the my piece of lightly golden brown toast out with a stainless steel butter knife. Now this was a neat little trick I picked up from watching my big brother make his breakfast. One morning, whilst watching an episode of Super Mario World Cartoon with my brother, I went got a butter knife of the kitchen draw and proceeded to prise my toast from the clasps of the toaster. There was a load bang and the next thing I remember was waking up on the other side of the kitchen with my brother attempting to wafted the smoke from out the kitchen with a tea towel, telling me ‘Mum’s going to go ballistic, you’ve broken the toaster’. Despite my brother’s efforts my Mum had heard the noise and upon entering the kitchen she worked out what had happen. When asked by the nurse filling out the hospital accident report "Cause of accident?" I stated ‘faulty cooking equipment' but she wrote down 'stupidity'. Two weeks and one brand new toaster later, my brother electrocuted himself in exactly the same way.
So what has a story about two brothers moronically electrocuting themselves in the same manner got to do with standstill notices? Well my brother was witness to my mishap and yet he decided not to take on board the risks at hand, when haplessly prodding a live toaster with a metal knife. Now I am aware that ignoring the information supplied in a standstill notice is not a life threatening, but it could still be costly to your business.
So what information can we obtain from the notification which will benefit the business and future tenders:
1. Where the tenders are going wrong?
As well as the scoring being broken down in to the sections there is usually some general feedback. This summary can let you know whether you missed a vital bit of information, or whether just on this occasion the contracting authority decided to go with another supply due to experience. You could of also made a mistake on one of the mandatory question and had the tender rejected for that reason. The standstill notification allows you 10 days to contest any decision and this is your opportunity to rectify any mistakes.
2. Did you lose it due to pricing?
In my experience, the usually reaction to an unsuccessful tender is to drop the prices. The scoring breakdown will show you how you scored compared to the competitors. The best price tender is not always the winning tender and you could have been unsuccessful due to you responses on the service and operation of your company. It is best to get an understanding of where you lost marks before re-evaluating your pricing strategies.
If you are unsuccessful the scoring will also provide you with the winning tenderer and their score. You can use this information to track how your pricing and tender responses compare to your competitors. This information can then be used in Bid/No Bid analysis and on future tenders and highlights areas of tender responses which need critical review.
4. Tender Tracking
The standstill notification will have a commencement date and duration of the contract. Tracking these dates means you have estimated date of when the contract renewal will be issued. Instead of reacting to the issue of a tender and hastily build a response, your sales and marketing team can be proactive and start planning the response a head of time.
For further information on responding to Bids and Tenders please visit our Bid Writing Services page
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