How to Tender Guide
How to Tender or become a Supplier to Pembrokeshire County Council
Low value contract opportunities- £5k to £24,999
Contract opportunities valued between £5k and £24,999 are not normally advertised. However, officers from the relevant Service areas are required to obtain a minimum of three written quotations for this level of requirement and may do this in a number of ways such as using the Sell2wales post box facility, emailing known potential suppliers or undertaking various market research. If you are interested in undertaking business of this value with the Council please email firstname.lastname@example.org making it clear what products or services you offer. The Procurement team will endeavour to forward your details to the appropriate Service area so that you may be considered to quote for any future requirements. For contract opportunities below £5k, officers are only required to demonstrate value for money has been obtained with this involving a more informal market testing approach.
The Tender Process - £25k and Above
For all opportunities over £25,000 that are not covered in one of the National Frameworks listed previously, the Authority will normally undertake a formal tender process prior to awarding any contracts. We will do this for one off purchases or when setting up our own Frameworks or Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS). The process for awarding a contract under such arrangements are clearly stated in the initial tender exercise.
All tender opportunities, whether they be setting up our own Framework, DPS or awarding a specific contract are undertaken electronically with the Council currently using the Bravo e-tenderwales portal (opens in new tab).
If you have been successful in a tender submission and been appointed to a Framework the level of work that you will be awarded may vary depending on the exact circumstances of that Framework. The exact process for the award of work is clearly stated in each individual Framework opportunity at the point of tender. Our Frameworks normally run for a maximum of four years and will have a deadline date for suppliers to apply with no new suppliers being permitted to join after this deadline.
Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS)
A DPS works very similarly to a Framework but has a few important differences.
Tenderers may register for inclusion on a DPS by self-certifying their credentials. All suppliers who have been appointed to a DPS will normally be invited to participate in further competition exercises in line with any specific requirements arising as there are not normally any direct awards. Further competition submissions will be evaluated with the likely winning supplier being asked to submit all of the supporting evidence to validate their initial self certification submission prior to being formally awarded the contract. Requirements in each DPS may differ slightly with each one also clearly specifying how work will be awarded. A DPS normally runs for a longer period than a Framework with the details clearly stated in each individual one. A DPS will normally have an initial deadline date for suppliers to apply but will then reopen for new suppliers to apply at any time during the term of the DPS.
Tenders that are advertised will normally follow the Open tender procedure.
An Open Tender procedure means that any company which has expressed an interest in a tender will automatically be able to access the Invitation to Tender Documents and submit a tender. This information will then be considered together with your tender bid. All tenders will be evaluated in accordance with the criteria stated in each tender and a subsequent contract award made to the winning supplier.
A Restricted Tender procedure means that any company which has expressed an interest in a tender will either have access to a Pre- Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) or participate in the Qualification stage of the e-tender process. These Qualification questions are used to assess your suitability to tender by evaluating criteria such as your economic and financial standing and also your technical and professional capability to deliver the goods, services or works. Following initial evaluation shortlisted participants will be invited to tender, so gaining full access to the tender documentation.
Qualification - Supplier Acceptability
The Council uses the Welsh Government approved Single Procurement Document (SPD) to assess a supplier’s capability at the Qualification stage of the tender process. The SPD contains a standard range of questions that allows the Council to identify suitably qualified, capable and experienced bidders for the procurement.
These questions are generic but in some cases additional questions may be added whilst always being aware that they are proportionate to the value and risk of the procurement, and are not demanding for bidders. Use of the SPD is intended to ensure a consistent process is applied for both buyer and supplier across the wider public sector. You will use your SPD response to indicate whether your organisation can meet the requirements of the procurement exercise.
Examples of some of the areas covered in the SPD are listed below:
- Supplier Accessibility - Basic information about your firm and your track record (could also include referee details)
- Economic and Financial Standing - You will be asked to provide general financial information, your DUNS number or audited accounts and relevant insurance details. You must have Public Liability Insurance and Employers’ Liability Insurance if applicable. Depending upon the nature of the contract you may have to have Product Liability and/or Professional Indemnity.
- Capacity and Capability - You will be asked to detail your main business activities and examples of relevant experience. You may be asked whether you meet standards such as the Welsh Language measure.
- Management - You will be asked to detail any Quality Management System you operate, Environmental Standards you meet and how you review your performance.
- Equal Opportunities - You will be asked about your adherence to equality legislation, including the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
- Health and Safety - Your H&S arrangements, including your Health and Safety Policy if you have more than five employees.
- Sustainability - You may be asked questions regarding your firm’s commitment to environmental matters.
Technical – Quality
This section includes questions that are specific to the procurement being undertaken and are almost always scored. Detailed information on the scores available will be included in the tender documentation together with any instances where there is a minimum pass threshold required. This is an important opportunity for you as a bidder to ensure that you provide clear and detailed information which covers all of the points mentioned in the questions. The minimum pass threshold may be an overall pass threshold for the quality score or a minimum pass threshold applied to each individual question. It is important for bidders to note that where there is a minimum pass threshold stated for each question, any failure to meet that threshold for one question will result in the whole of your tender bid being rejected, irrespective of how good the rest of your bid is deemed to be. Please read the instructions carefully for each tender and question. Some questions have limited word counts and cut off points should tenderers go over the limit and this could impact your tender score. Your total score in this section will form part of the tender evaluation with full details included in the tender documentation.
Commercial - Price
The third and final element of the tender process is the price submitted. Please ensure you have clearly understood our requirement and that the price you submit is sustainable for you. Your total score in this section will form part of the tender evaluation with full details included in the tender documentation. Please take care in this section also as a non compliant or unsustainable price may also result in your bid being rejected.
The Bravo e-tendering portal will typically consist of the following documents but there may be others depending on the type of procurement being undertaken:-
- ITT (Instructions to Tenderers)
- Specification of our Requirements
- Pricing Schedule
- General Terms and Conditions and Contract Documents
- Drawings (if applicable) contract terms and conditions
Although tender documents are sometimes quite detailed they are not intended to discourage you from tendering for business. If you have any queries regarding the documents do not be afraid to ask for help or guidance by submitting a question through the messaging facility in the tender portal. We would encourage all bidders to ask a question rather than assume the incorrect interpretation.
You will be asked to complete and return your tender submission electronically by a given time and date. All tender submissions are opened by the Council at the same time, very soon after the tender deadline date has elapsed. If you fail to submit your tender by the specified deadline your tender will be excluded from the evaluation process. Please allow sufficient time to complete your bid. Do not leave your bid submission to the last minute.
Business Wales Support
Business Wales offers tenderers support in the tender process. Their contact details can be found later in this guide.
Tenders are normally evaluated by at least one Procurement officer and one relevant Service officer to ensure a fair and transparent process. Contracts are normally awarded on the basis of the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) which is assessed on a combination of quality and price, both of which are weighted to best suit the particular requirement. i.e. a tender may have a 60% quality preference and a 40% price preference. This is always specified within the Invitation to Tender documentation along with the quality criteria, which are weighted in order of importance. Any minimum pass thresholds are also clearly stated.
Both the successful and unsuccessful tenderers will be notified in writing of the award decision. For above threshold procurements, the Public Contract Regulations will apply with the initial award notification being subject to a minimum standstill period of 10 calendar days. If your bid is unsuccessful the notification will include the award criteria, your score and the score of the winning tenderer together with the advantages and disadvantages of your bid compared to the winning tenderer/s.