Last edited 07 Aug 2017

Bid evaluation

This article should be read alongside Tender evaluation.


A tender, or 'bid' is a submission made by a prospective supplier in response to an invitation to tender. It makes an offer for the supply of goods, and / or services.

Bid evaluation is the process that takes place after the tender submission deadline. It involves the opening and examining of the bids to identify the preferred supplier(s) for the project. Negotiations may then be entered into with one or more suppliers, and the successful supplier awarded the contract.

NB There may have been a pre-qualification process before bids were invited to reduce the number of potential tenders to those that are genuinely appropriate for the project,

Generally, bid evaluation will be carried out in accordance with evaluation criteria or a selection methodology specified in the invitation to tender. Criteria or other factors that were not included in the invitation to tender should not be used to evaluate bids, and ideally, the same evaluators should evaluate all bids.

Bidding parties should submit clear and well-organised bids, but nonetheless, a great deal of thoroughness is required in the bid evaluation process, to ensure that proposals are properly understood, bids are compliant with invitation to tender, no information is overlooked and that correct conclusions are reached.

An initial review of the offers received is generally undertaken to determine their responsiveness and conformity to the conditions in the invitation to tender documents. Non-compliant bids may be rejected (unless a compliant bid has also been submitted).

A more detailed evaluation of compliant bids may then be undertaken against a number of pass/fail criteria. A technical determination should be made to ascertain whether the bidder’s technical solution is feasible, appropriate and deliverable within certain requirements, i.e. safety and costs. If it is a consortium that has submitted a bid, the proposed project management should be assessed to determine how cohesive it will in terms of delivering the project, and so on.

See Tender evaluation for more information.

There are a number of bases upon which a preferred bidder can be identified:

  • Lowest price.
  • Most economically advantageous tender (MEAT).
  • Mean value.
  • Exclusion of the extremes.

See Contract award for more information.

While it is common for the lowest priced tender to be awarded the contract, other factors such as relevant experience and the perceived quality of the solution should also be taken into consideration, as the lowest price does not always result in the best long-term value.

It may be the case that after the initial review only one bid will be sufficiently compliant. The lack of compliance or lack of interest may be because of deficiencies in the tender documents. If this is the case, then the tender documents could be rectified and the tender procedure begun again.

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