Last edited 24 Nov 2018

Invitation to tender for construction contracts


[edit] Introduction

An invitation to tender is a formal invitation to make an offer for the supply of goods or services. An invitation to tender might be issued for a range of contracts, including:

An invitation to tender may follow an assessment of pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) received by the client in response to an advert they posted, and perhaps a pre-tender interview.

The purpose of pre-qualification questionnaires and pre-tender interviews is to produce a short list of suppliers most appropriate for the project who will then be invited to tender. This avoids time being wasted preparing and assessing inappropriate tenders.

[edit] What should an invitation to tender include?

An invitation to tender will include information describing the goods or services required in sufficient detail to enable the tenderer to prepare an accurate tender that is in a prescribed format so that it is easy to compare with other tenders.

An invitation to tender might include:

What should be considered is how the tenders that are received will be evaluated. It might be decided to accept the lowest priced tender that meets the requirements, but it is common practice to define a set of criteria by which the most economically advantageous tender can be identified.

[edit] Responding to an invitation to tender

In response to an invitation to tender, invited tenders will submit their tender, which will include their price for supplying the goods or services along with proposals for how the clients requirements will be satisfied.

An expression of interest (sometimes referred to as request to participate) is a submission made by a prospective tenderer in response to an advert (or contract notice) for the supply of goods or services. For more information, see Expression of interest.

Public projects or publicly-subsidised projects may be subject to OJEU procurement procedures, enacted in the UK by The Public Contracts Regulations. The regulations set out rules requiring that contracts must be advertised in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU) (The requirements for OJEU Contract Notices can be found at simap). This is of particular importance because the time taken to advertise contracts can be up to 52 days. The regulations also describe allowable procedures for the selection of contractors.

NB: For private finance initiative (PFI) projects, see Invitation to negotiate.

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