- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 01 Sep 2020
A 'tender' is a submission made by a prospective supplier in response to an invitation to tender. It makes an offer for the supply of goods or services. In construction, the main tender process is generally the selection, by the client, of a contractor to construct the works. However, as procurement routes have become more complex, so tenders may now be sought for a wide range of goods and services.
Negotiating with a single supplier may be appropriate for highly specialist contracts (where there may be a limited number of potential suppliers), or for extending the scope of an existing contract. It can give the client the confidence of working with a supplier they already know, can reduce the duration and costs of tendering and can allow early supplier involvement.
However, unless the structure of the negotiation is clearly set out there is the potential for an adversarial atmosphere to develop, even before the contract has been awarded. Carrying out negotiations in the absence of competition so that both parties feel the outcome is fair can be complex and time consuming.
Negotiated tendering can be seen as anti-competitive and exclusive, with the potential for ‘cozy’ relationships to develop between the client and the supplier. Negotiated tendering may not be permitted by some organisations due to the perceived lack of accountability. On public projects, or projects that include a publicly-funded element it may be necessary to advertise contracts. This is a requirement of the Public Contracts Regulations, intended to open up public procurement within the European Union and to ensure the free movement of supplies, services and works (see OJEU for more information).
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Improving facilities, accessibility and overall appearance.
Free download of TG 12/2021 available.
TESP works with The Youth Group to form skill sharing network.
Big tech collaborates on platform for the built environment.
Letter signed by 21 organisations sent to MHCLG.
A look at the Government's strategic approach.
Steps to help reduce the spread of infection inside buildings.
This social media-centred hobby can be both dangerous and illegal.
Millwork wall treatment with a long and illustrious history.
HSE introduces cumulative exposure calculator.
The Edwardians and their houses.
Cut off from civilian life for over 900 years.
Gaining green support from the carbon giants.
Click the button to subscribe.