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Last edited 10 Dec 2019
A tender is a submission made by a prospective supplier in response either to an invitation to tender (ITT) or in response to an open tender. Tenders make an offer to supply goods or services. They will include the price for supplying the goods or services along with proposals for how the client's requirements will be satisfied – if these have been requested.
 Conditions of tender submissions
- To avoid restricting competition (and price fixing), tenderers may have to warrant that the prices in the tender have been arrived at independently without consultation with other tenderers;
- Prices may be submitted separately from other tender information.
- The tenderer may not directly or indirectly disclosed prices to other tenderers;
- The tenderer will not in any way try to influence other parties (individuals or firms) to either submit or not submit a tender in order to restrict competition to their advantage.
- Non-compliant tenders may be permitted, or only permitted if accompanied by a compliant tender.
- Prices may have to be broken down in a particular way to allow easy comparison with other tenders.
- Some sub-contractors or suppliers may be imposed by the cleint.
- A tender return slip, with details of the contract, including information such as return address and tender checklist;
- A completed tender pricing document (or contract sum analysis on design and build projects);
- Schedules of rates;
- An initial construction phase plan;
- Any design proposals or method statements that have been requested;
- Procedures to be adopted, such as procurement procedures and cost management procedures;
- Demonstration of capability, for example design capability, systems used etc;
- A BIM execution plan – if building information modelling is being used;
- Key project personnel, which may require submission of CVs;
- Management organisation;
- Plant and labour resources and availability;
- Prior experience, and
 Getting it right
Tender submission is a process governed by a strict set of rules and requirements, some of which may seem basic but are nevertheless crucial. Failure to abide by these requirements may result in a failed tender. Some basic points to watch include:
- Ensuring the submission is not late;
- Ensuring information asked for is not missing;
- Ensuring everything is in the required format;
- Avoiding spelling and grammatical mistakes;
- Fully understanding the client’s requirements and specification, and
- Understanding obligations.
For more information see: Common mistakes in construction tenders.
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