Route 2 - Develop documents - Invitation to Tender (ITT)

Route 2 - Develop Documents - Invitation to Tender

As with all aspects of the Procurement Journey, the activities at this stage must be carried out in a carefully managed way that supports the Principles of Procurement.  As a minimum the processes must be carried out in a transparent manner that ensures there is no distortion of the market place. The outcome cannot be a procurement that unduly favours or disadvantages a particular supplier and it is the responsibility of the Organisation to make sure that these requirements are met.  Access to the ITT should be non-discriminatory and free of charge.

An organisation should also consider whether to allow potential service providers to set out options in relation to different TUPE scenarios within its tenders. If so, it should provide clear directions to tenderers to ensure that bids can be compared on a like-for-like basis.

Where you choose to employ a two stage process, the documents will only be made available to the tenderers who have passed the selection stage of the procedure and these invitations to submit a tender should be issued simultaneously and in writing.  However if you choose not to use a separate selection stage in the process, ITTs should be issued on request at any point prior to the date set for submission of tenders

Where ITT documents cannot be issued electronically, for example because the information is sensitive or the contract is of a nature which requires the use of specialised tools and/or files, other transmission means can be used but it would be good practice to increase the tender time limit by five days.

The ITT or the Invitation to Confirm Interest should include comprehensive information for potential tenderers about the requirement being tendered. While there are a number of generic documents listed below that will require insertion into all packs (e.g. a reference to the relevant Contract Notice or Award Criteria weightings) some of the content will naturally be specific to each requirement and you should select those that you need to include in the ITT pack from the list below:

  • A reference to the relevant Contract Notice, previously published
  • Instructions to tenderers including the tender submission deadline;  address to which the tender submission is to be sent and the language which the tender submission must be submitted in
  • It is good practice to issue an ESPD (Scotland) to tenderers.  For more information, please refer to Selection Criteria and ESPD (Scotland)
  • Award Criteria weightings
  • For services contracts, if deemed applicable, you should ask the tenderers to indicate any share of the contract that the tenderer may subcontract and information about the subcontractors including their name and contact details.  You may request separate ESPD responses from subcontractors and consortium members, when deemed appropriate, in order to safeguard the effective delivery of the contract, based on relevance and proportionality to the contract
  • For contracts which may be extended, the nature, quantity and, where possible, the estimated time for exercising options
  • For supply or service contracts, the nature, quantity and, where possible, estimated publication dates of notices of future tenders
  • If applicable to the contract, the delivery of supplies commencement or termination date(s)
  • The address of the Organisation who will award the contract
  • Economic and technical conditions, financial guarantees and any information required from tenderers
  • The form of the contract to be used e.g. purchase, lease, hire-purchase, or a combination
  • If electronic access to the relevant Procurement Documents cannot be offered the address and deadline date for requesting procurement documents and the language(s) to be used
  • Background and overview of the tendering and evaluation process including details of presentations and site visits, if applicable
  • Terms and Conditions of contract which will apply to any resulting contract with the principle supplier
  • Specification and technical requirements
  • Sustainable Procurement requirements
  • Cyber Security Requirements (example ITT and Contract Notice wording when using the beta Scottish Cyber Assessment Service is available here)

  • Community Benefit requirements
  • Questions on Fair Work Practices should be considered where it has been assessed as relevant and proportionate to the subject matter of the contract
  • Quality questionnaire
  • Pricing schedule- (note that where it is proportionate to request such, the pricing schedule can take the form of an e-catalogue as part of the ITT in order to streamline later processes)
  • Form of tender
  • Acceptance of Terms and Conditions
  • Mechanism for return of tender
  • For frameworks inclusion of mini competition or relevant call off guidance guidance
  • The circumstances under which modifications or changes could be made to the contract or framework – in order to be valid, these must comply with the requirements outlined in the Contract and Supplier Management station and be stated in clear, unambiguous clauses (e.g. price change clause or core list review clause)
  • Covering letter
  • Acknowledgement letter for tenderers to return to the public body on receiving the documentation
  • Technical guidance for use with systems

Suggested templates for many of the above mentioned documents are available via the following link: Scottish Procurement Standard Forms & Documentation.

Evaluation Criteria

The questions within the ITT must be consistent with the evaluation criteria and weightings published within the Contract Notice. For more information refer to Selection, Award & Exclusion.

Price/financial evaluation criteria should include:

  • Whole Life Cost comparisons
  • Quantifiable financial benefits arising from the technical evaluation (e.g. speed, fuel or electricity consumption, coverage, shelf life etc)
  • Fixed or variable pricing
  • Cost of components, spare parts, consumables and servicing
  • Life Cycle costing where appropriate

Risk analysis and financial appraisal (for major contracts of strategic importance, especially those of an innovative nature).

Whilst developing the documentation the Procurement Officer will draw information from the developing strategy stage of the Procurement Journey. 

It is best practice to agree the ITT criteria with the User Intelligence Group (UIG) as these criteria will identify which of the eligible tenderers will deliver best value for money for the organisation, based on the Most Economically Advantageous Tender.

Your Organisation should identify the Most Economically Advantageous Tender, assessed on the basis of criteria linked to the subject matter of the contract.  This should include price or cost evaluation using a cost effectiveness approach.  A cost effectiveness approach may include Life Cycle Impact Mapping.

It is important to differentiate between Whole Life Costing, Lifecycle Costing and Lifecycle Impact Mapping:

Whole Life Costing:  Focuses solely on cost (£) of a product or service from cradle to grave.  It takes into account acquisition, operation, ownership and disposal costs. It does not take into consideration any environmental or social costs.

Lifecycle Costing:  Life-cycle costing covers part or all of the following costs over the life cycle of a product or service:

a) costs produced by the Organisation or other users, such as:

(i) costs relating to acquisition;

(ii) costs of use, such as consumption of energy and other resources;

(iii) maintenance costs;

(iv) end of life costs, such as collection and recycling costs; and

(b) costs attributed to environmental externalities linked to the product or service during its life cycle, provided their monetary value can be determined and verified. This may include the cost of emissions of greenhouse gases and of other pollutant emissions and other climate change mitigation costs.

Lifecycle Impact Mapping:  Focuses on social and environmental impact rather than cost. Life cycle impacts help the user identify and assess impacts.  For example, it may help to focus attention on the disposal phase before the procurement is carried out, allowing the organisation to build end-of-life management requirements into both its performance clauses for successful contractors and its own internal management procedures.

Every product and service has a ‘life cycle’ or number of stages it goes through: from the extraction and sourcing of raw materials, such as mining to the transportation of sub-assemblies and parts, often through a global supply chain to the use of products or works and the delivery of services to the re-use, recycling, remanufacture and final disposal of materials

In the Marrakech Approach, the assessment of these risks and opportunities is broken down in to four key phases:

  • Raw materials
  • Manufacturing and logistics
  • Use
  • Disposal or end-of-life management

Please note:  Life cycle impact mapping can be used alongside life cycle costing as part of the procurement process.


Further Inclusions for ITT documentation

You may wish to consider the areas below for inclusion within the ITT documentation:

Buyers can ask for the most updated list of organisations for each of the worksheets on Appendix X.

Any documents you need are listed below:

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