Invitation to Tender

The activities at this stage must be carefully managed to support the Principles of Procurement.

As a minimum processes must be undertaken in a transparent manner,  ensuring no market place distortion.

The procurement outcome cannot favour or disadvantage a supplier.  It is your responsibility to ensure these requirements are met. 

Access to the ITT should be non-discriminatory and free of charge.

Quickfire Guide

Quickfire Guide

Invitation to Tender Document Contents

A quickfire guide for the sections you should include in your ITT, where relevant to your procurement.

Availability of Invitation to Tender Documents

When using a two stage process, documents will only be made available to tenderers who have passed the selection stage.  Invitations to submit a tender should be issued simultaneously to all bidders and in writing. 

If not using a separate selection stage, ITTs should be issued on request to any interested supplier.  This can be at any point prior to the tender submission date set.

Where ITT documents cannot be issued electronically (for example because the information is sensitive or the contract is of a nature that requires specialised tools and/or files) then you can use other means to issue the documents. If you do this, it would be good practice to increase the tender time limit by five days to allow for this extra process.

Evaluation Criteria, including Financial Criteria

ITT questions must be consistent and the evaluation criteria and weightings must be 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).

To support this process, as you are developing the documentation you will draw information from the Develop Strategy stage of the Procurement Journey. 

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

Life Cycle Impact Mapping

Your should identify the Most Economically Advantageous Tender, assessed on the criteria linked to the contract subject matter.  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:  This 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) acquisition costs

(ii) usage costs such as energy consumption and other resources;

(iii)maintenance costs;

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

(b) external environmental  costs linked to the product or service during its life cycle.  This is only included if the  monetary value of these costs can be calculated and verified. This may include the cost of emissions of greenhouse or other pollutant emissions, other climate change mitigation costs.

Lifecycle Impact Mapping:  Focuses on social and environmental impact rather than cost.

Life cycle impacts helps you identify and assess impacts. For example, you may focus attention on the disposal phase before beginning the procurement.  This then allows you  to build end-of-life management requirements into performance clauses and internal management procedures.

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

The Marrakech Approach

Every product and service has a ‘life cycle’ or number of stages it goes through.  For example:

  • from the extraction and sourcing of raw materials e.g. mining
  • to the transportation of sub-assemblies and parts, often through a global supply chain
  • the use of products and delivery of services
  •  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


Other considerations for ITT documentation

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

  • E-Commerce: eCapability, eProcurement Information, E Auctions, etc.
  • Contract implementation/contract and supplier management information
  • Proposed implementation plan
  • Management information - requirement to provide line item detail
  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Mini-competition guidance: details of process to be followed for call offs