Technical Evaluation

Before starting this stage you will already have assessed and determined the successful tenderers at the Selection Stage, if one is being used.

Technical and quality evaluation is one of the most important stages of the Procurement Journey. This stage of the Journey ensures that:

  • The Contract Award decision is objective and uses the disclosed criteria
  • The decision making process is fair, transparent and auditable
  • Your organisation can demonstrate best value in the tender process.

The panel members should read and score the quality/technical aspects of the tenders independently.  They should use the pre-defined evaluation criteria and scoring system already communicated as part of the tender process.  For example, this could include an agreed approach on how to handle responses from different sizes or types of bidders.  This is to ensure a consistent, non-discriminatory evaluation in line with the fundamental principles of TFEU.

Tender Evaluation Timescales

Tender evaluation can only take place once the deadline for tender submissions has passed. The time taken to evaluate the returned submissions will vary from project to project.  This will depend on the complexity and the number of responses received.  You should aim to provide approximate timescales for this stage as part of the invitation to tender (ITT) document.

The tender evaluation timescales may reduce if PCS-Tender evaluation is being used.  This is because  the comments and scores from all evaluators can be collated automatically. This information can also be used as the basis of the de-briefing report.

Evaluation Panel

Evaluation must always make sure equal treatment is undertaken in a proportionate, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory manner. 

An evaluation panel of at least two people should be established.  The panel should consist of individuals familiar with the organisation’s priorities and goals, who demonstrable technical ability to evaluate tenders.

An organisation may also consider including panel members with relevant knowledge or experience across particular aspects of the technical and quality evaluation.For example a human resources or trade union representative to help evaluate bidders’ responses to a Fair Work practice criterion . 

Ideally the panel membership is consistent throughout the entire process from pre-qualification to presentations and site visits.

The evaluation panel should be able to withstand any scrutiny. and It is the responsibility of the organisation to ensure no member has a conflict of interest which would prevent them from making a fair and objective tender assessment.

Moderation Meeting

A moderation meeting will be held after you have collated the scores given.  At the moderation meeting the evaluators come together to discuss and agree their final scores.

The process to agree the final scores must be fully transparent and documented.

Evaluation Responsibilities

The Procurement Officer should evaluate the commercial aspects of the tenders separately, including the price evaluation

As a matter of good practice, no member of the evaluation panel should assess both the quality/technical elements and the commercial elements of the tender.

The evaluation criteria and scoring methodology should have been determined as part of the Develop Documents stage and published to tenderers in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) or OJEU advert.

The role of the procurement officer in the evaluation panel is to ensure an impartial and objective approach is taken to the evaluation of tenders. Some suggested 'dos and don’ts':

Do

Don't

Make note of areas that are unclear for clarification with the bidder

'Read between the lines' or make assumptions

Read the submission at face value and score on the basis of the information provided

Collude with other panel members to agree scoring collectively

Score tenders independently and discuss any irregularities at a Moderation Meeting

Make changes to the evaluation criteria during the process - the criteria MUST be the same as that published in the ITT

Ensure full justification for scoring is provided for each question to assist with debriefing

 

The tender evaluation stage may be accompanied by presentations/site visits.

Evaluating Fair Work Practices

During evaluation, the complete package of Fair Work practices a bidder offers must be considered.  This includes taking particular consideration of the impact those practices can have on the way the contract is performed. 

A bidder’s package of Fair work practices would normally be expected to include fair pay and equal pay, including the real living wage. Individual elements of a package of Fair Work practices must not be scored separately. 

Best practice guidance and tools have been developed to help with the evaluation of a Fair Work criterion.  This includes additional guidance on evaluating responses from bidders from other countries.

Specific tools include:

Information sheets are also available to help evaluators become familiar with the subject matter.

Unsuccessful bids

You must ensure the evaluation panel provides justification for their scoring.  This will help when preparing standstill notices and debriefing suppliers.

A full justification of scoring is especially important where a bid has failed to meet the 'acceptable' expectation set out in the evaluation criteria. A record should be kept to ensure fairness and transparency of the process.

If PCS-Tender is being used, the justification for scores should be recorded on the system.

Presentation/Site Visits

Presentations and site visits can be included as part of the evaluation process. These offer the opportunity for the evaluation panel to gain a clearer and deeper understanding of the tenderers proposal.

The purpose and anticipated outcomes of the presentations and site visits must be made clear in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) documentation.  This should include details of how the visits will count towards the overall evaluation of tender submissions.