Tendering Definitions

Tendering Terms - All Seems Like Double Dutch To You?


Anyone involved in running tenders will quickly discover that there are a host of words that no-one will ever use outside of the procurement, probity or legal realm. So if you are confused, below is a list of definitions to light the way.  Just remember the beauty of using Mptorem to manage your tenders is that you really don’t have to get  too bothered about the detail. As we sort everything out for you and really do our best to keep the jargon to a minimum.

Addendum: A notification issued during a live tender which provides new information. For instance a notification about a Tender Briefing.
Addenda: The plural of Addendum. If a number of changes or a raft of new tender information is being released, you would see reference to “Addenda”. These are usually numbered sequentially so that a clear record exists of the number of changes or notices are issued. A Tenderer will need to ensure that their submission includes any necessary responses to such Addenda. Failing to do so can possibly disqualify you from a tender-round.
Agreement Information: Identifies the main parties of the agreement, such as who the Principal is, the duration (term) of the agreement, payment arrangements, insurance requirements, where formal notices should be sent, any specific deadlines that apply to the agreement (eg submission for project plans), and the expiry date of the agreement.
Assessment Criteria: The selection criteria and weightings applied to evaluate a Tender submission. These would be a number of different criteria that are applied to evaluate the quality of the Tender. Each criteria will be scored by the evaluation team.
Clarifications: Formal question posed to the Tender Issuer by a Bidder. The nature of the question may be to seek clarification on a specific requirement, technical specification or other matter. Clarifications should be responded to by the Tenderer through a formal means of communication and issued to all Tender participants at the same time so as to ensure fair and equal access to the information communicated.
Conditions of Agreement: A document that will be included in the Tender that sets out the main operative clauses and heads of terms of the contract that is the subject of the Tender.
Conditions of Tendering: These specify all the instructions that you must comply with in order to participate in the Tender, and in order for your Tender to be considered. It will provide details of the Tender closing date, the format in which your Tender should be submit, instructions on how the Tender should be submitted, and the assessment criteria that will be applied. It will also specify the legal entities that will be accepted (some Tenders won’t accept Tenders from a Consortium for instance). It is important to ensure that all conditions of a Tender are complied with in full to avoid disqualification.
Conflict of Interest: A conflict of interest can be real, perceived or a potential conflict. It arises when an individual is, or is perceived to be unable to act fairly, objectively, and impartially in respect of the interests or activities of the entity they have a legal obligation to represent for instance under a contractual relationship, or their employer. It includes individual and group interests that are not in the best fiduciary interests of that entity. In the private sector, a conflict of interest would be a conflict between an individual’s fiduciary duty to their company and their private interests. In the public sector a conflict of interest exist when there is a conflict between an individual’s duty to serve the public interest, and the person’s private interest.
Description of Services: Similar to the DOW in that it is a document that sets out the details of the services that form part of the tender requirement. May also contain work instructions, list of deliverables and artifacts, work instructions and preferred methodologies.
Description of Works: A document that might form part of a Tender. It is a form of specification that sets out the works (usually construction related) that are to be carried out as part of the requirement.
Evaluation Matrix: this is a scoring template of some sort, to enable the calculation of the combined price & non-price scores using the weightings and the scores provided by the evaluation team. When Mptorem manages Tendering events we use our best practice tendering technology to manage the evaluation process and calculation of all tendering weightings and scores to ensure fairness and accuracy.
Evaluation Panel or Evaluation Committee: The evaluation team that is responsible for assessing the Tender.
Evaluation: the process that takes place after the Tender has closed. Each submission will be assessed and scored against a pre-set evaluation plan, and assessment criteria.
Evaluation Plan: a plan that sets out the process and methodology for the scoring and evaluation of tenders received. The general rule is that this should be completed before the closing date and time of the tender.

MEAT: Most Economically Advantageous Tender. An methodology for tendering evaluation to identify the optimum tender with the best price. It combines both a consideration of the quality of a tender and the best priced, thus seeking to deliver the best value offer from among all the Tenders submitted.
Probity Advisor: An independent probity expert who provides probity advice. Acts on your behalf and provides a service. If you have not already put in place a probity plan, they can develop one for you. Generally should not provide legal advice as the probity role is a separate independent role.
Probity Audit: A detailed review of a tender process to consider whether it has met the probity principles, and is in compliance with applicable policy, rules and laws.
Probity Auditor: An individual that well, carries out an audit review of a Tender. These folks are independent, and take a “backwards” look at the events concerning a tender or market engagement. They provide a service similar to traditional assurance services, and use an audit methodology. As part of any audit process they will review the probity plan to ensure that the tender process complied with the probity plan, as well as the procurement strategy and possibly the negotiation plans and protocols of your Tender.
Probity: This form of assurance is quasi-legal and really only applies in Australia and Canada. It is the application of a set of (probity) principles based on procurement rules and legal principles to ensure fairness, equity and transparency in a tender process.
Project Description: Sets out the details of a specific project to be delivered as part of the Tender Requirement.
Respondent: a Tenderer making an Offer or responding to a Tender
(Returnable) Tender Schedules: Are a number of separate documents (each a “Schedule”) that a Tenderer will need to complete and return with their Tender. Frequently the Tender Schedules are the only documents that the Tenderer is allowed to submit. This means that if Tender Schedules are issued and a Tenderer omits to return all the Tender Schedules by the tendering deadline, then their Tender may be nil and void. Key Tender Schedules include:

  • Tender Form (confirming the Tender Respondent’s details, attestation and proposal price)
  • Schedule of Prices
  • Schedule of Key Personnel
  • Schedule of Hourly Rates for Variations
  • Schedule of Service Delivery Plan or Delivery Methodology.

Specification: The detailed technical requirements that will be issued as part of the Tender. The Specification sets out the “specifics” for the requirement. These may incorporate technical details, drawings, work instructions, methodologies, deliverables and artifacts that the Tenderer is to deliver.
Specifications & Descriptions
Tender: A formal offer. In terms of sourcing exercise, a Tender is a request for an offer (tender) or a request for a proposal of some sort. A Tender can also refer to the actual document that the Tenderer will submit as a response.
Tenderer: The individual or company responding to the Tender or the Request. Also known as “Respondent”, “Bidder” or possibly “Seller”. Confusingly this term is also used to refer to the issuer of the Tender. The Issuer is also referred to as the “Requester”, or “Buyer”.
Tenderor: Technically the noun for the individual or company responding to the Tender. However this is very rarely used.
Weightings: Refers to the split percentage applied between the quantitative and qualitative component of the Tender. So the % applied to the price (or cost) of the Tender and separately, the qualitative part or non-price component of the Tender for instance the quality of the submission. So for instance, a Tender may be weighted and evaluated on the basis of a 60/40% Price/Non-Price split. Within this price/non price split, the weighting will be further split across the selection criteria.