It is a basic principle of public procurement that a competitive process should be used unless there are justifiably exceptional circumstances. The type of competitive process can vary depending on the size and characteristics of the contract to be awarded and the nature of the contracting authority.
Low Value Requirements
For contracts or purchases below the EU threshold values and not part of a ‘draw down’ or framework contract, less formal procedures may be appropriate.
- Supplies or services less than €5,000 in value might be purchased on the basis of verbal quotes from one or more competitive suppliers;
- Supplies or services contracts between €5,000 and €25,000 in value
Supplies or services contracts between €5,000 and €25,000 in value might be awarded on the basis of responses to specifications sent by fax or email to at least three suppliers or service providers. Values and procedures outlined above are indicative only and should be adapted as appropriate to suit the type of contracting authority and the nature and scale of the project. Reasons for procedures adopted, including procedures where a competitive process was not deemed appropriate, should be clearly recorded. All contract award procedures should include a verifiable audit trail. While contracting authorities are not required to advertise on the national public procurement website etenders.gov.ie
for requirements below €25,000 they are encouraged to do so if the anticipated response would not be disproportionate, having regard to the value of the requirement. Evaluation and Contract Award
For larger projects (€25,000 and above) being awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT), it should be the normal practice to have the evaluation of tenders carried out by a team with the requisite competency. This may include independent representation, i.e. a competent person from outside the area directly involved with placing the contract. Transparency and objectivity are best demonstrated by the use of a scoring system or marking sheet based on the relevant weighted criteria, including price, indicating a comparative assessment of tenders under each criterion.
As an aid to understanding and clarity, it may be appropriate to invite the most competitive tenderers to present or elaborate on proposals for technical or consultancy projects. However, any dialogue with tenderers that could be construed as "post tender negotiation" on price or result in significant changes to the published tender specifications must be avoided.
Results of Tendering Process
All tenderers should be informed of the result of a tendering process without delay.