What Bidders Need To Know

Just like the officials, bidders need to be made aware of the possibility of promise and peril of the procurement process. Transparency, effectiveness and efficiency are among the many expectations of both parties however, for these fruits to be realized, it is imperative that a boatload of insightful information is availed to the bidders.

Bidding as an offer (often competitive) to set a price tag by an individual/organization for a legal tender comes in several formats among which we have; Open bidding and restricted bidding.

Open competitive bidding refers to a process where the procuring entity based on previously defined criteria, effect public procurement by offering to every interested bidder, equal simultaneous information and opportunity to offer the works, goods and services needed.

In this case the use of formal advertising which involves the preparation of an invitation to bid, publically advertising the invitation and awarding a contract, after sealed bids are publically opened at a specified time and location to that responsible and responsive bidder whose bid credentials match the ones required.

Another technical term bidders tend to need with is the bid security declaration, a non-monetary form of bid security. It is a notarized sworn statement made by a bidder committing to sign the contract if they are selected before the end of the bid validity period stipulated in the bidding documents. Though it was introduced recently in Uganda, the bid security declaration is a good alternative to help capable companies that may not have the resources to secure bid security. Experts agree that most of the procuring entities are reluctant to use the BSD instead of the bid security, but it is just as effective if correctly applied. Where a bidder breaches the terms of BSD, they shall be suspended by the authority from participating in public procurement and disposal proceedings for a period of three years.

Important to note is also the existence of the Best Evaluated Bidder (BEB) Notice. It’s a notice to the unsuccessful bidders notifying them at which point their bid proposal was eliminated. A bidder reserves the right to ask the procuring entity in writing for the reasons why their bid was unsuccessful and the entity will provide reasons after the contract has been signed. If the bidder is at one point not satisfied with the reasoning given, a complaint is made claiming to have lost or is at the risk of losing a tender due to a breach of procurement law or as a result of errant actions by a procuring and disposing entity or competitors. At this point an administrative review is initiated.