Tendering procedure

The procurement of goods and services should be carried out in an equitable and economic manner with regard to open competition and probity. In order to achieve this T&E follows the rules as defined in the below tendering process.

Supplies and services

All steps in the tendering procedures must be followed and must be fully accounted for and traceable.

The tendering procedures are as follows:

If a one-off contract for the purchase of goods or services is expected to exceed € 30.000 (incl VAT) in value, competitive tenders should be invited: at least three written tenders should normally be sought.


Tendering documentation

The tender document must not state T&E’s expectations of the cost or the budget allowed for the project so as to ensure that the prospective supplier is as competitive as possible and does not inflate to fit the criteria.

The same documentation should be sent to all invited to tender and the principle of equal treatment should be followed at all times.

The documentation should include:

  • Comprehensive and clearly written specifications.
  • Delivery timescales.
  • Deliverables by which the performance will be measured.
  • Criteria for awarding the contract.
  • The closing date beyond which tenders will not be accepted.
  • The name and contact details of the (key) person(s) dealing with the tender inside T&E.
  • Any other specific conditions.
  • Staff overseeing the tendering process should ensure they keep a documentation file providing a clear audit trail supporting the tendering process.

Staff overseeing the tendering process will assess the offers based on the criteria set out in the tendering documentation and present the conclusion to their director for formal approval.


Single tenders

Single tenders should be avoided wherever possible to ensure that value for money and the most appropriate services are being obtained. To deviate from this procedure one or more of the below conditions should be met:

The goods or services are only available through one supplier (monopoly situation).

A tender competition has been held in the previous twelve months and only one suitable supplier could be found.

It is essential that the same supplier be used, as continuity of operations is vital.

Switching to an alternative supplier would result in excessive costs and disturbance.

Under these circumstances the mitigating facts should be presented to the Executive Director – stating the reasons and providing evidence for them – for formal approval to proceed before approaching the supplier/contractor in question.

Single tender contracts should not exceed 12 months in duration for the following reasons:

The supplier may become complacent leading to deterioration in the quality of the services or goods being provided.

Alternative suppliers may now be able to provide the required goods or services not available at the time the single tender contract was put in place.

Projects should be continually reviewed to ensure there is congruence between service delivery and T&E’s needs.

Single tender contracts must not be fragmented or split to avoid breaching authorisation thresholds.


Framework contracts

In particular areas it might be necessary to hire a consultant to carry out ad hoc research within a notice which is not compatible with the length of the procedure described above. In this case, a framework contract might be concluded with a selected consultant to be able to assign a job within a short notice.

The framework agreement should fulfil the following requirements:

  • Respect the tendering procedure above.
  • Contain as a minimum the hourly / daily fee agreed by the parties.
  • Not exceed a maximum duration of one year.


Longer tendering procedures

In particular cases it might be necessary to retain a consultant for a period of time longer than one year. This is the case for National Experts or people working primarily for the organisation. The contract will not exceed the maximum duration of one year but can be renewed. Such a renewal will be possible after a comprehensive assessment of the consultants’ past performance, which should demonstrate strong delivery and performance, as well as an assessment of whether a better value for money option is likely to be available in the market place. Under these specific conditions, consultancy contracts can be updated without following the full tendering procedure.


Contract documentation filing

All contracts must be signed by the Executive Director.

All signed original contracts should be filed centrally in Finance.

Suppliers should not commence work until the contract is signed ensuring that the scope of work and price has been properly agreed.

Before paying the last invoice for a consultant that wrote a report for T&E, this form should be completed to evaluate the consultant.