There is much excitement when a Project Status moves into Tender Stage. This means the project is going out to tender – tender for construction! Whoop whoop! Things are happening, construction is going to commence shortly. If, however, the Project goes out to tender for the professionals the Project Status will remain in Procedural stage as this is a tender for professional services to conduct feasibility studies, EIA studies etc.
But, back to the tender for construction. This could be an invited tender and this is limited to preferred contractors only who are invited by the developer to tender on the contract. These tenders are very hard to obtain information about as they are, well, invited. “Invited” also translates as code for “big secret, don’t tell anybody anything!”
Open/public Tenders are published in newspapers and the media and these are open to general contractors who may only be limited by their CIDB grading. With publishing of the Tender notices comes site inspection dates (which are generally compulsory) and site attendance registers. The Tender closing date is perhaps the second most important date after the site attendance date. The Tender notices (DTA) that are listed on the Projects include a hyperlink which links the Project and Tender. Once the Tender has closed and the bids are in, bidders lists are then requested and if successfully obtained, the bidders list is attached to the DTA and the Project as a document.
On average, it takes about 3 – 4 months for Tenders to be awarded, (but it can take longer. Much longer in Africa). Once 3 months have passed, it is time to follow up on the Tenders and see if any awards have been made and this is when the fun begins.
It involves phoning the contact(s) listed on the Tender, usually in the Procurement Department and hoping they are willing to release details of the awarded company. When phoning African countries, this could involve many calls and being transferred to several different people and then finally being told…. “No, you cannot have the award details”. So, I wait (after all, “good things come to those who wait”) and try again in another couple of weeks or months depending on the forcefulness of the ‘No’. Sometimes, I get lucky and if the Project is big enough to warrant media attention, and an article appears in a local newspaper giving details of the awarded company I am able to update the award details on our database. Alternatively, more phone calls and emails, until eventually (sometimes only once construction has commenced) a kind person will relent and give me the award information. Other times, sadly I am not so lucky……
But I digress …… back to getting the award information….
When obtaining the award information, it is important to get the spelling of the awarded company’s name correct, usually using the NATO phonetic spelling which is: Alpha for A, Bravo for B, C for Charlie etc. However, it appears that not everyone is able to recall this list when it comes to spelling and in Africa there appears to be many variations to this list, including the use of animal names – and I have had some more unusual phonetic names, including “J” …. for Giraffe and “A” for ….Umbrella!! Really!?!
T is for Tenacious, E is for Excellent, N is for Never giving up, D is for Diligent, E is for Enduring and R is for Relentless: T E N D E R