I work in the Private Projects Department at Leads 2 Business, following the progress of construction developments. Once a project reaches Tender stage, we endeavour to source the award information for the tender linked to that project. In my nearly 5-year experience in dealing with tenders, I have come to learn about a few of the procedures and regulations that need to be adhered to throughout the tendering process. I have no doubt that there is more to learn, but in this blog post I will talk about some of the processes and procedures that I have encountered in the public tendering process, through my understanding.
Public tenders seem to be awarded after a period of between 90 to 120 days from the closing date, however, this time frame could vary – The award can be made before or after this period, provided that the validity period has not expired.
Once the successful bidder is notified, the tender award is not simply finalised with the contract starting immediately thereafter. A public notice should be advertised to indicate the intention to award. There should also be an appeals period, rejection letters, an appointment letter, a contract, and certain construction regulations to adhere to.
Notice of Award / Intention to Award
Once evaluation and adjudication is finalised and a recommendation has been made, the bids should be opened and read out in public, for transparency purposes. A bid register should be published on the client’s website so that the tenderers are able to view the prices that were submitted by the other service providers, should they not have been able to attend the opening of the bids. Successful and unsuccessful tenderers should then be provided with written notice, and a notice of intention to award should be publicly advertised to allow for possible objections from the other bidders.
Once the intention to award has been advertised, a certain period should be allowed for objections, if any, from other service providers. A tenderer can appeal the award, usually within 14 calendar days (this may differ) from the date of the letter of intent. Clear instructions for the appeals process should be included in the contract documents.
Letter of Appointment
Once the appeals process has concluded, the successful tenderer is issued with an appointment letter. This does not necessarily mean that the award has been finalised. There could be conditions stipulated in the appointment letter which need to be fulfilled before a binding agreement can come into effect.
Binding Contractual Relationship
The contractual relationship begins once the successful bid has been accepted in writing, followed by a written agreement which is signed by both parties. The award can be deemed finalised at this point.
Notification of Construction Work
Should the contract meet the requirements set out in the construction regulation for the Notification of Construction Work, the main contractor must notify the Department of Labour prior to the commencement of construction. A copy of this notice, among other important documents, must be kept in the Occupational Health & Safety File (OH&S File) on site.
Bear in mind that the processes above are not the only ones to consider before the award date is finalised. There are other processes that an award may have to go through, depending on the client’s requirements, the type of goods or services being procured, and even the value of the contract, among others.
The award is not the end of the process. It signals the beginning of the contract.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
To view more articles, please visit our blog.
I had the privilege of joining the Leads 2 Business content team in January 2012. I work in the exciting Projects department, following the progress of construction developments in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.