Evaluating Tender Submissions

Submissions are evaluated with the objective of identifying the offer that meets the agency's requirements and provides the best value for money. They must be evaluated fairly and equitably in a manner that is consistent with the Government's procurement principles. The final decision must be documented and able to withstand public scrutiny.

How to evaluate submissions

Tender submissions (and quotation offers) are to be evaluated by the Evaluation Committee, in accordance with the conditions for participation (if any), compliance criteria and evaluation criteria contained in the Request documentation, and using the methodology determined by the Committee (usually contained in an evaluation plan).

The table below describes the usual evaluation steps.

Step

Description

Action

1.

Evaluate compliance

Assess all submissions to determine whether they are compliant. Non-compliant offers must be excluded from further evaluation.

Non-compliant offers include those that:

  • do not comply with the conditions for participation;
  • were lodged after the closing time and do not meet the requirements for consideration following late lodgement contained in the RFQ/RFT and the Evaluation Plan;
  • are not signed where required;
  • are incomplete - for example, questions have not been answered, pages are missing, or required documentation has not been attached (for example, insurance certificates); or
  • fail to meet mandatory specifications or other compliance criteria.

Legal action may result if a contract is awarded to a non-compliant submission. As a result, if in doubt about whether it is appropriate to consider a submission, seek legal advice

2.

Clarify offers (where necessary)

It may be necessary to seek clarification from a supplier if an offer is unclear. However, allowing a supplier to provide clarification does not mean that suppliers can revise their original offer. Any clarification sought and the response should be fully documented.

Note: Where suppliers are provided with opportunities to correct unintentional errors of form between the opening of submissions and any decision, you must provide the same opportunity to all participating potential suppliers.

3.

Evaluate qualitative criteria

This stage involves a detailed analysis of each offer against the qualitative (non-cost) evaluation criteria and weightings specified in the RFQ/RFT.

Remember that only the evaluation criteria are scored. Offers that do not meet conditions for participation have already been ruled out of the process.

It is sometimes useful to use an evaluation matrix to compare scores against each of the desirable non-cost or qualitative evaluation criteria for each compliant submission.

If you have weighted the evaluation criteria, a weighted evaluation matrix may be useful for comparison purposes.

Remember, suppliers should demonstrate that they meet the evaluation criteria - not just assert it.

4.

Shortlist submissions(optional)

This step is not necessary for many purchases, but is sometimes useful for complex purchases in order to eliminate offers that are clearly not competitive. These offers are not yet totally rejected, and may be re-visited later in the evaluation process.

In order to shortlist submissions, the criteria used to shortlist must have been documented in the RFQ/RFT documentation and be applied fairly and equitably to all offers.

5.

Request suppliers to make a formal presentation (optional)

If appropriate, and suppliers have been forewarned in the RFQ/RFT documentation, suppliers may be requested to make a formal presentation to the evaluation committee, clarifying their submission and providing the opportunity for the committee to ask questions. Under these circumstances, it is especially important that the supplier does not introduce new or revised information, and that all questions and answers are formally recorded.

6.

Evaluating offers when procuring from government entities (where appropriate)

Offers from government entities (including GBEs and SOCs) can only be accepted where the price reflects full cost attribution basis, unless there are no private sector suppliers. Offers from government entities that do not meet this condition must be declined.

For further information see the Treasurer's Instruction 1120. Also see the information located on this website at Procuring from Government Entities.

7.

Calculate value for money and compare offers

The aim of the comparative evaluation process is to determine the offer that meets all the requirements of the specification and offers the best value for money.

How the Evaluation Committee intends to determine value for money should have been detailed in the evaluation plan developed during the planning stage of the procurement.

8.

Seek clarification from referees (where necessary)

If discussing a supplier with their nominated referee(s) it is important that the information the referee provides is used for clarification purposes only, not as the basis for a new judgment.

To ensure probity, all discussions with referees must be documented in full.

9.

Select the preferred offer

The preferred offer is the one that represents the best value for money.

10.

Apply due diligence

For high risk/high value or complex projects, a due diligence investigation should be undertaken of the preferred supplier to ensure that the supplier has the capacity and stability to fulfil all of the requirements of the contract.

The due diligence process should, at a minimum, confirm the financial ability, technical ability and capacity of the service provider to deliver the required services. These activities often require professional legal and financial input and advice.

11.

Write the evaluation report

On completion of the evaluation process, the selection should be documented in an evaluation report. All members of the Evaluation Committee should sign the report.

The report must include a comprehensive record of the evaluation method, the rationale used to select the preferred supplier, and whether it is recommended that negotiations should be undertaken, and on what basis.

The final decision must be able to withstand public scrutiny.

The format and content of the evaluation report is dependent upon the complexity and nature of the purchase.

12.

Provide the evaluation report to your Agency's Review Committee for endorsement

The Review Committee must review the procurement prior to any advice being provided to suppliers on the outcome of the procurement process and before negotiations are entered into with the preferred supplier or the contract is awarded.

The Chair of the Evaluation Committee should complete a submission to the Review Committee, attach the evaluation report and any probity adviser's report (if relevant), and forward it to the Review Committee for endorsement of the procurement and evaluation process.

13.

Provide the evaluation report and Review Committee endorsement to the appropriate authority for approval

The Review Committee endorsement of the evaluation process, together with the evaluation report (and, if relevant, the probity adviser's report), then needs to be forwarded to the appropriate authority (eg Head of Agency or Minister) for approval.