The selection / pre-qualification process is used to enable interested bidders to establish whether they can satisfy the selection criteria specified for participating in a procurement.
During the selection stage, suppliers are assessed on their financial standing, capability and capacity to establish if they are able to meet the requirements of the contract. The selection criteria must be published in the original contract notice and must be relevant and proportionate to the procurement in question.
Under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, there is a much easier process for assessing bidders' credentials. Bidders may prove their suitability, financial status and abilities with self-declarations instead of providing full documentary evidence with only the winning bidder needing to provide full evidence. There are also provisions on self-cleaning - bidders must have the opportunity to demonstrate any self-cleaning they have undertaken before any decisions are made on exclusion – each needs to be dealt with on a case by case basis.
An effective method for selecting suppliers to be invited to tender is by way of a pre-qualification questionnaire(PQQ). Value Wales has undertaken work to improve this stage of the procurement process and develop a menu of questions from which buyers can select the most appropriate questions for each procurement - the working title for this piece of work is the Supplier Qualification Information Database (SQuID).
Completed PQQs should be evaluated by the Project Management Structure and such evaluation must be undertaken in a manner which is fair and non-discriminatory. Suppliers that do not pass the selection or pre-qualification process should be offered the opportunity of a debrief as this will help them improve for the future and lessen the chance of a challenge later in the process.
Selection criteria, used to identify those applicants who are capable of meeting the specified requirement, can be used in conjunction with all four procurement procedures; Open, Restricted, Competitive Procedure with Negotiation and Competitive Dialogue.
The distintion between the selection and award stages has been softened under the new Public Contracts Regulations 2015. For further information on selection and award please see the Value Wales Selection, Shortlisting and Award Criteria Guidance (NB this is currently being updated to reflect the new Public Contracts Regulations). Suppliers wishing to be notifed of electronically advertised opportunities should be advised to register on Sell2Wales which will provide automated alerts to theirinbox. Benefits include:
Should suppliers wish to pre-register for the purposes of electronic tendering, visit the eTender Wales website at www.etenderwales.bravosolution.co.uk.
Advertise all contracts over £25k on Sell2Wales to make them more accessible to smaller firms….and utilise e-tendering tools to standardise the process.