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Request for Tender


Source: Procurement Glossary
Author: Paul Rogers
Institute: CIPS - UK

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A Request for Tender [RFT] is a market enquiry prepared by the buyer and issued to prospective suppliers for higher value and/or more complex solutions.  The purpose is to invite commercial offers from a number of suppliers in order to secure competition and to gather information about the supplier’s solutions, capability, and key market intelligence.  The selection of a Request for Tender as opposed to a Request for Proposal usually reflects the fact that the scope of works is clearly defined and the specification used is a conformance specification, requiring complete adherence to the buyer’s standards, so that the buyer can compare ‘apples with apples’.  The evaluation of the RFT may require the buyer to compare qualitative aspects of the supplier’s value proposition, such as quality and service, with quantitative aspects such as price.  Most buyers structure their tender documentation so that some elements are to be read, and some elements are to be completed and returned in the format, and with the contents, requested. This is to ease the process of bid evaluation.

The use of RFTs is most common in the public sector and for larger projects in mature categories where the scope of works can be clearly defined.  While RFPs may be followed by optional negotiation, the use of post-tender negotiation is less common than the incidence of post-tender clarification.  The bid packages may be large and complex, and the management of the tender process typically involves formal communications to observe probity obligations, particularly in the public sector.  See also Battle of the Forms, Clarification, Evaluation, Tender, Invitation to Treat, and RFx.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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