During Bid Submission

Is sub-contracting of works permitted? If so, is there any percentage limit, if it is not stated in the bidding documents?

Subcontracting of some works in a contract is permitted. However, the bid documents for works contracts should indicate the extent to which sub-contracting is permitted and whether the proposed subcontractors are to be named in the bids. Subcontracting is limited to a maximum of 25% of the contract amount. Subcontracting is subject to all the terms and conditions of the main contract and the rights and obligations of the subcontractor are governed only by the subcontract. The main contractor has the overall responsibility for the contract.

How strict is the “Dead Line” for submission of bids? Can bid periods be extended?

Very strict. A clause in the ITB in the bidding documents states that late bids will be rejected and will be returned unopened to the bidder. Deadlines are defined in the bid documents for the submission of bids, and in order to avoid complications, the dates must be strictly adhered to. It should be noted that the deadlines normally signify the date when the awarding authority must receive the offer, and not the date of the postmark. For this reason, one should calculate postal or express mail time in advance. Since bids are often regarded as confidential, those received via fax or email may not be acceptable to the awarding authorities.  Bid periods may be extended by the borrower, based upon justifiable reasons submitted to it in a timely fashion.

Back to the top

Can a bid be disqualified, if the bidder fails to provide supporting documents?

Failure to provide the supporting documentation is normally assessed differently depending on their purpose. In the first place, primary documentation is intended to substantiate the legitimacy of the bid, i.e. the bid is not speculative or exploratory or frivolous. On the other hand, secondary documentation is to provide additional details on the technical part of the bid.  Inadequate or lack of proper primary documentation will be regarded as a major deviation, and therefore, will lead to the rejection of the bid. For example, bids not accompanied by a bid guarantee (if specified in the bid), and manufacturers certificates in respect of some goods and equipment, will be subject to rejection. However, lack of secondary documentation is usually considered as a minor deviation, which can be remedied by subsequent submission. Very often, however, bidders pay little attention to these requirements. In some cases where evaluation is impossible without certain documents, bids will have to be rejected.  Failure to submit secondary documentation with the bid will result in the delay of evaluation until the documentation is received. If not received within the stipulated period, the bid is liable for rejection.
In summary, failure to comply with the documentation requirements of the bid documents is therefore always risky for the bidder, as it may result in the rejection of a their bid.

Back to the top

Are bidders allowed to deviate from bid documents or will that be a basis for disqualification?

There are two kinds of deviations, namely, (i) major deviations from the provision of the bid documents (also called substantive or material deviations); and (ii) minor deviations (non-substantive or non-material deviations). While major deviations are cause for the rejection of bids as non-responsive, bids containing minor deviations are not generally rejected, but are evaluated by determining the financial value of each deviation and adding it to the bid price. The “evaluated bid price” would be the sum of the quoted bid price plus the total of adjustments made for the minor deviations and the other evaluation factors specified in the bid documents.

The treatment of each deviation will depend on its nature such as, whether commercial or technical and will be analyzed carefully to determine whether it is major or minor. Obviously if the bid has major deviations, it will lead to rejection and disqualification. If however, minor deviations are noted, detailed evaluation will be undertaken with necessary adjustments to the bid price as indicated above.

Back to the top

Can a bidder be allowed to make assumptions in his submission? If so will the bid be evaluated or rejected?

If the bidders are not certain about the requirements specified in the bid documents, (whether in respect of the form of submission, commercial provisions or technical specifications), it is advisable to get clarification in writing, instead of submitting the bid with assumptions. The Borrower and the Bank at times infer assumptions as “conditions” to the bid, and is termed a “conditional bid”, which is not acceptable. It would therefore be better to ask for clarification, which the Borrower or its consultants are bound to provide under the terms of bid documents, before submission. In other words, “do not assume, but ask”.

Back to the top

Can a bidder be allowed to submit two bids simultaneously, with two bid securities?

No. A bidder is allowed to submit only “one bid” with one bid security. The number of bids to be submitted will be specified in the bid documents. Bidders, if they wish, can submit alternative bids, if such provision exists in the bid documents.

Back to the top

Is it mandatory to submit the bid security along with the bid or can it be submitted separately? If submitted late or it is insufficient, will the bid be disqualified?

Failure to submit bid security, which is required under the terms and conditions of the bid documents, is considered as a “major deviation” and will be a ground for the rejection of the bid. Bid securities are normally to accompany the bid; either it can be attached with the bid, or it can be submitted separately in an envelope. It should however be noted that both the priced bid and the envelope containing the bid security (if submitted separately) should be received by the receiving authority before the date and time specified in the bid documents.

If the bid security is submitted later than the time and date specified, i.e. after the bids are opened, it will be treated as a late submission, and the bid will be rejected.

Normally the amount of bid security is indicated as a percentage of total bid price quoted. In case of submission of bid security with an insufficient amount, which is relatively small and negligible, this should be regarded as a “minor deviation”. However, substantial differences in the amount of the bid security or in a currency different from the bid currency when it is not allowed in the bid document will constitute a major deviation which will be cause for rejection.

Back to the top

Can the bid security be submitted in the Form of a Bond, LC or Cash?

The form of bid security (Bank guarantee, LC, Cash) is stipulated in the bid documents. Bid security submitted in the form of a bond by an insurance company, which is not stipulated in the bid document, is not acceptable.

Back to the top

Can a bidder submit the bid security, in a different form than the sample indicated in the bid documents?

No. If the “Form” of the bid security is substantially in a different form from that prescribed in the bid documents, the bid will be liable for rejection.

Back to the top

What if a bidder has a question for clarification while preparing the bid? Can clarification be obtained through a fax or by E- mail?

The name, telephone number and full address of the agency/ organisation, which issued the bid documents, are indicated in the Invitation for Bids. In case of any need for clarifications, a formal letter should be written to the said agency/ organisation. However, for the sake of transparency all clarifications should be in writing and the agency will provide the same answer to all bidders without identifying the bidder who initially requested for the clarification. In most cases, there will be pre-bid meetings, which will be indicated in the bid documents. Bidders are strongly encouraged to attend and ask questions and get clarification at these meetings, before submission.  All answers to the pre-bid questions will be provided, in writing, to all bidders that bought the bid documents, even if they do not attend the pre-bid submittal meeting.

Back to the top

Can a bid be submitted electronically or by E- mail or by fax?

Bids may be submitted electronically, or by E- mail or by Fax if stipulated by the Borrower in the invitation to tender and/or information regarding bids. Bids shall be delivered by mail (courier or postal services) or hand carried to the address given, within the time limit and in the form and manner indicated in the invitation to bid and stipulated in the bid documents.

Back to the top

If the bid price is denominated in a different currency other than the currency specified in the bid documents, would it be considered for evaluation or would it be rejected?

Under the Bank’s procurement rules, ICB bidding documents shall always state that any eligible bidder may express its bid price in the country’s currency, or in any currency widely used in international trade, from any eligible member country. Accordingly, if the bid price is denominated in a currency from an eligible country, other than those specified in the bidding documents, the deviation should be treated as minor. The bid currency shall be converted into the currency to be used for comparison of bids following the method specified in the bidding documents.

Back to the top

What are the contract awarding criteria?

The criteria for award of contract will normally be stipulated in the bidding documents. Generally an award will be made to the bidder who has submitted the “lowest evaluated cost bid” and who has been determined to be substantially responsive to the bidding documents provided that bidder is eligible and qualified in accordance with the laid down criteria in the bidding documents.

Back to the top

Under what conditions are bids rejected and re-bidding takes place?

The Borrower has the right to reject any bid or all bids, if

  • all bids are found to be substantially non- responsive to the requirements of the bid documents;
  • there is evidence of inadequate competition;
  • bid prices are unusually high;
  • bid documents were defective and unclear; and
  • the requirements of the Client have changed.

The right to reject all bids should, therefore, not be exercised if any responsive bids, or only one such bid has been received with a price that is considered reasonable.  Re- bidding is a measure of last resort, as it inevitably delays the procurement and consequently also causes delay in the implementation of the project, apart from higher bid prices in the second round. The Bank does not approve re-bidding unless it is satisfied that any one of the reasons above is justified.

Back to the top