Tender Evaluation (Pre qualification)
For large buildings, competent contractors are critical in carrying out a project. To have such contractors, competitive procedure for biding is necessary. There are several requirements for bidders before they are declared qualified as discussed in this paper, mainly the prequalification process (Mohan 2000).
Prequalification is the process through which competent contractors are selected before they are issued with invitations to bid. It is recommended for complex or large works. It is the evaluation of the level of the credit worthiness of a potential bidder that is issued so as to estimate the total amount that the bidder can bid or carry out a project on. It is meant to determine if the bidder has the required experience and resources to complete the project as required. It is an in-depth assessment of what a bidder can bring to the table in regards to the project in question. This process is carried so that only qualified bidders are awarded the bid. In cases where proper prequalification is not carried out, bids are awarded to unqualified individuals or firms who end up not completing the project to the required standards or rather to complete it at all (International Federation of Consulting Engineers 1994).
The qualification of a contractor is quite different and separate from the procedure of bid evaluation which is focused on the merits and price of the bid. Prequalification is done on the following basis;
Under projected financed by bank, the purchaser has the responsibility of preparing the prequalification documents and taking the applicants through the evaluation process. The requalification documents should give a very clear guideline and basis upon which bidders are evaluated, based on a process that is fair and clear. The documents should remain relevant and clear so as not to deter prospective bidders from bidding. It should also contain minimum paper work (Mohan 2000).
Unless bidders do not meet specific criteria, they should not be denied the prequalification. Such criteria should be well spelt so that it is clear to the bidders, for them to establish well that they are disqualified because they do not meet such criteria; the process should be transparent and fair. Therefore those who prepare the documentation for prequalification have the responsibility of ensuring that the criteria prepared are in accordance with needs that are realistic to the project. The criteria should be sufficient to ensure that qualified firms are part of the final list prepared. If the criteria are excessively soft, this may result to applicants that are unqualified and may prevent the well qualified firms from bidding.
The prequalification is one of the initial stages of awarding contract to bidders and at this stage, he purchaser should be able to verify statements provided by bidders and access any information about financial institution and prior purchasers.
Prequalification is very crucial for in civil engineering work such as construction because it ensures that the employers gets the chance to select who to award the contract.
The process of prequalification is not meant to limit the number of bidders. All bidders that are prequalified should be given the opportunity to bid. Rather the process is meant to ensure only qualified bidders are allowed to bid. There is no limit of bidders at this point. However, this process weeds out unqualified bidders because only those who are qualified are allowed to carry out on with the bidding process.
In Bank-funded projects, prequalification is open to contactors, joint ventures and suppliers from any country.
The application should have had no previous association with any entity such as the consultant that has prepared the specifications, design, bidding documents and other prequalification for the project, or was for the last five years proposed as Engineer for the contract. If the applicant has such association, this may result to disqualification.
The advertisement for prequalified of bidders should be done through the laid down procedures and adequate time should be allowed for bidders to respond. This can be done through the media or other forms of advertisements which can reach a large group of people in the shortest time possible. Advertisement should not be done privately, a public announcement should be done and all the requirements provided (Philips 2013).
A clear statement stating the requirements for qualification should be provided to all applications who have expressed interest to have themselves considered for prequalification. The language used here should be clear and simple so to make it easy from the bidders to place their bids. The qualifications should also be relevant and clarification should be provided to the bidders in case they seek.
At the time of bid submission, applicants are required to update the personal, equipment and financial utilised for prequalification. This provision is meant to confirm that bidders have continued to comply with the prequalification criteria as well as verify the information that was provided at the time of prequalification (Rumane 2013).
A prequalification Report
A prequalification report is then prepared by the purchaser upon receiving the applications. For every applicant, the report should address all the pass/fail criteria stated in the documents. Some applicants marginally fail to meet the criteria and such cases, this should be highlighted and details submitted. The applicants should then be notified of the decision. Applicants are advised that only prequalifiedjoint ventures and firms are eligible to bid.
The list of prequalified bidders should be made available by the purchaser before the invitation for bid is announced. This is done so as to allow suppliers and subcontractors (mainly the local firms)to be able to reach the qualified bidders (Jeff 2001).
Once the prequalified bidders have been notified, invitation to bidding follows. Only the prequalified firms receive the bid document that requires them to provide specified updated information and or any required verification documents (Gorog 2013).
Prequalification is therefore a crucial process before tender is awarded to any bidder especially in the civil engineering field, such as in construction works. It is only after this process that the employer should be confident to work with a certain bidder on a project.
Gorog, M (2013). A strategic-oriented implementation of projects.Newtown Square, Pennsylvania : Project Management Institute
International Federation of Consulting Engineers (1994). Standard prequalification form for contractors. Lausanne : FIDIC,
Jeff, W (2001). Successful Competitive Tendering.Thorogood Publishing
Mohan, K (2000).Contractor selection for design/build projects.American Society of Civil Engineers
Philips, P (2013). Contractor safety prequalification . Salt Lake City, Utah Univ. of Utah, Dep. of Economics
Rumane, R (2013). Quality tools for managing construction projects.Boca Raton : Taylor & Francis