Did you read that carefully enough?

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Risks inevitably arise when the responses to tender questions are not read carefully. Some ITT responses can be hundreds of pages.The evaluators will probably have lost the will to live long before the end. Superficially, avoiding detail is likely to come back to bite you. There are some gifted Tender writers who can give a response whilst leaving a door open
that, later, after contract award, they can walk through and relieve the buyer of money.

Let us make the subject live. A tenderer, was asked for their experience in selective business sectors. We are active in the sectors of……. “we scored this zero. Why? What exactly does “active” mean. If they had a contract
for £1000 this would constitute “active. So is this deliberately obtuse or a deliberate obfuscation of the truth.

A question was asked with the purposes of exposing possible conflicts of interest. The answer included “the firm takes its responsibilities very seriously and has an extensive procedure for minimising the risk of becoming conflicted. It would be pertinent if the “extensive procedure” was explained in detail. Note the word “minimising” – not “eradicating”.

Another question related to obtaining a capped fee for specific defined services. The answer included “Our extensive experience enables us to accurately estimate the input and time needed from our staff in order to gauge an overall fee”. That is impressive and convincing isn’t it? Then they say they would normally apply the following assumptions (note the
word normally). The first assumption is “no undue difficulties or complications” That is ridiculous. What does it mean? Has anyone ever faced a project that didn’t have complications? The effect of this statement is to completely undermine the capped fee. “Undue difficulties” lack definition. Another zero.
We recommend a critical reading of ITT responses. Every word, every sentence, every page, the whole ITT. The less attention to detail, the more risk there is.

Need any help with  phrasing the questions or tender analysis  give Ray Gambell a call on +44(0)1744 20698
or email r.gambell@brianfarrington.com