Are you planning to submit a tender to a public sector client? Remember the basic rules of tender law!

For many, the procurement rules may seem detailed and complex. We will provide you with a few “basic rules” to navigate the field of tender law. Good luck!

  1. Plan the process and report what you are doing.

Make sure to obtain an overview of the client’s plan and plan your own internal process immediately after a procurement is announced. Ensure that you have adequate information about the client and its needs. Listen to experienced staff and ensure that you have the knowledge and expertise required for the competition concerned. Draw up agreements to monitor milestones.


  1. Adapt the process in accordance with the circumstances and your expertise.

Continuously assess the situation and adjust your plans. Respect the requirements set down in the tender specification! Preparing a tender together with colleagues provides added security. Be especially careful if you are performing this task on your own. Do not embark on major procurement processes without experience, you need to be able to complete the entire process. Ensure that your own team has a culture of transparency and direct communication.


  1. Take into account any updated information provided by the client.

Always actively engage with the Q&A process. Ask relevant questions in good time before the deadline and familiarise yourself with what other published questions and answers may mean for you and the tender you are preparing. Make use of all relevant information provided in the tender specification.


  1. Be prepared for changes and challenges, even in simple procurements.

Ensure that you have adequate resources and the necessary expertise for all aspects of the procurement. Remember that changes may occur along the way. Access to additional resources can benefit you if you use more time than planned or need to wait for assistance.


  1. Ensure that you have adequate resources and proper procedures in place to assist yourself and the rest of the team.

Electronic tender submission is now a requirement. You therefore require electronic solutions for all procurements, including access to the competition implementation tool used by the client. Remember to take back-ups of the tender documents throughout, it could save the tender. Document what you are doing throughout and ensure that you have control of different document versions, as this will make it easier for the team members to assist one another. Make sure to structure your tender in a smart way!


  1. Make safe choices. Recognise potential challenges and pitfalls.

Conscious and safe choices are essential to avoid submitting a tender with any shortcomings. Even though a tender specification may seem reliable, it is important to read it thoroughly and answer all requirements. Avoid reservations if you can. If reservations are necessary, consider how to describe/price these.


  1. Make active use of the tender specification. Know where you are at all times.

Obtain an overview of the applicable parts of the procurement regulations immediately after announcement. Ensure that you have an overview of all deadlines! Make sure that the tender shows which requirements are answered where.


  1. Change path if needed, there is no shame in going back.

Revise the plan on an ongoing basis and select any plan B before it is too late. Has the competition changed in such a way that the tender must be adjusted? Perhaps a tender should no longer be submitted?


  1. Use resources sensibly and seek help if required.

Ensure that everyone on the team is involved throughout. Remember to update the status throughout. Call us if anything goes wrong! But don’t wait until it’s too late to seek help. It is more resource-intensive (and harder) to reverse decisions than it is to manage challenges along the way.


Remember! You can call us at every stage of the process, we are with you for the entire journey!  

Catherine Sandvig