What would you do if two bids tied for first place in your tender process? Put a plan in place to avoid tying yourself up in knots, says Nick Drewe, co-founder of Market Dojo.
In a most economically advantageous tender (MEAT), bidders are allocated an overall score based on their price evaluation and their quality/non-price evaluation. However, there are often inconsistencies in how tied bids are treated during a MEAT or weighted tender. Although a tie is unlikely, it can and does occur. It does not have to be an exact tie but a statistical tie, i.e. within acceptable margins of error. Therefore even if the two overall scores are not identical, they have to be sufficiently distinct not to be considered a tie. So, in the event of a tie, how can the authority finalise the award decision?
Use of tie-breakers
The UK Practical Law website outlines some solutions, such as building tie-breakers into the evaluation model and disclosing to bidders upfront how such a mechanism would be used. Examples include setting additional questions, re-valuing (up or down) previously specified points or re-evaluating parts of the tender. This correlates with some publicly available tender documentation such as the Legal Services Commission, the South West Devon Waste Partnership and the Learner Access and Engagement Programme. Examples include the final award being decided by interview, by the use of tie-breaker questions included within the original set of tender documents, or the supplier with the best price being awarded the contract. Another option is to avoid the situation altogether by re-evaluating the tied proposals in private to define which is most economically advantageous. However, this can be highly subjective and is not recommended.
See the rest of this article in its original form as published by Supply Management here.