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Alternative Tenders

A fundamental principle of the process of competitive Tendering is to invite Tenders on a like-for-like basis that could then be evaluated against the same criteria for each Tender received, leading to an equitable and satisfactory conclusion of the evaluation process.

At times these principles are undermined when Tenderers choose to submit unsolicited alternative offers. Alternative Tenders/offers could mean either or a combination of factors such as Tenders with different specifications, different designs, offering alternative materials, alternative methods of execution, etc. In these circumstances it often becomes difficult to assess such Tenders received and compare them on a like-for-like basis with others in accordance with the ITT provisions. This could have a direct effect on the time of evaluation and eventually on the overall project execution schedule. Therefore, to ensure alternative Tenders are not received, the ITT should discourage submission of alternative Tenders thru suitable provisions on disqualification of Tenderers resorting to such actions.

In certain technologically intense requirements, Clients could request alternative Tenders, to be submitted at the same time as the base Tender required by the ITT provisions without guarantee of consideration. Thus the ITT should clearly state that any alternative so submitted should clearly state the deviations from the original and show proposed cost savings to Client in case the same is accepted.

Unsolicited alternative Tenders submitted after the Tender Closing Date fixed for receipt of Tenders should not be permitted and should be rejected outright, since they undermine the principles of competitive Tendering. The only exception to this principle should be if they result from clearly demonstrated arithmetical errors or misunderstanding of the Scope of Works/Services, with the agreement of the appropriate approving authority in this regard.

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