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The concept of traditional competitive tendering is to present you with comparable prices obtained from a number of different contractors. This is achieved by the design team, acting on behalf of you. They will send all competing contractors identical information needed. They include bills of Quantities, Drawings, Schedules and specifications on which they can base their tenders.

A system of open tendering may be used in which any firm wishing to compete is allowed to submit a tender. The danger in this system is that if anyone is allowed to join the competition, it is less likely that they will be of equal standing and reusability. A system of closed or selected tendering is often prepared and in this system your architect will prepare a list of contractors who will be invited to tender. As a rule the invited firms are known to your architect or to your quantity surveyor or they may be selected from contractors who respond to an advertisement in the press.

The number of firms who should be invited to tender is a matter of opinion, but some architects set the figure between four and eight depending on the size and the type of job. In preparing the list of tenders, it is important to ensure as far as possible that they are capable of undertaking the work to the required standards and time scale.

The architect will on a project of any importance prepare his list of tenders about 3 months before the work is due to commence on site. This is because a number of processes are involved and they each take time to complete. Your architect will ask you about your opinion, a check has to be made that all the firms in list wish to tender and the documents have to be assembled and dispatched. The contractors need time to prepare their tenders. All the submitted tenders have to be analyzed and the successful contractor will require time to prepare for standing work on site.

Sufficient time must be allowed for contractors to prepare the tenders. Generally it will take at least about four weeks unless the project is a very small-uncomplicated one. With selective tendering it is a good practice to award the contract to the firm who submits the lowest tender.

Tender Procedures
Award of Contract

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