Tender Evaluation Management

Any public authority has to follow strict procedures when evaluating tenders and awarding contracts. The rules are set out in legislation, and should be easy to follow.

However, there’s a problem. Although the procedure is well documented, it doesn’t say anything about the human part of the process – your evaluation team.

The standard deviation on response scoring for the same proposal content is typically +10% to -15% amongst a group of evaluators. In other words, if 10 is a perfect score, you will routinely see the same response receive a score of 6, 8, and 9 from three different evaluators.

How can the evaluation be fair if individual evaluators give widely different scores to the same content? The result of poor scoring of responses include an increased risk of challenge to the result and the risk that you select the wrong supplier, causing cost and quality issues during contract implementation.

The root cause of the problem is that there is no such thing as a professional evaluator. Your evaluation team are typically Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), many of whom do not routinely score tender responses and are given limited guidance on how to do the task. They will apply their own mental model and assumptions to interpreting the response, and will form an impression of its quality based on how easy it is to score, irrespective of how strong the underlying evidence is.

Put simply, they don’t really know how they should do the task of evaluating each response.

We provide professional management of the entire tender evaluation process, using templates and experience gained from hundreds of successful processes including OJEU, Competitive Dialogue, G-Cloud and Digital Services competitions. The result is more consistent, quicker and robust decisions that, naturally, are fully auditable.

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