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Transparency Reduces Speculative Enquiries

Friday November 1st, 2013
Phil Kennell

Phil Kennell

It is a given for procurers who must apply the Public Contracts Regulations that transparency is a vital component of effective competition, but what effect does this transparency have on the number of expressions of interest?

When procurers are publishing their calls for competition in the OJEU, the standardised Proforma require only a limited amount of information to qualify for publication.

If there is limited information in an advert, which is then viewed by a large number of potential suppliers, many of the respondents to the call for competition may be inappropriate because a generally worded advert appears superficially suitable.

Because potential suppliers must invest time and resource into the tendering process, many will have a bid/no bid process which asks questions such as:

  • Do we have a chance of winning?
  • Will we make a profit if we win?
  • Do we have the capacity to deliver the contract if we are successful?

If there is no commercial imperative then they are unlikely to respond.

Therefore the counterintuitive approach of providing more information to potential suppliers should reduce the number of intelligent suppliers who compete for opportunities that are not applicable to them or which they have no chance of winning.

Therefore increasing transparency will not only help to reduce speculative enquiries, but it will also reduce the number of challenges from bidders who would never have stood a chance of winning a contract. In legal cases the courts have looked more favourably on authorities who have been transparent at all stages of the procurement process.

Phil Kennell (PASS Consultant)


PASS (Procurement Advice Support Service) runs training courses for public and private sector procurement. These include Completing an OJEU ProformaEvaluation and Standstill, Drafting a Compliant PQQ, Legal Impact on Public Procurement, Writing a Tender Specification, Preparing Perfect Tenders and Introduction to Public Procurement. To get more info on the courses, click HERE.

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