Submitting a bid for a public tender in Lithuania is not an easy task even for experienced bidders - poor assessment of procurement conditions and technical errors can lead to unsuccessful bidding and / or rejection of the bid.
How can I avoid making a mistake and succeed in public procurement, what should I focus on when bidding for a contract?
Evaluate the terms of the purchase immediately after it is published - the time frames for making enquiries about the terms of the purchase are relatively short and buyers are often reluctant to extend them.
Parts of the procurement.
Evaluate whether the procurement object consists of one or more parts. If the procurement consists of more than one part evaluate whether it is obligatory to submit offer to all parts (there may be clause which states that offer is rejected if tenderer doesn’t submit an offer for at least one part of the procurement) or it is optional. Splitting of a public procurement object may also result in different qualification requirements for different parts.
Method of procurement.
Determine the procurement method in the manner specified in the Public Procurement Act - open competition, negotiated procedure, competitive dialogue, restricted competition, etc. The method of procurement determines the number of phases of procurement. The vast majority of international purchases in Lithuania are conducted through open tendering and through negotiated procedures.
Determine what is being purchased (this is usually described in the technical specification). Evaluate what should be included in the scope / price of the offer: delivery, issuing of permits, project, etc. These has implications for the overall bid price and may increase your chances of winning the contract.
Bid price and other bid selection criteria.
Make sure that you enter the bid price correctly (i.e., whether VAT, price components is calculated correctly, or the price are within the maximum bid price stated in the tender documentation). Make sure that the other bid selection criteria are based on what you offer and match the terms of your purchase.
Ensuring validity of the offer.
Determine whether the offer must be backed by a bank guarantee, surety from the insurance company or in some other way. If so, provide a guarantee that precisely matches the terms of the purchase. More and more SWIFT-based bank guarantees are being used in practice, which saves time, costs and paper.
Make sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of the terms and conditions of the purchase – whether you are not indebted to the Social Security Office or the State Tax Inspectorate, have all of the necessary and non-expired certificates, permits. Evaluate the need to cooperate with partners or subcontractors. In certain cases, you are only required to submit an European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) with your proposal. By completing and signing the declaration, you confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements (in the case of a win, you will be required to provide supporting documentation).
Carefully evaluate what documents are required to accompany the bid - work schedule, plans, drawings, technical specifications of the goods, other documents and information. Failure to submit the required documents may result in the rejection of the tender.
Form and time limit for submission of tender.
Evaluate the manner in which the offer must be submitted e.g., e-mail, CVP IS (Central Public Procurement Information System), and whether it needs to be signed with digital signature (you can test on CVP IS by submitting and withdrawing offer in advance to avoid any surprises). Submit your final offer via CVP IS at least 1 hour before the proposal submission deadline.
Terms of the contract.
Evaluate the terms and conditions of the contract, including enforcement, forfeitures, other material terms of the contract, nature of the contract (e.g., are there multiple parts of the purchase object). The public contract may not be modified during the contract period, except as provided by law or the contract.
Clarifications of the terms of purchase.
This is an integral part of the terms and conditions of the procurement, so you must consider the explanations / adjustments that the contracting authority has made public.
Keep in mind that most of the information included in the offer (with exceptions) will be disclosed to your direct competitors in the event of a successful procurement.