Tendering Policies and Procedures

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1 Tendering Policies and Procedures

2 Tendering Policies and Procedures Content Pg. Mission Statement..3 Introduction....4 Background to the EPS (formerly Shannon Consortium Procurement Network) 4 The Key Objectives of the Education Procurement Service Scope of Services..5 The Tendering Process...6 Rollout Process....7 Supplier Management....8 Supplier Complaints and Escalation to the EPS

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4 Mission Statement Our Mission is to provide a professional Procurement Service to our EPS partners; meeting their requirements by consistently sourcing goods and services at best value for money, through optimum combination of whole lifecycle cost and quality/service. To provide procurement advice and training; fulfilling a positive partner/customer experience. 3

5 Introduction This document has been approved by the Finance Directors of the Partner Institutions of the EPS, which are committed to the pursuit of excellence and recognises the importance of proficient procurement practice in obtaining value for money and in ensuring that the funds of the Partner Institutions are best optimised. Background to the EPS (Formerly Shannon Consortium Procurement Network) Formed in the context of the HEA Strategic Innovation Fund Cycle Two, The Shannon Consortium Procurement Network (SCPN) was inaugurated in 2008 as a collaborative framework between University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick IT and IT Tralee. In 2010, 8 additional partners confirmed their intent to join the consortium namely Waterford IT, Galway Mayo IT, IT Sligo, Dundalk IT, IT Carlow, IT Tallaght, Dunlaoghaire IT and Athlone IT. Phase two of the Shannon Consortium began in January 2012 with the expansion to 12 partners in total. The SCPN creates a strategic alliance for procuring goods and services. The shared service network has responsibility for compiling and analysing data across the Consortium to identify cost saving opportunities. The network employs best practice procurement tools to assist the Consortium in maximising the value for money on expenditure in an efficient and environmentally sustainable way and ensure the partners continue to develop strong standards, based on the principles of value for money; efficient, effective and ethical use of resources with accountability and transparency in Higher Educational Institutions. The shared service is the first financial model to be implemented within the Irish Higher Education (HE) sector. The University of Limerick (UL) is the contact institution for overall co-ordination of the initiative. The Shannon Consortium Procurement Network was renamed the Education Procurement Service (EPS) in December In 2013, it was agreed that the EPS would expand to include the following new partners: University College Dublin, Dublin City University, NUI Maynooth, NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin IT and IT Blanchardstown. 4

6 The key objectives of the Education Procurement Service are: To deliver value for money on all non pay spends for the partner institutions. To provide the consortium partners with guidance and greater support on procurement procedures, including legal obligations under EU Directives. To provide competent administrative procedures and effective policies. To promote collaboration in the interest of sustainable procurement Scope of Services The scope of the Education Procurement Service forms the link between the Tenderers and Buyer leading the procurement process end to end, ensuring a smooth hand-over of Procurement between the Tender Team and the project execution team. This document sets out the EPS procurement procedures, the aim is to benefit all Partners in expenditure of collaborative tenders and ensure best practice Collaborative Purchasing Activity The co-ordinated approach will be facilitated via the creation of a number of user groups, consisting of key staff from each participating partner involved in purchasing significant expenditures of a particular commodity. User groups will be involved in initiating and completing competitive tendering activities for a particular commodity, and this process will be co-ordinated through the EPS Procurement Officer. Adherence to Irish Law and EU Directives The EPS places great emphasis on accountability, efficiency, transparency and value for money. It is the EPS procurement strategy that all procurement activity shall adhere to National and EU Law and is conducted in accordance with EU Procurement Directives and National Procurement Guidelines in accordance with government policy in the public service. 5

7 Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Tender Process Rollout Supplier Supplier Management Escalation [ ][ ][ ][ ] Tender Start Tender End at Individual Institution Level Stage 1 The Tendering Process Tenders are advertised by the EPS on behalf of partners The latest point for an individual institute to opt in or opt out is prior to tender advertisement. Each participating partner is named on Tender documents Tender submissions are received by the EPS EPS evaluates Selection (Pass/Fail) Criteria and shortlists Bids for Evaluation of Award Criteria. Each member is represented by the business owner on the joint Evaluation Team (User group) The Evaluation of Bids shall take account of all relevant life cycle costs relating to operational needs, acquisition, servicing, performance and disposal. The Evaluation Team will decide as a group to select the preferred bid from the tender responses which may be: Single contracts for all participants with one supplier A number contracts for different groupings i.e. regional, type of service etc Single Framework agreements with a number of suppliers A panel of suppliers 6

8 Stage 2 Rollout Process The purpose of this policy document is to define the Education Procurement Service (EPS) Tender Project Rollout Process. This document also provides clarity and differentiation between (i) End of Rollout Process and (ii) on-going Supplier Management which is maintained by the partner stakeholder at individual institutional level. The rollout strategy is developed at the outset of the tender project plan. The rollout will involve the EPS Buyer and the principle Stakeholder/Budget Holder of each institution. The rollout process is outlines as follows Review of contract/tender/other docs and understand detail (if not tender lead originally probably n/a if EPS were the tender lead) Inform all stakeholders of new contract, including SLA deliverables, relevant KPIs and all relevant information for budget holder to undertake effective supplier management process. Arrange supplier/user meeting and provide any requisite training i.e. remedy directive obligations etc Direct user to supplier Advise all partners that Rollout Process now complete and Supplier Management phase now commencing which is lead and owned by Partner Budget Holder 7

9 Stage 3 Supplier Management Supplier Management shall be maintained at individual institutional level by the Budget Holders, with recommendations from EPS buyers at the rollout stage on how KPIs etc are incorporated. Stage 4 Supplier Complaints and Escalation to the EPS Purpose The purpose of this policy document is to define at what point the EPS Partner organisations may escalate a Supplier Performance issue to the relevant EPS buyer. This document also provides clarity and differentiation between (i) on-going Supplier Management which is out of scope for EPS, and (ii) the follow up Supplier Escalation Phase, which is in EPS scope, where appropriate. Assumptions Pro-active supplier management process has been engaged from commencement of Contract to point of requiring an escalation to EPS buyer. Pro-active supplier management process encompasses the following: o Clearly defined Service Level Agreement with relevant KPIs/Metrics that are established as part of the tendering process o Regular engagement with supplier providing feedback on performance and highlighting any issues. Corrective action/improvement plans agreed and monitored. o Face to face meetings where appropriate to address continuing under or non-performance to contract requirements 8

10 Escalation Process 1. Budget holder or those nominated by the budget holder is the responsible stakeholder within Partner Organisation for Escalation 2. The non-conformance to contract must be evidence based and objective 3. Following the formal supplier management process outcome, there must have been (i) formal engagement via face 2 face meetings (ii) at least three verbal warnings (and minuted) and (iii) Two written warnings issued to supplier with opportunity for supplier to provide response, corrective action plan and implement plan to address and close out all issues 4. Where there has been consistent failure to meet requirements of contract over a defined period, steps 1 3 above have been completed and above listed assumptions met, the budget holder may then escalate via a written report of non-conformance to the EPS buyer. 9

11 Appendix 1 EPS Collaborative Tender Process Project Plan Stage 1 Pre Procurement Activity : Business and Market Intelligence Internal Activities External Activities Business Case/Finalise Business Deliverables 25 Days Identify and Define the need Type of Competition: e.g. run by EPS/NPS Strategy Scope of Partners Obtain/estimate spend/the value of product/service Identify Stakeholders Formulate Evaluation Team Identify End-User requirements and identify amendments or additions to current service Product/service research-lifespan/tco/environmental Factors. Supplier/market intelligence and future trends Stage 2 Procurement: Competition Management Tendering Process Outputs Approved Business Case Agreed statement of requirements Defined and agreed roles and responsibilities throughout the tender process- e.g. Evaluators and Co-ordinators Agreed Contract Governance Plan PIN Notice (optional) Preliminary Timeline Risks Incomplete and/or changes to requirements after the process has begun impacting timeline, cost and/or quality. Ill-defined requirement resulting in an outcome that does not meet the business need. Avoid partners opting out Stakeholders Buyer & All Business Owners/User Group 50 Days Develop Project plan/timeline Develop Selection and Weighted Award Criteria (Pre-Qualification Questionnaire) Evaluation Strategy Tender Document incl. T&Cs and SLA (95% Complete) Outputs PQQ/Selection Criteria, Weighted Award Criteria Tender Documents Risks Lack of Procurement skilled resources within participating partners Failure to comply with Legal requirements Stakeholders Buyer & Business Owners Approval to Proceed (Optional) Circulate draft documents for approval from stakeholders to proceed with tender advertisement Outputs Declaration forms (if applicable) signed Risks Failure of partners to have provided adequate spec/requirements resulting in delay of approval process Stakeholders Buyer, Business Owner, (Finance Contact of Partner) Publication Publication of Tender Documents on etenders/ojeu for recommended timeline of tender procedure employed

12 Respond to clarifications submitted during advertisement Outputs Contract Notice Log of etenders submitted Clarifications/Q&As (if applicable) Risks Insufficient info advertised resulting in and increase of clarifications from Bidders and possibly inadequate/poor quality bids. Failure to respond to clarifications consistently with all bidders may lead to allegations of unfair treatment. Stakeholders Buyer, Business Owners Receive and evaluate 10 Days PQQ/Selection Criteria Screening Assess responses in accordance with the published selection criteria. Shortlist selected bidders for Award Criteria Evaluation Outputs Tender Record Sheet PQQ Evaluation Sheet Risks Greater number of responses than anticipated resulting in an increase of evaluation time. Stakeholders Buyer, Technical lead or Business Owner if applicable. Shortlist/Selection Criteria Screening (Circulate Report of PQQ Shortlisted responses to evaluation team*) (Notify all Bidders of outcome*) (Issue ITT to Short listed Bidders*) Outputs Short listed Bidders for ITT. Letters of Notification ITT Evaluation Docs Risks ITT is not ready for publication Challenge from rejected Bidders. Delay in finalising ITT Stakeholders Buyer. Respond to Clarifications After issue of ITT, Suppliers may seek clarifications if required. Put in place deadline for clarifications sought by Bidders Outputs Questions/Clarifications log Risks Failure to respond to clarifications consistently with all bidders may lead to allegations of unfair treatment. A high number of clarifications may indicate the ITT or requirements are unclear Stakeholders Buyer, Technical lead or Business Owner Receive and record Tender Submissions Log on unopened submissions time/date received. Once deadline has passed open and record submissions received Outputs Tender Record Sheet Risks Tenders not received before deadline Stakeholders Buyer & witness for tender record sheet. Tender Evaluation 30 Days Tenders must be evaluated be the evaluation team strictly on the evaluation criteria as set out in the Tender Docs advertised. Arrange presentations/site visits Outputs Evaluation report containing scores and comments Risks Avoiding legal challenge Stakeholders Evaluation Team. Consultant if applicable. Approve successful Bidder Award decision circulated to all stakeholders/business owners 1

13 Risks Delay in approval Stakeholders All stakeholders/business owners Letters of Notification and Standstill Period Send out Letters of Notification/Intent of Award to all Bidders and observe standstill period. Provide debriefings for unsuccessful Bidders where requested Outputs Standstill Notice Debriefing audit trial Risks Legal Challenge Failure to abide by Procurement Directives Stakeholders Buyer Award of Contract & 10 Days Publication of Award SCPN provides the contracting partner with contract and sections for their insertion. Partner liaises directly with selected bidder(s). Contracts signed and exchanged by all partners. OJEU Contract Award Notice published within 40 days of Contract Award Outputs Signed Contracts & SLA Stakeholders Buyer, Business Owners. Tender Rollout Inform all stakeholders of new contract, including SLA deliverables, relevant KPIs and all relevant information for budget holder to undertake effective supplier management process; all pertinent documentation uploaded to EPS website within 40 days of contract award. Advise all partners that Rollout Process now complete and Supplier Management phase now commencing which is lead and owned by Partner Budget Holder Outputs SLA, KPIs Stakeholders Buyer, Business Owners. Reporting To be completed within 40 days of contract award and include 4 categories: 1.Annualised Savings 2. Cost Avoidance 3. Savings Opportunities 4. Administrative savings. (*) Applicable if Restricted Procedure Outputs Tender Report Stakeholders Buyer 125 Days 2

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