Solicitation Documents

ESCWA uses competitive bidding procedure to meet its requirements, and typically awards the contracts through three types of solicitation documents:

  1. Invitation to Bid: typically issued for high value contracts that require formal competitive bidding procedures.

  2. Request for Proposal: generally issued for high value service contracts that require services to be customized to fit unique circumstances.

  3. Request for Quotation: normally used for low value procurement requirements. RFQs are considered as informal solicitation documents.

Solicitation documents are used to request bids, proposals or quotations (offers), from supplier for the goods, works or services required. Therefore, the preparation and development of solicitation documents is considered as one of the most important and susceptible phases of the contracting process in which to ensure fairness, integrity, and transparency.

Solicitation documents will include as appropriate:

  • an invitation to offer

  • instruction to the offerors / suppliers

  • form of the offer requested ( bid, proposal or quotation),

  • form of the proposed contract,

  • conditions of contract, both general and special,

  • technical specification,

  • lists of goods or bills of quantities and drawing,

  • description of work, as well as

  • necessary appendices

  • evaluation criteria and

  • minimum qualification requirement.

Solicitation documents will specify internationally accepted standard, such as those issued by ISO, wherever these are available and appropriate. When particular national or other standards are required, the solicitation documents will indicate that other standards may be acceptable.

A.  Invitation to bid

Invitations to bid are typically issued for high value contracts that require formal competitive bidding procedures. Invitations to bid may be open or limited. Open international competitive bids are advertised and invitations to bid are issued to registered suppliers and suppliers that have expressed interest in the contract. Limited international competitive bids typically are not advertised and these invitations to bid are issued only to registered suppliers that have been placed on a short list of suppliers. Invited suppliers receive the same solicitation documents and an award is made to the lowest priced, technically acceptable bidder or best value.

Suppliers/vendors are requested to submit their offers by the specified date and time to the address or fax number stated in the solicitation documents. Every solicitation document will detail ESCWA's needs and will require the supplier to provide the following details for goods:

Unit and total price, including packing and handling where applicable
Delivery date and the place of loading
Transport cost, if requested
Estimated date (time) of departure and arrival, if applicable
Item's validity.

B.  Request for Proposal (RFP)

RFPs are generally issued for high value service contract that require services to be customized to fit unique circumstances. Specifications can be so complex that evaluations of proposals could take significantly longer than evaluation of bids and criteria, other than price are likely to be the determining factors.

Such criteria may include:

  1. Delivery time

  2. Availability and quality of on site support

  3. Clarity of technical manuals

  4. Ability to understand local languages and culture

  5. Troubleshooters as may be required

Contracts are typically awarded to the offer that presents the best value in accordance with the evaluation criteria.

RFP are typically sent by post to the short listed Suppliers. On overage, a supplier is given three weeks to make an offer, but as with goods, this time may be considerably shortened if necessary. As with the Invitation to Bid, offers in response to a RFP that are received late or improperly addressed will not be considered.

ESCWA may request free, non-returnable samples for evaluation and testing prior to any award. Samples will be subject to technical review and laboratory analysis. Supplier may also be requested to provide copies of internal quality control test result or certificates of analysis conducted at independent laboratories, certificates of approval by the respective government, health and local authority for the manufacture and / or sale of the product.

Evaluation criteria are normally defined in the RFP and will be weighted in favor of those elements that ESCWA considers most critical. While some requirements of the Statement of Work (SOW) may be interpreted, those that are identified as mandatory must be met for a proposal to be considered responsive. Time is of the essence for services as well as goods.

C.  Request for Quotation

RFQs are informal solicitation documents that are normally used for low value procurement requirement. These documents request price and commercial terms for goods, works or services that meet standard specifications and are readily available on the market.

RFQs are typically requested from local suppliers, although ESCWA may accept international quotations as well.



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