Guidance 1 PPIAF-World Bank (ver. 03/2009)
Toolkit for Public-Private Partnerships in Roads and Highways
Presents a discussion on bid evaluation principles and issues for road projects

Guidance 2 Scottish Government (2009)
Scottish Capital Investment Manual
PPP Guide

Includes a review of the process for selecting a preferred bidder in hospital projects in Scotland

Guidance 3 IPDF, Ministry of Finance, Pakistan (2007)
Procurement Guidelines for PPP Project
Presents an indication of how the evaluation would be carried out by the project team

Guidance 4 M. Kerf et al (1998)
Concessions for Infrastructure
A Guide to Their Design and Award

Presents a brief discussion of methods used to evaluate tenders

Guidance 5 Infrastructure Australia (2011)
National Public Private Partnership Guidelines
Volume 2: Practitioners’ Guide

A discussion on the bid evaluation process can be found in this guide

Guidance 6 PPPIRC-World Bank (undated)
Procurement Processes and Standardized Bidding Documents
Links to standardised guidelines and bidding documents issued by various countries

Guidance 7 UK Treasury Taskforce (2007)
Technical Note 4
How to Appoint and Work with a Preferred bidder

Guidance 8 UK Office of Gov. Commerce (2008)
Competitive Dialogue in 2008
OGC/HMT Joint Guidance on Using the Procedure

Includes a box giving guidance on what to do if there is only a single (or no) bidder

Guidance 9 European Commission (2007)
Revision of the Public Procurement Remedies Directive
Brief description of the new Remedies Directive and links to FAQs, public consultation documents, etc.

Evaluation of tenders and preferred bidder selection

Guidance 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Once the tenders are submitted, they must be evaluated in order to arrive at the selection of the preferred bidder.

Bids will generally be assessed first on a number of pass/fail criteria before the single preferred bidder is decided on. For example:

  • even if the evaluation score is not based on a technical evaluation, a determination must be made that the technical solution proposed by a bidder is feasible, deliverable and robust, that it is based on reliable technologies, that it meets all minimum technical requirements set and that the costs and financial structure are consistent with the technical solution; and

  • it is important to look at the proposed project management: the bidding consortium must come across as a cohesive entity rather than just a collection of companies put together for bidding purposes.

A key issue is the choice of the criteria for the evaluation and scoring of alternative bids.

Occasionally, only one bidder will submit a tender despite the Authority having issued the invitation to tender to several shortlisted candidates. Should that happen, in good procurement practice, the question of how to proceed should be considered case by case: Guidance 8

  • If it appears that bidder interest was low because of deficiencies in the tender documents (including the project specifications or the draft PPP contract) and these can realistically be remedied, then the best solution might be to repeat the tender procedure this time on a better footing.

  • If it appears that the bid was made in the bidder’s belief that there would be a good level of competition (and this should be supported by the Authority’s advisers carrying out benchmarking of costs and in some cases by insisting on actual market testing of the costs of the major subcontracts), then the best solution might be to continue with the procurement and consider the sole bidder to be the winner, provided that the tender is fully compliant and meets all pass/fail evaluation criteria.

An important issue relating to the PPP contract award concerns the new EU Remedies Directive (2007/66/EC), which was required to be transposed into national law by 20 December 2009. Guidance 9 The two most noteworthy elements of this Directive are as follows:

  • a minimum “standstill period” of 10 days is required between the PPP contract award decision and the actual conclusion of the contract to allow rejected bidders time to conduct their review and decide whether they want to challenge the award. (Note that such a standstill period had already emerged in case law; the purpose of the Directive’s provision is to standardise terms across Member States); and

  • more importantly, an aggrieved bidder can bring an action to have the PPP contract rendered ineffective if the Authority contravened EU procurement rules in a serious manner. Previously, the sole remedy that an aggrieved bidder could seek was to be awarded monetary compensation, but nowadays an aggrieved bidder could seek cancellation of the PPP contract. How the various rights and obligations of the parties will be determined in this case is left to national law.