Making Effective use of the Competitive Dialogue Process to Select a Preferred Bidder

Competitive Dialogue (alternatively named Interactive Tendering, Dialogue RFP or Negotiated Competitive Procurement) procedures are intended to give public authorities the opportunity to overcome the challenges of uncertainty in the procurement process by allowing them to talk to bidders throughout.

But is it an opportunity to be creative, more flexible and efficient – or an excuse to be vague? Drawing on Commerce Decisions’ pioneering experience of working with these procedures, we look at some of the issues with their use, and how in combination with a disciplined approach to evaluation they can provide a powerful tool in achieving value for money.

The selection process under a traditional procedure typically leads to an evaluation of each tenderer’s solution and capabilities, followed by the preferred bidder being asked to sign the Authority’s contract.

Invariably, the contract is pre-prepared in a standard format, and issued along with the Invitation to Tender.

The important difference with Competitive Dialogue is that all the bidders could potentially offer completely different solutions – meaning that a single, pre-prepared contract is unlikely to be suitable.

The dialogue part of Competitive Dialogue is about working with bidders to get them to the stage that they can present a solution that meets the needs of the Authority and propose or respond to a contract with a firm pricing proposal.

This means that they will need to enter into a two-way conversation with the Authority to allow them to test their solution for feasibility, test assumptions, understand the required standards and constraints, and make a full analysis of the risks.

Topics Include

Communication, competitive dialogue, evaluating competitive dialogue, feedback, pre-qualification, public procurement, safe dialogue

The AWARD® Interaction module enables secure exchange of information between buyers and suppliers

The AWARD® Interaction module enables secure exchange of information between buyers and suppliers