Government tenders announced in India follows a set of guidelines both in terms of announcement and the bidding process. To publish a tender on CPPP both the authority of the government announcing it and the bidder must follow certain tender rules and regulations in India.
This article talks about tender rules and regulations in India that affects bidders or the companies bidding on government tenders published on the e-Procurement portal.
Tender rules and regulations in India for bidders
Tender rules and regulations for bidders are mainly for the registration on e-Procurement portal, preparation of bids and bid submission. The other set of rules for bidders is the tender eligibility criteria for participating in government tenders which is specific to the nature of work involved in the tender.
Let us have a look at e-Tender rules and regulations to be followed by bidders at each stage of the tender process:
- Bidders are required to enroll on the e-Procurement module of the Central Public Procurement Portal (URL: https://eprocure.gov.in/eprocure/app) by clicking on the link “Online bidder Enrollment” on the CPP Portal which is free of charge.
- As part of the enrolment process, the bidders will be required to choose a unique username and assign a password for their accounts.
- Bidders are advised to register their valid email address and mobile numbers as part of the registration process. These would be used for any communication from the CPP Portal.
- Upon enrolment, the bidders will be required to register their valid Digital Signature Certificate (Class III Certificates with signing key usage) issued by any Certifying Authority recognised by CCA India (e.g. Sify / nCode / eMudhra etc.), with their profile.
- Only one valid DSC should be registered by a bidder. Bidders are responsible to ensure that they do not lend their DSCs to others which may lead to misuse.
Preparation of bids
- Bidder should read any corrigendum published on the tender document before submitting their bids.
- Bidder must go through the tender advertisement and the tender document carefully to understand the documents required to be submitted as part of the bid. Do note the number of covers in which the bid documents have to be submitted, the number of documents – including the names and content of each of the documents that need to be submitted. Any deviations from these may lead to rejection of the bid.
- The bidder, in advance, should get ready the bid documents to be submitted as indicated in the tender document/schedule and generally, they can be in PDF/XLS/RAR/DWF/JPG formats. Bid documents may be scanned with 100 dpi with a black and white option which helps in reducing the size of the scanned document.
Submission of bids
- The bidder should log into the site well in advance of the bid closing date for bid submission so that they can upload the bid in time. Bidder will be responsible for any delay due to other issues.
- The bidder must digitally sign and upload the required bid documents one by one as indicated in the tender document.
- The bidder must select the payment option as “offline” to pay the tender fee/EMD as applicable and enter details of the instrument.
- The bidder should prepare the EMD as per the instructions specified in the tender document. The original should be posted/couriered/given in person to the concerned official, at the latest by the last date of bid submission or as specified in the tender documents. The details of the DD/any other accepted instrument, physically sent, should tally with the details available in the scanned copy and the data entered during bid submission time. Otherwise, the uploaded bid will be rejected.
- Bidders are requested to note that they must submit their financial bids in the format provided and no other format is acceptable. If the price bid has been given as a standard BoQ format with the tender document, then the same is to be downloaded and to be filled out by all the bidders. Bidders are required to download the BoQ (Bill of Quantity) file, open it and complete the white coloured (unprotected) cells with their respective financial quotes and other details (such as the name of the bidder). No other cells should be changed. Once the details have been completed, the bidder should save it and submit it online, without changing the filename. If the BoQ file is found to be modified by the bidder, the bid will be rejected.
As mentioned before apart from these rules, the bidder must also carefully look into the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria must be fulfilled for a bid to be even selected from the pool of bidders. Eligibility criteria for tender projects often deal with number of years of experience, production capacity, annual turnover, etc.
For instance, the eligibility criteria for railway tenders have unique technical requirements. One of them include a condition that in the past seven years the applicant must have completed one or more similar work (similar to the tender applied for) each costing not less than the amount equal to 60% or 40% or 30% of the advertised value of the tender.
Tender publishing rules to be followed by government institutions
To have a look at the rules and regulations for tender publishing authorities you can read the General Financial Rules 2017. Have a look at a few procurement rules set down by this document:
According to GFR 2017, the procedure to be followed in making public procurement must conform to the following yardsticks:
- The specifications in terms of quality, type etc., as also quantity of goods to be procured, should be clearly spelt out keeping in view the specific needs of the procuring organisations.
- The technical specifications shall, to the extent practicable, be based on the national technical regulations or recognised national standards or building codes, wherever such standards exist, and in their absence, be based on the relevant international standards.
- Care should also be taken to avoid purchasing quantities more than the requirement to avoid inventory carrying costs.
- At each stage of procurement, the procurement authority concerned must place on record, in precise terms, the considerations which weighed with it while taking the procurement decision.
- A complete schedule of procurement cycle from date of issuing the tender to date of issuing the contract should be published when the tender is issued.
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