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If you are familiar with the eTendering process in India, the term ‘Tender notice’ is one you will be familiar with. When a tender is announced by a government department/ministry, a tender notice is released with all the details of the tender. These notices are published on the Central Public Procurement portal or the GeM portal and in certain cases, independent portals of the government department or state (e.g., LIC tender portal, Karnataka tender portal etc.). In most cases, these tender announcements for procuring materials are made in a specific tender notice format, that contains end-to-end details about the tender.
Before learning more about a NIT or notice inviting tender, let’s understand ‘What is tender?’ A tender is an invitation by a government department (or private company) to eligible entities to bid on a project for the procurement of goods and services.
With that, let’s dive into the meaning of a tender notice, what it contains, its structure, how to find and read a government tender notice, tender notice example, and the next steps following a tender announcement, let us also understand
What is a tender notice?
Let us define tender notice first. An invitation or a notice released by the entity inviting tender proposals from businesses is called a tender notice. This notice contains all details like tender eligibility criteria, important dates and guidelines on how to write the tender proposal including the format, details on tender fees and EMD amount, and more.
Tender notice format
There are some typical details that most NITs contain. This tender notice format enables all parties to explain and understand the requirements of the tender and check their eligibility, meet deadlines, and only bid for tenders that are relevant. Let us have a look at some of the common contents that typically appears on a tender notice:
- Tender document – This document (usually a PDF) contains end-to-end details on the tender. It comes with information on the tender inviting authority, the tender reference number and title, type of work, fees, contact details, etc. Note: A tender document and bid document are different.
- Terms of reference and purpose – This section explains the purpose of the tender, e.g., for a construction tender, details on the type of construction, location, its end goals and other details will be mentioned.
- Format for technical and financial bid – Tenders usually contain two distinct covers, a technical cover and a financial cover. The tender notice will explain how a bidder should write about their technical expertise and experience, and about their company’s financial standing and capabilities for undertaking the project.
- Guidelines and Checklists – Guidelines will specify the do’s and don’ts. For example, it may specify details on how to name a file, file size and format, where to upload, etc. The tender checklist is optional. When present, it lists the items that must be submitted with the tender proposal and is an easy go-to list for the bidder.
- Instructions to submit – This will contain details on dates, payment of fees, file size etc. In some cases, a cover letter for tender application is also included.
- Results, award of tender, acceptance – This section includes details on the tender evaluation criteria, the process, how an applicant can check the status of their application, the results and how to accept the tender if awarded.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the tender notice format and key components that goes into it.
Note: A tender notice can also be known as tender invitation or tender announcement. Based on the nature of tender notice, tender authorities may release an RFP, RFI, RFQ or RFT.
How to write tender notice?
A tender request can be raised by government departments/organisations (e.g., Pune Municipal Corporation tenders), state governments (e.g., Tamil Nadu portal tenders) and large private companies for specific procurement requirements (e.g., fire safety tenders). Many private businesses often use eTender management systems to manage their tender documents and tender notice.
Drafting a tender notice is a complex and detailed task and must be prepared with care. You must ensure that you mention all your requirements and state the terms and conditions clearly in a simple language that everyone can understand. Given below are steps that can help you to create a tender notice.
Creating this notice should be done in two stages. First phase would be gathering all details for notice and then creation of the tender notice, while the second phase requires preparing the tender notice document:
Phase 1 – Gathering necessary details
- Write down the requirements of the tender clearly.
- Decide on the eligibility criteria of the participants.
- Note down the tender documents that you would need from the applicants.
- Identify the prior experience that the tender applicants would require for successfully completing your tender contract.
- Set bid opening date and bid closing date.
- Decide on the tender fees and EMD.
Phase 2 – Drafting the tender notice
There are some model tender notice example or tender notice format available online that all tender authorities can refer to and follow for a basic structure to maintain consistency and convenience. Main components are:
- Short description of the tender offer followed by a table of contents for easy reference.
- Table of contents which mentions eligibility requirements for a tender, important dates, documents to be submitted, evaluation criteria, any EMD to be paid, process of submission and general terms and conditions.
- Guidelines for creating of technical and financial bid. A format must be provided for submitting the bids and is typically in a table. (Note – For financial bids, check the BOQ the tender authority uploads with the tender notice document).
- Checklist for technical and financial documents to be submitted (optional) to ensure that there are less chances of applicants missing any documents while applying.
- Tender cover letter to highlight the unique proposition of each bidder, and a form for tender acceptance letter that the companies can fill in and submit on the tender acceptance date.
You can refer to government tender notices for examples of tender notices.
Tender notice example
There was a time when tender notice ads were printed on newspapers for visibility. These classified ads would be short and would contain key details such as – Tender Inviting Authority, Name of the Work, Tender notice number, fees, opening and closing dates, where to collect tender documents (e.g., through consultants), and basic eligibility.
Times have changed and today, all NITs are published online for quick access and visibility. Let’s take a look at a tender notice example, to understand what details it contains.
Tender notice example for building construction project:
|1||Tender reference number / Tender ID / Tender name||This ref. number and ID can be used for easy access and is unique to each tender notice|
|2||Type/Scope of work||E.g., Construction of 3 two-storey buildings in Mysore, Karnataka|
|3||Estimated value of tender||E.g., ₹65,34,500 + GST|
|4||Tender fees & EMD||E.g., ₹11,000 and ₹65,000 only (plus details on how and where the amount is payable and EMD exemption details)|
· Bidders who have completed building construction projects for 2 Indian PSUs in the previous 5 years
· Have been a profitable business for 3 consecutive years in the last 7 years
· Have worked on any 3 private/public project in the specific state in the last 10 years
|6||Tender application closing date and timeline||E.g.,
· Last date for online application submission is 18 Dec, 2023 (no offline application), 5:00 p.m.
· Estimated duration of the project – 8 months
|7||Technical & Financial bid opening date||E.g.,
· Technical – 22 Dec 2023, after 10:00 a.m.
· Financial – 28 Dec 2034, after 10:00 a.m.
|8||Tender offer validity||E.g., 90 days|
|9||Contact person||Name, designation, email/phone, office address of the designated person|
|10||Terms & Condition||Any applicable terms and conditions|
*This tender notice sample is for reference purpose only. Bidders are requested to visit the official government portals for actual tender notices.
What to do after finding the right tender notice?
If you are a business owner, looking to publish tenders, there are many private e-tendering portals that will let you sign up and float your tenders on the platform. Signing up for these platforms has multiple benefits including an existing customer base.
If you are a MSME owner, looking at participating in government tenders, you can explore private tendering portals, such as Tata nexarc’s Tenders to find government tenders easily. It saves you time and the hassle of logging in to the government tendering portal every day to check on active tenders and latest tenders. With a subscription, you will also receive tender updates and information on newly announced tenders and never miss a relevant business opportunity.
When it comes to taking action after finding suitable tender notices, ensure the same:
- Read the tender requirements carefully. All tender invites come with details on bidder’s eligibility, qualifications, procurement requirements, due dates etc. Ensure that you meet the criteria to stand a chance at winning.
- Identify the relevant tenders. Not all tender requests will be suitable for your business. Evaluate if the tender announcement is the right fit.
- Maintain a tender bidding team to prepare the tender proposal documents. Alternatively, hire bid consulting services to ensure that your tender proposal is written in a compliant manner.