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FAQs (Please click on Question for the Answer)
1. Can a public body specify the brand name of an item in the bidding document?
In general, a public body should not prescribe technical specifications that require or refer to a particular trademark or trade name, patent, copyright, design, type, specific origin, producer or supplier of the subject matter of procurement.
However, in cases where it is not feasible to specify the procurement requirements in technical or performance terms, then the public body may refer to a brand but this should be accompanied by the words ï¿½or equivalentï¿½ in the bidding document.
2. Can bidders amend any bidding form contained in the bidding document?
No, bidders have to complete the bidding forms as per the format specified in the bidding document.
3. What should a bidder do in case he finds that there are missing pages/annexes/discrepancies in the bidding documents?
The bidder should immediately inform the public body in writing of the purported missing pages /annexes/discrepancies.
4. What should the public body do in case missing pages/annexes/discrepancies in the bidding document have been reported?
The public body has to review the original bidding document, and in case of any reported discrepancy, take corrective action/s and issue an addendum/corrigendum/clarification, as warranted, to all bidders.
5. In a procurement exercise undertaken by a Diplomatic mission, can the mission use a bidding document other than the PPO standard bidding documents?
Yes, the mission may either customise the bidding document in use by the public body in the host country and finalise same with the supervising officer in consultation with the Procurement Policy Office, or make use of another bidding document subject to the approval of the supervising officer, all in accordance with Public Procurement (Diplomatic Missions of Mauritius) Regulations 2014.
1. Which types of bid security are required in a bidding exercise?
(i) No bid security is required for procurement value of up to Rs 5 million;
(ii) A Bid securing declaration is required for procurement value above Rs 5 million and up to Rs 200 million; and
(iii) For procurement value above Rs 200 million, a bid security is mandatory.
1. Can a public body request a bidder for extension of bid validity where the bid validity period has already lapsed?
No. Extension of bid validity where required should always be sought from the bidders prior to the expiry of the bid validity date.
2. Should the public body request for an extension of bid validity period from bidders who have not passed the technical evaluation?
Yes, public bodies must request for extension of bid validity period from all bidders irrespective of the stage of evaluation to allow completion of the procurement exercise.
3. In a procurement exercise, one bidder has offered a shorter validity period against the validity period explicitly mentioned in the Bidding document. Can the public body consider this as a minor deviation and ask the bidder for a correction in the validity period?
No. Bid validity is a matter of substance and does not constitute a minor deviation. All qualifications stated or otherwise, to the bid validity date makes the submission non responsive.
1. Following a procurement exercise, the selected bidder became insolvent. Can the public body/Central Procurement Board (CPB) entertain a request from that bidder for the return of his drawings, reports and catalogues?
No. All documents received in a bidding exercise become the property of the procuring entity/CPB and should be kept for record purposes, unless stated otherwise in the bidding document.
However, in case procurement proceedings are cancelled before opening of bids, documents may be returned unopened to the bidders as per Regulation 31.
1. When can a Challenge to a public body be made?
A challenge may be made by an aggrieved bidder who is not satisfied with the decision of a public body at different stages of the bidding process in the prescribed forms in the Second Schedule of the Public Procurement Regulations within set time lines:
(i) Within 5 days from the date of the invitation for bids;
(ii) Within 5 days from date of the opening of bids; and
(iii)Within 7 days following a notification of the successful bidder, for contracts above Rs 15 million.
2. When can an Appeal to the Independent Review Panel be made?
Bidders may appeal under the following circumstances:
(i) Within 7 days, if the bidder is not satisfied with the reply of the public body following a challenge;
(ii) Whenever the public body has not replied to the challenge within the prescribed period of 7 days;
(iii)Within 5 days after the entry into force of a procurement contract, the value of which is above Rs 1 million and less than Rs 15 million.
1. Can public bodies resort to Direct Procurement for consultancy services?
Yes, Direct Procurement for consultancy services is allowed:
(a) Where the value does not exceed Rs500,000 all inclusive, e.g.: cost of airfare, accommodation, etc.;
(b) where the nature of the consultancy services requires that a particular consultant be selected due to unique qualifications; or
(c) where continuity of consultancy services is essential to meet the objectives of the consultancy assignment.
2. Can a public body allow participation of an interested bidder who was not invited to participate in a Restricted Bidding, Request for Sealed Quotation or Informal Quotation?
No, as this would vitiate the procurement process.
3. Do suppliers need to be registered with the public body to participate in a bidding exercise?
No. However it is recommended that a supplier registers with the public body to participate in restricted bidding.
1. In a procurement exercise, is a cost estimate required prior to the invitation of bids?
Yes, a cost estimate is required to:
(i) select the appropriate procurement method;
(ii) confirm availability of funds;
(iii) determine the reasonableness of the bids received; and
(iv) determine whether the procurement is a major contract.
1. Can the closing date for a bid be extended if requested by only one bidder?
Based on the merit of the case and if so warranted, the public body may extend the bid closing date to enhance competition.
2. Can the closing date for a bid be postponed/extended until further notice?
No. A new closing date and time has to be indicated in all cases of postponement/ extensions.
3. Is there a minimum time prescribed for submission of bids?
For Open advertised Bidding, the minimum time is 30 days
When bids are invited through e- Procurement System the time may be less than 30 days.
For other procurement methods such as Request for Quotations and Restricted Bidding, a public body should allow for sufficient time depending on the items being procured and their availability on the local market.
1. What is debriefing?
Debriefing is meant to inform upon request, the unsuccessful bidder the reasons for which his bid or application for prequalification has not been retained.
2. Who is an unsuccessful bidder?
An unsuccessful bidder is one who has participated in a bidding exercise or prequalification and whose bid or application for prequalification has not been retained.
3. What is the timeframe prescribed for a bidder to request for a debriefing?
The request for debriefing should be submitted within 30 days from the date of the publication of the award or the date on which the unsuccessful bidders are informed about the award.
4. Is there a timeframe for the public body to attend to a request for debriefing?
PPA(2006) provides for debriefing to be carried out promptly.But as a general principle, it should be made within 15 days of the receipt of the request.
5. What information should be provided to an unsuccessful bidder during debriefing?
(a) The reasons for which his bid was unsuccessful, and
(b) Reasons for which the bid of the successful bidder was retained.
6. Does debriefing apply to Expression of Interest?
No. Debriefing applies only to bidding and prequalification exercises.
1. Can a public body exclude a bidder from participating in future bidding exercises if his performance has been deficient or he has failed to deliver goods, works or services satisfactorily in one or more contracts for the same public body?
Yes, provided that the public body has followed the different steps as provided under Directive 35.
1. In an emergency procurement, can negotiation with a single supplier be held by the public body on scope of works, specifications as well as cost?
Yes. Negotiation may be carried out with a single supplier provided that the scope of the works falls during a defined and declared period of emergency as far as possible. The public body must record all the proceedings of the negotiation.
1. A bid was solicited in a restricted bidding exercise from a particular bidder, but its associate/subsidiary company participated in the procurement by submitting a bid. Can the bid be accepted?
No, unless prior approval of the public body is obtained. Otherwise it is considered as an unsolicited bid.
2. Should the Bid Evaluation Committee collate the bids received with the original bidding documents?
Yes, to ensure that the bids submitted are in conformity with the original bidding documents.
3. Is it necessary to constitute a Bid Evaluation Committee for offers received through informal quotation?
No. Bid Evaluation Committees are not generally required for informal quotations. However, in specific cases, the advice of a technical person/team may be required to evaluate the bids.
4. When a public body or the Board (CPB) has received an abnormally low bid, can the bid be rejected outright?
No, it cannot be rejected outright.
The public body/CPB must first request the bidder in writing such information as it considers necessary.
If after having taken into account any information so furnished in the bid, the public body or the CPB still has concerns as to the ability of the bidder to perform the procurement contract, the public body/CPB may then reject the bid.
5. What information should be requested from a bidder if its bid is considered as abnormally low?
The public body/Central Procurement Board (CPB) shall require bidders to explain the price or costs proposed in the bid where the bids appear to be abnormally low in relation to the works, supplies or services. The explanations given may in particular relate to:
(i) the economics of the manufacturing process, of the services provided or of the construction method;
(ii) the technical solutions chosen or any exceptionally favourable conditions available to the bidder for the supply of the products or services or for the execution of the work; and
(iii)the originality of the work, supplies or services proposed by the bidder.
The public body/ CPB may only reject the bid where the evidence supplied does not satisfactorily account for the low level of prices or costs proposed, taking into account the elements referred to above.
6. What should the public body do in a bidding exercise, with two-envelope system, where a bidder discloses his financial proposal in the technical envelope?
The bid should be rejected.
7. Can a Procurement Committee/Departmental Bid Committee (DBC)/ CPB request a Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) to review its recommendations?
Yes, the BEC may be asked to review its recommendations on specific grounds.
8. Should a public body disclose the scores of all consultants having passed the technical proposals to consultants who have not scored the minimum pass mark?
No. Each consultant will be individually informed of his own score before the opening of the financial proposal unless otherwise stated in the bidding document.
9. Can the members of the Bid Evaluation Committee communicate with the bidders during the evaluation process?
No. In all circumstances, it is only the public body / Central Procurement Board that can communicate with the bidders.
10. What is the way forward, whenever the Departmental Bid Committee (DBC) is in presence of an evaluation report with dissenting views?
The DBC must examine the ground for the dissenting views and may either request the member having dissenting views to submit a report in this respect or request the Bid Evaluation Committee to review its recommendation.
If the dissenting views persist, the DBC may recommend award of contract or the setting up of another evaluation committee to look into the evaluation exercise afresh or as a last resort cancellation of the bidding exercise.
1. During the warranty period of a Complex IT procurement, the system or sub-system cannot be used due to a defect or making good of such a defect. Can the public body ask for an extension of the warranty period?
Yes, the loss of use should be compensated proportionately by the extension of the warranty period. Such contracts should provide for the performance security to cover the extended warranty period.
1. Can a contract for ï¿½Other Servicesï¿½ be extended prior to its expiry?
Yes, in exceptional circumstances, it can be done through an amendment to the contract provided that the increase in cost does not exceed 25% of the initial contract value.
1. In a Framework Agreement, following a Mini Competition, can a bidder offer an overall discount in his bid if the bid document is silent on the matter?
No, unless it is so specified in the Framework Agreement.
1. Can a public body negotiate with a selected consultant to carry out only part of the assignment in a procurement exercise for Consultancy Services?
No, as this will vitiate the whole procurement exercise.
1. For the procurement of Consultancy services, should notification of award be sent to all bidders including those who did not pass the technical stage?
1. Can a bidder/supplier who was involved in preparation of the specifications for procurement of goods or works or services, participate in the bidding exercise conducted by a public body?
No, the supplier, including a related company of such supplier, shall not participate in the bidding exercise. This shall not apply for a turnkey project or design-build contract.
2. Can two firms having the same Director/controlling shareholders participate in the same bidding exercise?
No, only one of them can participate in the particular bidding exercise.
3. Can a person participate in a bidding exercise in an individual capacity?
Yes, provided that he/she meets the profile of the bidder as defined in the bidding document.
4. Can a person or firm be proposed as a subcontractor in more than one bid for the same bidding exercise?
Yes, unless otherwise stated in the bid documents.
1. A public body administering a contract is in the presence of a letter from an employee employed under a contract stating that he has not been paid by the main contractor at the time a claim for payment is filed. What should the public body do?
The public body shall investigate the matter and act according to the provisions of the contract. Some contracts provide for the Employer to pay directly to the employee and deduct the appropriate sum from money due to the main contractor.
1. What is prequalification?
Prequalification is part of a bidding process which is effected to identify technically and financially qualified bidders for large and complex works of high value or complex procurement.
1. Is the prescribed amount and threshold in the PPA, Regulations, Circulars and Directives inclusive of VAT?
1. Can two firms with the same Director/controlling shareholders register with a public body?
Yes, both firms can be registered.
1. How should a public body shortlist potential bidders for Consultancy Services?
The public body may:
(i) seek expressions of interest by publishing a notice in a national newspaper of wide circulation, or
(ii) where the estimated value of the contract does not exceed the prescribed threshold of Rs 10 million, the shortlist may be drawn up on the basis of the public bodyï¿½s own knowledge and information.
1. Can a Contractor change a subcontractor, which he has proposed in his bid, after the award of the contract?
Yes, provided the proposed subcontractor has the required competence and resources, which shall be subject to the prior approval of the public body.
2. Can a contractor subcontract part of the works after award, if same has not been indicated in his bid submission?
Yes, subject to the approval of the public body.
3. Can a subcontractor be held liable for low quality work in a procurement contract?
No, the liability rests with the main contractor.
1. How should bids be submitted?
Bids should be submitted in a manner as specified in the bidding documents:
(a) Paper Based bidding
By hand ï¿½ Bidders/Representatives to deposit bids in the Bid Box at the place and time mentioned in the bidding document. In case bids/samples/brochures cannot be deposited in the Bid Box due to their size, these should be submitted at the Registry of the public body for safe custody against a receipt upon request.
(b) by mail/ post/courier
To be delivered to the Registry of the public body and the latter shall promptly deposit bids in the Bid Box. For bulky submissions, bids/samples should be kept in safe custody.
(e) Electronic online bidding
Bids should be submitted electronically through the e-Procurement System.
2. Can a foreign bidder nominate a local representative or agent to sign and submit a bid on his behalf?
Yes. However, the bid has to be accompanied by an authorisation letter/power of attorney (as specified in the bidding document), in original, from the foreign bidder.
3. In a procurement exercise, can a bidder submit an alternative offer?
Yes, only in cases where possibility to submit an alternative offer is specifically provided for in the bidding document.
4. Can a bid be accepted from a bidder who did not attend a pre bid meeting?
Yes. Absence of a bidder from a pre-bid meeting does not preclude the acceptance of his bid.
5. Can a bidder who could not attend the pre-bid site visit effect a site visit on his own?
Yes, subject to the approval of the public body. However, the same facilities should be provided to all other bidders who did not attend the pre-bid visit if they so request.
6. Do minutes of meeting of a pre bid meeting form part of the bidding documents?
No. Minutes of meeting are only for information. However, any addendum or clarification resulting from pre-bid meetings should be communicated to all the potential bidders and these should form part of the bidding documents.
1. What procedure should be followed in case any variation leads to an increase in contract value for a major works contract?
Regulation 67 A provides that a variation, adjustment and amendment to a major contract shall require the approval of the Central Procurement Board, where the increase in contract value is at least:
(a) 10 million rupees in respect of a contract not exceeding 100 million rupees;
(b) 20 million rupees in respect of a contract of not less than 100 million rupees and not more than 300 million rupees;
(c) 30 million rupees in respect of a contract exceeding 300 million rupees.
1. Can a bidder substitute, modify or withdraw an already submitted bid before the closing date and time for bid submission?
Yes, provided the bidder submits a written notice of the modification, substitution or withdrawal (in the bid box as applicable) prior to the deadline for submission.