The language surrounding tenders and procurement can be off-putting and confusing. Please save this jargon-buster in your Favourites and use it regularly.
Formal presentations to a client panel from short-listed providers after submission of the bid document: suppliers’ last opportunity to influence the client’s decision.
Some Local Authorities' (eg Lambeth, in London) name for a PQQ (Pre-Qualification Questionnaire; see entry for same).
Expression of Interest. Suppliers express their interest in tendering for the contract.
The procurement process simply conducted online, ie supplier registration/expression of interest, contract download, submission of bid document, evaluation of tenders. May or may not involve e-auctions.
Financial levels or limits relating to the estimated value of a contract over its entire life-time. Where the value of a contract is expected to exceed the relevant threshold, the contracting authority must advertise the contract in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), as established by EU procurement law. The current thresholds are set at £3,611,319 for works; £144,371 for goods and services.
An arrangement between buyer and supplier where both parties agree the terms of future dealings between them, without committing to or guaranteeing any specific purchase or contract.
Physical products provided by a supplier, eg stationery, chairs, construction materials, IT equipment.
Invitation to Tender. The client invites short-listed suppliers to tender their services through a formal, written document that is evaluated against specific criteria (see KPI).
Key Performance Indicator. Important (set of) measures by which the client will assess your bid (and your performance in fulfilling the contract).
London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games. Led by Seb Coe, LOCOG is a private sector body responsible for staging a safe, secure, successful and profitable London 2012 Games. The analogy used is that LOCOG is putting on the show, while the ODA is building the theatre.
Price the contract very low in order to win the work (sometimes at a loss).
Supplier who manages the project using other (sub-)suppliers and who is accountable to the end-client for the overall performance of the contract.
Non-linear technique for mapping information using words, pictures, shapes and colours. Useful for capturing the output of brainstorming sessions. Developed by Tony (‘lateral thinking’) Buzan.
Managed Service Provider.
Olympic Delivery Authority. A Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) governed by EU and UK law set up to build the physical infrastructure (eg venues, stadia, buildings) of the London 2012 Games. The analogy used is that the ODA is building the theatre, while LOCOG is putting on the show.
Official Journal of the European Union, an online publication which publishes all contract opportunities whose value exceeds the EU thresholds.
Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. First hurdle in the ‘Restricted’ tender procedure used by public sector bodies to short-list eligible suppliers, seeking information on their financial history, track record, ability and capacity to deliver the specified contract. Suppliers are then invited to submit a formal tender document.
The term used to describe how a company or contracting authority buys or agrees contracts for goods, works and services.
Preferred Supplier Agreement.
Preferred Supplier List.
Request for Information. A preliminary step in the procurement process, where the client requests general information from suppliers about their organisation.
Request for Proposal.
Request for Tender.
Intangible products, eg accounting, consulting, design, IT, staff recruitment.
Service Level Agreement.
A technique for outlining the contents of each section of the tender document (see mind-map).
Sometimes defined as ‘meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the life-quality of later generations’.
To submit or offer a bid to supply the goods/services specified in the contract by the client.
Tier 1 supplier
An organisation at the top of the supply chain supplying goods or services directly to the client; also known as the ‘main contractor’.
Usually relates to construction contracts.