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Dispute Avoidance

Posted 9/3/2018

We have addressed this previously in October 2015 “Fair Treatment”. Part IV of the NWPTA addresses dispute avoidance and resolution. Article IV A addresses disputes pertaining to the trade agreement; IV B applies to a bid protest mechanism involving government entities. We are addressing IV B of the trade agreement in this edition of BVP.

Disputes are time consuming of resources and potentially expensive. A bid dispute should not be necessary if:

·        Your organization has a current procurement policy that aligns with all relevant trade agreements, the latest judgements and procurement best practices;

·        Your Organization has a written set of procurement procedures based on your policies;

·        All persons involved in procurements understand the procedures and why it is necessary to comply with them;

·        Your supply requests are clear both as to what is requested and the process for evaluation of responses;

·        There are no hidden evaluation criteria and the request discloses all that is known and what could be not known about the supply;

·        All respondents to a supply request are treated equally and according to what is written in the supply request.

Most if not all bidder initiated disputes can be avoided by conformance to the above points. In the unlikely event a dispute is initiated, your organization should be prepared with a clearly defined administrative review process. This process should involve senior management and the aggrieved supplier. It should be prompt, transparent and fair to all concerned. Your goal is to avoid an aggrieved party initiating the formal process outlined in the NWPTA and any escalation to the possibility of a judicial review.

Your organization will receive more competition for your business and hence better value from your procurements if your organization is known to treat suppliers according to the highest standard of best practices.