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Transparent Procurement in the Public Sector

Posted 7/7/2021

Public sector organizations, including many public funded organizations have an ethical and legal duty to be transparent in how RFx responses will be evaluated. Similar best practices will apply to the private sector.

Evidently it is still the “wild west” when it comes to evaluation transparency.

I have observed everything from “we will award according to best value” on several stated criteria without weighting of those criteria. This is poor practice and contrary to the CFTA Article 509 item 7a. Lawyers are waiting…

To

RFx stating the weighting applied to the major criteria plus the weighting of the factors or sub-criteria that make up those criteria. This is the most transparent and can be considered superior practice albeit not commonly practiced.

Provided always that only the criteria as stated in the RFx are evaluated and no other or otherwise hidden criteria are applied to the evaluation.

Best Value can be determined by three criteria: quality, service, and price. Procurement strategy is to determine which 2 are the most important. This is revealed though statement of weighting to be applied to each criterion. Factors that may be included in quality and service criteria are experience, references, education, certifications, product specifications, delivery, installation, methodologies, warranties, training, social, economic, and environmental values amongst others specific to the RFx. Best practice means a statement of and about each factor to be evaluated within each weighted criterion. For clarity and to expedite evaluations, I state each factor to be evaluated in a response form included in the RFx. I offer my clients the option to weight the factors within each evaluated criterion to which the weighting is stated in the RFx. To avoid the appearance of favouritism, any decision regarding weighting of criterion factors (sub-criteria) is determined before closing of the RFx.

Does your practice include disclosure of sub-criteria weighting in the RFx or is your practice to disclose only the weighting of the major criteria to be evaluated? Discuss and / or send me your thoughts on this.