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Task 1: Read the following case study and answer the problems:-

The Municipal Energy Authority (MEA) decided to invite bids for the supply and delivery of 20,000 electromechanical meters through an open national bidding process. Bidders were required to submit, along with the bid forms, a set of mandatory documents, including a certificate for the expected lifetime of the meters, from an accredited international institution. Bidders were informed in a pre-bid conference that the certificate was essential for the evaluation of the bids.

The MEA also specified in the bidding documents that the successful bidder would have to deliver the meters on a c.i.f. basis to the port of disembarkation, latest eight months from the date of the Letter of Acceptance. Five bidders submitted bids by the closing date.  Firms A, B, C and D submitted proposals for one make of meter; Firm E proposed two different makes of meters, at different prices.

The Bid Evaluation Team found that none of the bidders had confirmed the requested time of delivery, and that none of them had submitted the requested certification regarding the expected lifetime of the meters. In view of the foregoing, the Evaluation Team requested all five bidders to submit the required certificates, which they did, except that Firm E complied only for one of the two makes of meters proposed. 

The Team found all bidders compliant with respect to the meters for which certificates were supplied, and recommended an award to Firm D, which had submitted the lowest evaluated bid.  The Team gave no credit on the delivery item to any of the bidders.

The Tender Committee of the MEA reviewed the recommendation of the Evaluation Team and rejected the recommendation, concluding that the evaluation was not properly carried out. It ruled that the five bids were not responsive at the outset and their defects could not be cured by later submission of essential documents.  The Tender Committee advised that it was necessary to re-bid the procurement, even though the prices of the five firms were now exposed and the re-bidding process would take an additional four months.

(Adopted from COMESA Enhanced Procurement Reform Capacity Project)

problem 1: At first glance, the work of the Evaluation Team seems essentially fair, but was there prejudice to any bidder? Given that none of them objected to the actions of the Evaluation Team after the closing date for submission of bids, was there integrity in the evaluation process?

problem 2: Should the Tender Committee have taken into consideration the time necessary for re-bidding the procurement or the fact that the bidders’ prices were now exposed, at least to the Evaluation Team?

problem 3: Was it proper for the Evaluation Team to disregard the problem of delivery in the evaluation of bids? Was any bidder prejudiced by this aspect of the evaluation? What was the harm?

problem 4: How might the bidding documents are modified in the future to avoid the problems arising in this scenario? Would it be proper to discard the requirement for the certificate concerning the lifetime of the meters? Would it be proper to change the delivery term to indicate a preferred delivery date, and then an evaluation in monetary terms for any variance from this date in the bid submissions?

problem 5: According to you, can members of a Tender Committee form part of a Bid Evaluation Committee for complex procurements? Give reasons for your answer.

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