Finance Ministry drafts model tender to ease purchases

The document standardises language.

The Finance Ministry has drafted a model tender document for public procurement by all central government departments, in a bid to standardise the language and clauses included, and avoid contractual disputes.

Public procurement refers to the purchase of goods and services by the public sector or the government, accounting for an average 15% of GDP globally. In India, government procurement is estimated to constitute about 30% of GDP with the central government accounting for a major chunk.

The Expenditure Department, which has developed a standard bidding document to be used for procurement, has sought comments on the draft from ministries, central public sector undertakings and the industry at large. The document was “in continuation with initiatives to increase effectiveness, good governance, competition and value-for-money in public procurement,” the department said.

‘Mix of nomenclature’

“There is no standardised nomenclature in public procurement in India and a mix of American, European and Indian nomenclature has become common,” the department pointed out in an introduction to the 130-odd page document for inviting bids for official supplies.

As an instance, it pointed that a ‘Tender’ is taken to mean ‘Tender document’ or ‘Tender Process’ as well as the ‘Bid’ submitted by the prospective suppliers.

“Similarly, participants in the Tender are called tenderers and bidders. This duality is reflected in ‘Notices inviting Tenders’ and ‘Instructions to Bidders, and so on,” the note reviewed by The Hindu points out.

The standard bidding document developed now, seeks to ease out this duality by mooting that the ‘Tender’ should refer to the tender document and process, while the term ‘Bid’ shall refer to the bidders’ pitches. ‘Bidder’ is to be used instead of ‘Tenderer’ to refer to potential suppliers and the usage ‘Bid document’ be done away with, as per the proposed model.

While the generic bidding document has been made for domestic open tenders for procurement of general goods, the department has said it can be tweaked by adding suitable clauses to call for global bids, annual running supply contracts, and other types of procurement.

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