Examining the tenders

When the deadline for submitting tenders has passed, the tenders are opened and later examined. The procuring organisation will check that different kinds of requirements have been fulfilled and assess which tender is the best one according to the established award criteria.

The information on this page concerns procurements in accordance with:

  • the Public Procurement Act (LOU)
  • the Act on Procurement in the Water, Energy, Transport and Postal Services Sectors (LUF).

Opening of tenders

On the opening date, all submitted tenders in procurements that are fully covered by the EU procurement directives shall be opened in the presence of no less than two people from the contracting authority or entity (procuring organisation). These days, this is frequently done automatically in an electronic procurement tool.

The opening of the tenders is recorded and takes place under complete confidentiality. Suppliers may normally not attend the opening, but it is possible to have an external person present, appointed by a chamber of commerce. Anyone requesting to attend the opening will bear the cost of doing so.

Examination of tenders

Before a decision is made to award a contract or enter into a framework agreement, the procuring organisation shall check that:

  • formal requirements are fulfilled
  • there are no grounds for excluding the tender in light of the so-called exclusion grounds (SV)
  • it is evident that the requirements placed on the supplier have been fulfilled
  • it is evident that requirements on the goods, services or public works are fulfilled or will be fulfilled
  • the tender is the most financially beneficial tender.

It is the procuring organisation that determines whether a comprehensive control of all the aforementioned points shall be conducted for all tenders, or only for the one being awarded the contract or framework agreement. The procuring organisation shall examine and assess the tenders on the basis of what has been outlined in the tender documents.

Formal requirements

A tender examination frequently begins by checking that all the formal requirements have been fulfilled. It may involve information such as the tender being submitted on time, being correctly drafted in the correct language, and in other aspects complying with the instructions in the tender documents.

Exclusion of tender

Regarding the mandatory exclusion grounds, there is an obligation to exclude a supplier from participating in a procurement, if the procuring organisation receives information about the supplier having been sentenced for a certain type of criminal activity. The ruling must have become legally binding.

There are no mandatory exclusion grounds if the value of the procurement is less than the threshold, or if the procurement refers to social and other specific services (the light regime).

Supplier qualification

The qualification phase involves checking that the supplier fulfils the ability requirements deemed necessary for the fulfilment of the contract or framework agreement. The requirements placed on the supplier may concern

  • professional certification
  • financial capacity
  • technical and professional capacity.

All tenderers fulfilling the requirements are qualified. If the value of the procurement is less than the threshold, or the procurement refers to the light regime, the requirements placed on the supplier may concern aspects other than those listed above.

Requirements on the good, service or construction contract

The procuring organisation assesses whether the tenders fulfil the requirements on the procurement item, i.e. the good, service or construction contract.

Assessing the tenders

The most financially beneficial tender shall be accepted. There are three different grounds for assessment:

  • best price-quality ratio
  • cost
  • price.

If the best price-quality ratio ground for assessment shall be applied, the tender documents must contain clear information on the award criteria that will be used when the procuring organisation assesses which tender is the most financially beneficial tender.

Abnormally low price

If the procuring organisation finds that the price of a tender is abnormally low, the tenderer shall be contacted in writing and given an opportunity to explain the low price. This applies to procurements that are fully covered by the EU procurement directives. If no satisfactory answer is provided, the procuring organisation is obligated to reject the tender.

For other procurements, such as procurements that are covered by the light regime and procurements below the threshold, there is no obligation to reject tenders when the procuring organisation finds the price to be abnormally low, but they do have the option to do so. For these procurements the procuring organisation must follow the same procedure as goes for procurements that are fully covered by the procurement directives.

Abnormally low tenders (SV)