Questions and answers in procurements
If anything in the tender document is unclear, you have the right as a tenderer in the procurement to pose questions to and receive answers from the procuring organisation.
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).
If there are ambiguities in the tender documents, you have the right as a tenderer to ask questions of the procuring organisation. The main rule is that questions posed by a tenderer and answers provided by the procuring organisation, shall be available to all other stakeholders as well. Questions and answers are listed in the electronic procurement tool used by the procuring organisation.
Additional information must be submitted within six days
Upon the request of a supplier, a procuring organisation shall submit additional information about the tender documents no later than six days before the listed tender closing date, provided that the information was requested in good time.
Also note that 6 days constitutes the main rule.
If the tender documents are ambiguous
The tender documents must be clear. It is important for the supplier to ascertain all the details if anything is at all unclear in the tender documents. If you submit a tender without knowing the precise circumstances, and the procuring organisation awards the contract to your company, it may eventually turn out to be an unfavourable contract for you.
Errors in the tender documents
Do you think that the procurement is in any way in breach of the basic procurement principles? For example,
- are the requirements discriminatory
- is the tender period too short
- is the assessment model incorrectly designed?
The earlier you point out the error the better, as you will avoid spending time on submitting a tender in a procurement that risks not being concluded due to errors.
If the procuring organisation agrees with your comments, the errors can be rectified within the scope of the current procurement process. The procuring organisation may also opt to cancel the procurement and publish amended tender documents in a new procurement.
The procuring organisation may also opt to take no corrective action. As a supplier, you can then apply for a review with the administrative court.
Additionally, requesting clarification, or pointing out errors or ambiguities, affects a company’s position in cases of public procurement review. The supplier will need to show that it has done everything in its power to limit damages suffered, or risk of damages suffered. This includes pointing out perceived irregularities while the procurement is ongoing.
Ask your questions directly
Ask questions and ask for clarification directly as your questions arise. This will also give you the opportunity to ask follow-up questions.
The tender documents list a final date for questions and answers. The procuring organisation will publish answers, clarifications and/or additional information, to ensure that all suppliers receive the same information at the same time and have an equal opportunity to submit a competitive tender. Complete confidentiality is in effect up until the procuring organisation concludes the procurement. This means that the procuring organisation cannot reveal who asked what questions.
Regularly check the questions and answers
The procuring organisation will publish answers to all questions, clarifications and additional information so that tenderers or tender applicants can read them. Therefore, we recommend that you check regularly to see if any new information has been published or whether any procurement conditions have changed.
As a rule, the procuring organisation shall provide additional information about the tender documents no later than six days before the tender closing date. This is providing that the tenderer posed the question in good time. The procuring organisation may also decide to extend the tender period due to additional information or changes that have been published during the tender period. The reason is that the procuring organisation wants to ensure that all interested tenderers have the opportunity to consider the new information when they draft their tenders.
The tender documentation outlines the ways in which you can contact the procuring organisation. Find out what questions and answers from other companies have been published by monitoring the latest information in the procurement tool.