Submitting a tender

When you have determined that your company is interested in the public procurement and that you want to participate in the procurement, it is time to start drafting your tender. You need to ensure that the tender fulfils all the requirements and conditions listed by the procuring organisation. In order for the procuring organisation to be able to examine the tender, it is essential that it be submitted in time.

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)

Carefully respond to all the questions in the tender documents, and make sure that it is clear that your tender fulfils all the requirements. Also carefully describe how you fulfil the award criteria, so-called “should requirements” if any, ensuring that your tender achieves the best possible result in the assessment.

Complete all parts of the tender documents

Take care to enter all the relevant information so that your tender matches what is requested in the procurement in question. The tender documents consist of the following parts:

You only have one chance to submit your best tender

The basis of public procurements is that the tenderer only has one chance to submit their best tender.

Submit a correct and complete tender

Submit correct and complete information from the start. The procuring organisation has no obligation to allow any form of clarification or additional information on your part. Thus, there are limited opportunities for suppliers to supplement their tender after the tender closing date. Unfortunately, incomplete tenders are common and the consequence is that those tenders are rejected.

It is also important for suppliers to carefully check that all the requirements in the tender documents are clear.

If the tender is ambiguously worded, it may result in it being incorrectly assessed. The procuring organisation will only consider aspects that are expressly outlined in the tender and nothing else. Please ensure that the procuring organisation has set proportional requirements aimed at fulfilling the purpose of the procurement. Also ensure that the requirements are unambiguously worded, so that you understand what you, as a supplier, are expected to deliver throughout the contract term.

Take the time to check that you have responded to everything and complied with the administrative instructions before submitting your tender. Aim to write a clear tender that is easy to understand. Do not assume that the procuring organisation is familiar with all the abbreviations and terms, unless they are well-established within the industry in question.

Follow the structure in the tender documents to avoid submitting an incomplete tender. Use any necessary tender forms. If you respond in a separate document, make sure that you denote which question is being answered.

The procuring organisation will examine and assess several tenders from different tenderers. It may be time-consuming to review an ambiguous tender.

Things to keep in mind during the tender process

  • Pose questions and request clarifications as early in the process as possible
  • Be careful when you respond to the tender and comply with the administrative instructions
  • Make sure the tender is written in the language(s) requested in the tender documents.
  • Make sure that it is clear from the tender that all the requirements in the tender documents are fulfilled.
  • Respond to what is asked for, no more and no less.
  • Do not refer to websites or other sources that the procuring organisation will have to retrieve, instead submit the requested information at the tender submission stage.
  • Check that you have attached all the requested documents and that they are up to date.
  • Ensure that the contact details for any references are up to date.
  • Keep the contact details in the procurement tool updated.
  • Ensure that the right person signs the tender.

What does tender confidentiality involve?

When the principle of public access is a factor, the rules regarding confidentiality become relevant. The rules are not evident from the procurement legislation, but from the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act. This law only applies to the procuring organisations that fall under the term “authorities” in accordance with the aforementioned law. Thus, there are procuring organisations, the purchases of which are subject to the procurement legislation, but not to the principle of public access and the rules on confidentiality.

In public procurement, there are various rules in place governing the release of documents for procuring organisations that are subject to this principle, as well as for procuring organisations not subject to the principle.

Complete confidentiality

As a rule, complete confidentiality applies until the procuring organisation has made a decision to award the contract to a supplier or to cancel the procurement. This means that during the procurement, the procuring organisation is prohibited from disclosing any information about the tenders to any party besides the party that submitted the information.

As a rule, when the award decision has been made, all documents in the procurement, such as tenders, records and award decisions pertaining to the procurement, will be made public. Only in certain situations, outlined in the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act, is the procuring organisation permitted to continue to keep the information classified.

Two examples of classified information:

  • Information about operating conditions or business relationships at a supplier that has entered into a business relationship with an authority is subject to confidentiality, if it is believed that the supplier can suffer damage should the information be disclosed.
  • If the public may suffer damage should the information be disclosed.

In the tender, you can describe which information you think should be classified, in order to facilitate the procuring organisation’s confidentiality review. That notwithstanding, the authority conducts an independent review in each individual case.

Submit your tender on time

Tenders that are submitted too late cannot be examined by the procuring organisation. It is your responsibility as a tenderer to ensure that the tender is submitted by the tender closing date.  

A procuring organisation and a supplier shall communicate with one another electronically during a procurement. It is a requirement that tenders are submitted electronically, provided it does not involve certain exceptional situations.

For example, it is possible to forego the requirement if it is a matter of submission of product samples, which for obvious reasons cannot be submitted electronically.

If the procuring organisation requires that tender applications or tenders shall be submitted electronically, and a tenderer submits it in another format despite this, the authority cannot consider the document.