E-tendering / E-procurement system of govt of India an Ultimate Guide
The E-procurement system of govt of India is the E-tendering process of the Indian government organizations to procure or receiving services from the private sector companies. The eProcurement System of the government of India enables the vendors to download the tenders, submit the proposal against the tenders, monitor the status progress, and receiving orders from the government organizations.
What is e-tendering?
E-tender can be described as the process of inviting vendors to submit the bids/request for quotation ( RFQ) to perform some service or supply of goods during a specific time frame at a fixed price, in electronic form.
The E-procurement system of govt of India is a process which is designed to ensure that the tender process for the supply of goods and service is done in a fair way and given equal opportunity to all the vendors.
Once the client accepts the offer against the tender, the company that has won the order has to comply with the terms and conditions mentioned in the tender for the supply of goods and services at the price offered and the client will have to pay the final negotiated price ( BID price can be negotiated after the BID opening) within the agreed time.
E-tendering Process In India.
The E-procurement system of govt of India is designed in such a way that no one can manipulate the BID process, which can happen in traditional methods of bidding ( Physical BID submission).
E-Tender rules and regulations are made more stringent to avoid any malpractice in the entire process. E-Tenders Bids will be accepted only by adhering to the policies and terms that guide the procurement framework. The E-tender process is now followed both in the public sector and private sector companies in India. As the BID is sealed with the digital Key, it will not be possible for the client to open or see the BID, without the knowledge of the Bidder (Vendor).
In general, the public sector tender process is split into five stages:
- Expression of Interest (EOI):- It is used to shortlist potential suppliers, no order will release against it.
- Request for information (RFI):- It is used to get the information to understand the capability of the supplier and cross verify the scope of the work/ supply in the planning stage, in turn, used to select the supplier.
- Pre-qualification Questionnaire (PQ):- It is used to verify the capability of the supplier during the planning stage.
- Request for proposal (RFP):- It is used to get the innovative solutions from the supplier, especially for the engineering projects, and helps in defining the project requirements in the final scope of work/supply.
- Tender Invitation (TI) / Request for Quotation(RFQ):– It is used to invite vendors to provide quotes for specific goods or services against the scope of work.
In the Private sector, the invitation of the BID can be called by different names like Request for Information / Tender / Proposal / Offer / Quotation, etc.
Types of E-Tendering:
In earlier time to submit a BID against the tender, the bidder needs to make ready a list of documents and need to submit along with the proposal in a sealed cover. A dedicated team is required to verify the final BID documents and approve them for the final successful BID submission. All processes involved a lot of paperwork and the process is tedious and need to submit the physical BID in person to the client against the tender invitation.
- E-Tendering is a solution for the above issue, by making the entire process electronically.
Through the E-procurement system of govt of India, every document can be submitted online and the tender evaluation and qualification process can be completed, without having a single piece of paperwork.
There are many types of e-tender processes is available in India. The type of tendering can be decided by the client on the basis of various factors and reasons for the BID. Few factors are listed below.
- Nature of the contract.
- The complexity of the scope of work.
- Value of the overall contract.
- Expertise needed.
In general, the government project tenders are usually released as open tenders in order to ensure that, the work awarded to the lowest or selected bidder, in a fair manner without prejudice. The various types of e-tenders generally followed in India are below.
Procedure 1: Open Tendering
Open tendering is the most common type of tendering procedure followed by most of the private sector and government organizations. In open tender, the client advertises the tender invitation in their respective e-procurement portal, central procurement portal (CPPP), GeM portal along with the key information like the scope of work/supply, Due date of BID submission, Bidder qualification, EMD, and other terms and conditions, etc.
- In open tender, any company or a person can BID against the invitation for tender, those who qualify the bidder qualification criteria, and other tender terms and conditions.
Open tender provides a fair opportunity to emerging vendors to participate in the E-procurement system of govt of India. However, as emerging vendors can BID, it will be a time-consuming process for the tender evaluation committee to evaluation all the vendors during the evaluation process to select the qualified vendors.
Procedure 2: Limited Tender or Selective Tendering:
In Limited tender or the Selective tender, the invitation for tender is given only to selected vendors or the parties, who are pre-selected by the client to BID against the E-procurement system tender invitation. The purpose of Limited tender is to improve the quality of bids from the bidders and to ensure that the vendors have the necessary experience, which is pre-evaluated by the client.
- As only the selected vendors are quoting against the e-tender, limited tender makes the e-tendering process in India more efficient in the evaluation and fewer burdens for the client in the vendor qualification process.
The advantage of limited or selective tender is that clients can pre-confirm that the suppliers who are going to BID will have the necessary experience in particular complex, sizes, and nature of projects.
Procedure 3: Negotiation Tendering:
Negotiation Tendering is widely used in the engineering and construction industry in INDIA. This type of tender usually involves a single contractor, sometimes it can be scaled up to 3-5 contractors based on the complexity of the project. This type of E-procurement system is awarded based on the resolutions of pre-contract negotiation disputes and the pre-acceptance of the post-contract scope of work.
- Negotiation Tendering is awarded to a vendor or a company against the acceptance of pre-negotiation terms and conditions with the client.
Procedure 4: Term Tender:
Term tendering generally used for the projects that need maintenance or continuous support after the first stage of the scope of work or supply. The contractor will be asked to maintain the functionality of the supplied system for a specified period as per the tender conditions.
- On the basis of term tender, term extension can be done on the basis of mutual agreement between the vendor and the client.
A client can release, the revised term tender after the completion of the current tenter period for the extension of the contract.
What are the main central Public Procurement Portals in India?
Indian Government had made 2 main central public procurement portals to buy goods and services for the operational needs from the qualified vendors.
- In India, Public procurement refers to the process by which central governments or the state Government purchase goods and services from the private sector companies from in and out of the county.
In central Public Procurement Portals, Governments follow strict procedures to ensure that the process is efficient, fair, transparent, give equal opportunity to all vendors, and finally minimizes wastage of public resources.
In India, there are mainly 2 Public Procurement Portals are available, one is GeM ( Government e-Marketplace ) and CPPP (Central Public Procurement Portal). In addition, each state government had its own public procurement portals to meet the procurement needs of the state government. Also central government organizations like ISRO, and each public sector like BEL, HAL has their own e-procurement portal to procure parts and services from the vendors, in addition to the procurement from the GeM and CPPP.
Vendors need to do an e-procurement registration process in all the respective portals to BID against the e-tenders in the portals.
What are GeM and its benefits?
GeM stands for Government e-Marketplace, which is an online procurement platform of government for public procurement in India. Companies which comes under MSMEs, DPIIT recognized startups and other private companies in India can register on GeM portal as a seller and sell the products and services directly to government or the public sector buyers.
- GeM Startup Runway is a new initiative by the GeM authorities, which allows startup companies to easily reach the government department buyers, by offering innovative products and services.
Buyers can check the products in the GeM portal like a cart site like Amazon and select the products and request for BID from the registered vendors. Government agencies can evaluate each BID and select the suitable supplier and place the order through the portal and the entire process can be tracked in the portal itself, using the login credentials of the registered vendors.
What are CPPP and its benefits?
CPPP stands for the Central Public Procurement Portal, the public procurement portal of the Government of India, which facilitates all the Central and State Governments Departments, Organizations, Autonomous Bodies, to publish their inquiries and procure from the private sector companies from India and abroad. Through this portal agencies can invite the e-Tender, release the corrigendum if needed and publish the contract award details.
Privet and other Startup companies can register on CPPP and become Preferred Bidders and BID against the tender enquire and get the order from the public sector organizations. For more details check in to https://eprocure.gov.in.
The prime objective of this portal is to provide single-point access for the procurement of various government Departments. CPPP tender search option helps the vendors to search the BID in the CPPP portal very easily.
For the start-up and companies, the vendor registration process in CPPP is simple to follow and the detailed guidelines are available in the eprocure.gov.in portal.
Different formats of E-Tenders Bids in India:
In general, there are 3 formats of E-Tenders Bids are followed by Indian organizations as part of the E-procurement system. This is categorized base on the number of stages of the BID.
TYPE 1: Single part tender
In single part BID, all the qualification, technical and commercial BID are submitted together. Clients are able to see the cost along with the technical BID (Technical proposal) or the scope of the work. Evaluation and final acceptance of the vendor are based on the cost as well as the technical qualification of the BID.
TYPE 2:Two part tender.
In Two-part BID, vendors need to submit, separately technical BID ( Consist of technical and qualification docs) and the commercial BID. The first client will open the technical BID and evaluate it and shortlist the vendors who qualified for the technical BID’s. Commercial BID’s of only the technically qualified bidders will be opened during the commercial BID opening.
TYPE 3:Three part tender.
In Three-part tender, vendors need to submit 3 bids as part of the E-procurement system govt of India.
- 1st BID is vendor qualification BID,
- 2nd BID is technical BID,
- 3rd BIDis commercial BID.
The client will first open the vendor qualification BID of all the vendors, who participated and shortlist the qualified vendors. In the second stage, the client will open the technical BID’s of the vendor qualified bidders and evaluate to shortlist the technically qualified vendors. In the last stage, only the technically qualified bidders are short-listed bidders and open the commercial BID and select the lowest bidder and release the order on them.
Some of the Important General Terms and Conditions in E-procurement system of govt of India:
There are few common terms available in all the tenders which are the part of E-procurement system of govt of India, which need to agree by the vendors for the smooth process of the e-tender in India. The most important terms are listed below.
Terms of Price:
For Indian government organizations, the most preferred terms of price / Commercial terms is,
In-Land Suppliers: F.O.R, Customer site.
Foreign Suppliers: F.O.B.-Export, Sea Port/ F.C.A- Export, AirPort, Ex-Works & F.O.B customer nearest Airport.
Most of the government and public sector organizations will not entertain “Advance Payment”. The preferred payment terms will vary with the organization. The most common preferred term is Net 30 days (100% payable within 30 days after the acceptance of supply at customer site).
Late delivery ( LD Clause):
For the late delivery of the item, the vendor needs to pay 0.5% of the value of materials which is not supplied in time for every week’s delay, a maximum of 10% of the order value.
Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG):
Vendors need to provide a PBG amount equivalent to 3 – 10% of the order value ( Total value of the contract), covering the full warranty period plus 3 months from the date of acceptance. Percentage and period vary based on the organization. Once submitted the PBG, then only, the client will release the final order to the vendors.
Repeat Order Clause:
Terms and conditions related to the acceptance of the repeat order from the vendors, within a specified time period and quantity.
The General Terms and conditions related to the product support during the warranty period and after that for 5-10 years time.
Force Majeure clause means, terms and conditions need to follow for the event beyond the control of the vendor and not involving the vendor’s fault or negligence and which is not foreseeable to the vendor or the client.
Preference to MAKE IN INDIA:
In the E-procurement system of govt of India, Purchase preference is provided to “Make In India” shall be extended to local suppliers for technically accepted offers as per Govt. Of India order 2017 (PPO-2017). For more details, notifications, rule updations, eligibility conditions, amendments, and clauses, Please check to Purchase Preference To Domestic Manufacturers Of Defence Products website. https://www.ddpmod.gov.in/ppds#:~:text=In%20order%20to%20encourage%20’Make,15th%20June%202017.%20%2Cwhich%20has
Eligibility under this scheme for getting purchase preference :
Below are the prime eligibility needed for a company to get the preference to Make In India advantage.
- The minimum percentage of Local content should be 50% or more.
- Local Supplier quoted price falling within the limit of 20percentage margin of lowest (L1) foreign supplier.
At the time of bidding, The local supplier may need to provide self-certification that the item offered meets the minimum local content criteria and shall give details of the location(s) in India where value addition is made to meet the criteria.
Purchase preference procedure as part of E-procurement system of govt of India:
- The tender committee will verify the tender for confirming the Local content and confirm the preference criteria.
- Purchase preference will not be given if the local supplier not meeting the required level of local content.
- Local Suppliers are eligible to bid only for the estimated value of Goods or Services up to 50 L are eligible to get preference.
Rule to split the BID among the local supplier and foreign supplier:
Following method used to split the BID among the local supplier and foreign supplier.
Case-1: Divisible in nature ( Total quantity among the vendors):
The lowest bidder will be termed as L1,
If L1 is from a local supplier :
- Full quantity will be awarded to L1.
If L1 is not a local supplier :
- Local suppliers will be invited to match the L1 price and acceptance of the remaining 50% quantity subject to the local supplier’s quoted price falling within the margin. If matches 50% of the total quantity will be awarded to L1.
- If the lowest local supplier fails to match the L1 price the next higher local supplier within the margin will be invited to match the L1 price and acceptance of the remaining quantity so on, and the contract shall be awarded accordingly.
- In case some quantity is still left unordered on local suppliers, the balance quantity may also be ordered on the L1 bidder.
If none of the local suppliers within the margin of purchase preference matches the L1 price:
- The full quantity will be awarded to the L1 bidder ( Foreign Bidder).
Case-2: Quantity not Divisible in nature:
The lowest bid among all qualified bids in the E-procurement system govt of India is termed as an L1 bidder.
If L1 is a local supplier:
- The order for full quantity will be awarded to the L1 bidder.
If L1 is not from a local supplier:
- The lowest local bidder will be invited to match the L1 price subject to the local supplier’s BID price falling within the margin of purchase preference. If local suppliers agree to match the L1 price contract will be awarded to them.
- If an eligible local supplier fails to match the L1 price, the next higher bid local supplier within the margin of purchase preference will be invited to match the L1 price and so on, and the contract will be awarded accordingly.
If any of the eligible local suppliers not able to matches the L1 price:
- The contract will be awarded to the L1 bidder.
E-Tender Process Flow / E-procurement system of govt of India process cycle.
The overall time frame for the E-Tender process in India may vary from an average of 1 month to a year on the basis of the complexity of the project and the organizations. Each stage in the e-procurement process flow is critical and needs to complete successfully to complete the overall process.
STEP 1: The Tender type Determination:
Based on the request for information (RFI), Pre-qualification Questionnaire (PQ), and Request for proposal (RFP), clients can decide which type of tender they need to release like limited tender, open tender, etc. This needs to get approved by the tender evaluation committee in the respective client organization.
STEP 2: Tender doc Preparation:
Once the tender type is determined, the client needs to prepare the tender document which is needed for the E-procurement system of govt of India. I.e exact tender, which includes, general terms and conditions, the requirements of the contract, and how you quote against the tender. Although the tender documents may vary from one organization to another, the common requirement of all the tender are as follows:
- Description of the supply and scope of services to be executed:
- Terms and Conditions of tender:
- Qualification criteria for the bidders:
- BID Submission requirements and format:
- Evaluation criteria of the BID:
- Important dates and other information:
- Conditions of contract:
STEP 3: Tender Approval:
Once the tender documents are prepared, they will submit to the management for approval. Management will create a committee for the process of the e-tender which includes the members from the different departments like, technical, purchase, finance, and projects. Once the committee evaluates and approved, it will be ready to release in the respective format decided in the first stage.
- The size of the committee will vary be based on the size and complexity of the project or scope of supply. In general, it may have 3 to 5 members and one member is from outside the department, who had expertise in it, as a consultant.
STEP 4: Tender Invitation:
Once the tender is approved, immediately it will be released in the E-procurement system of govt of India portals of the respective organization, in the case of DRDO or central organizations, CPPP ( Central purchase and procurement portal) is the preferred portal and for PSU like BEL, HAL they have theirs on e-procurement portals. This tender invitation will clearly mention all the important terms and conditions, dates, qualification criteria, etc, and the type of tender as decided earlier.
STEP 5: BID Submission / Vendor Respond:
Once the tender is invited, vendors can participate in the e-tender in the respective portals. Vendors can log in ( For registered users) or create an account ( Vendor Registration- Process can be done by filling in the details and submitting the relevant documents related to the company) in the respective portal.
Once login into the E-procurement system of govt of India portal, vendors can download the tender documents and submit the BID with all relevant documentation showing the qualification of the criteria, technical documents, compliance against the technical requirements in the right format (Single part / two-part BID, etc) within the due date and time.
- If the tender is demanding the EMD ( Earnest Money Deposit ) to participate in the BID, vendors need to produce the EMD in the requested format in the portal and upload the softcopy and send the original to the respective organization with the BID submission acknowledgment.
- Once the BID is submitted vendors can encrypt the BID using the digital Key. These data will be visible to the client only after the BID is opened.
Follow all the E-Tender rules and regulations, during the time of BID submission for the easy process of the tender. Online tender submission procedure can be check in the portal itself as most of the portals have sample live video demo of BID submissions and dedicated customer care is available if any support needed.
STEP 6: Evaluation of the BID
Once the due date is over, the BID evaluation committee will open the tender. If it is a single part BID, the entire document is verified and hand over to the technical department for evaluation and qualification. If it is a two-part BID, only the technical BID will open and hand it over to the technical team for the evaluation.
- Each tender document will be checked for technical compliance and then evaluated across each term and condition specified in the tender documentation.
The evaluation committee will shortlist the technically qualified vendors and submit the list for the TEC ( Technical evaluation committee approval). Once the committee approved the list, it will go to the next stage.
In the E-procurement system of govt of India Portal, vendors can check the status of each stage of BID evaluation, through their respective login.
If the evaluation committee is not clear about any data in the BID, they will officially request clarification, through the purchasing department to all the vendors and need to respond within the stipulated date and time with all the relevant supporting documents.
STEP 7: Selection of the Vendor:
If it is a single part BID, Lowest Bidder in the technically qualified list will be selected for the BID award. If it is a two-part BID, only the bids of the vendors that come in the list of technically qualified bidders will be opened on the date decided by the committee.
The date of the BID opening will be intimated to all the technically qualified Bidders and all the Bidders can check the status of their technical BIDs qualification over the e-tender portals. Once the BID opened, The Bidder with the lowest BID ( Consider the landing cost of the item to the customer premises) will be selected for the award of the order.
- Now in India, on the basis of the “make in India” initiative, Indian Bidders will get the higher preference, by giving them a chance to meet the L1 ( lowest) price, if they can meet the price, the committee can decide to advise the half the order to them, if it is possible to split or full order if quantity is unable to split.
If any terms and conditions in the BID are not meeting the tender terms and conditions, the client has the authority to reject the BID. Hence, it is important to ensure to meet all criteria and adhere to requirements in order to increase the chances of winning the order.
STEP 8: Final negotiation with the L1 Vendor:
Once the evaluation process is complete and price BID is opened, in the e-procurement portal, all the vendors can check the status of the BID. All the vendors get notifications from the respective portals regarding the BID opening date.
The client will call ( For meeting / Over the phone) the L1 Bidders for the final negotiation meeting. In this meeting, all the committee members from the different departments will be available and they will negotiate on the price and other payment and commercial terms and conditions to reach a common agreement.
STEP 9: Release of LOI / Draft Order / Order Notification:
Once the negotiation process is completed, the Client will release the Draft order on the successful L1 Bidder and request to complete the terms and conditions like PBG / SD ( Security Deposit) and other terms and conditions agreed during the final negotiation.
STEP 10: Release of Order / Contracts Established:
Once the vendor formally meets all the E-Tender rules and regulations, terms and conditions negotiated during the final negotiation and LOI terms and conditions, and the receipt of SD ( If needed) client will release the formal order to the Vendor. The client needs to acknowledge the acceptance of the order within a specified time period to complete the process.
- Once the vendor accepted the order, which they received through the E-procurement system of govt of India, it will be the responsibility of the vendor to execute the order successfully within the time period.
Tips For Successful Bidding against E-Tender:
For the successful E-tender bid submission and getting the order, salespersons must be trained in all the processes involved and should understand sales states for successful closing the sales.
TIP 1: Registration:
The first step for the successful bidding against the E-Tender to register with full details in the E-procurement system of govt of India portals of the client (organizations or Govt agencies ) that are likely to procure your product or services. The e-procurement registration process is very simple and easy to follow for any vendor.
In addition, there are much tender information services providing websites available in India, we can also register with them to get timely information about the latest tenders from different organizations across India.
TIP 2: Getting Tender in favor:
There are 2 situations for the new procurement from the clients, who are currently using our system or similar to our system. Most of the public sector buyers often need to buy products repeatedly.
CASE 1: Current customer
It will be ideal to work with clients and persuade them with the advantage and process easiness by going to the re-tender for their repeat requirements. Remind the buyers of solutions that are previously procured and show them the value for the money and the easiness and the advantages like saving the evaluation time etc by doing the re-tender for the same items.
- By doing the re-tendering of e-tender we will have a higher chance to get the order and we can process it easily.
CASE 2: New customer
Persuade clients with the innovative changes they can bring from the previously purchased items and service and the advantages like value for the money, technology, etc Customers will get by going with new e-procurement, with the new specifications and conditions. Show the customer the importance and the advantage of going with the advanced systems, than simply going repeatedly for the old procured systems.
- Help client to compose the new tender specifications which can be a favor to us and looks generic in nature. New specification which is favoring to us helps to close the BID in our favor.
TIP 3: Smart Management:
Most tenders in the E-procurement system of govt of India need a specific set of standard documents as part of the qualification along with the actual BID. We can prepare a document list in advance and can use it as and when need to submit along with BID against the tender. It will help to save time in the preparation of the standard list of the documents for e-tender.
- It is ideal to prepare a checklist consisting of all the important documents and items to need to submit along with the BID against e-tender. This checklist will help bidders to make the process easy.
Pre listed a set of documents helps the bidders to reduce the tender preparing time and expense in preparing it every time. Also for the repeat tenders, we can easily duplicate the list of documents needed from the previous tenders. During the e-tender bidding stage, double-check thoroughly all the relevant documents and furnish all the critical information in the bid.
TIP 4: Challenge yourself:
In case, if you believe the tender in the E-procurement system of govt of India is not processed fairly, you can politely challenge the client by officially writing to the head of the department or the organization. If any vendor raised the question to the head of the department, it will be the department’s decision to enquire about the challenge.
If the committee identified that the mentioned challenges/ questions are valid, the management committee can decide to re-tender the entire process to give an equal opportunity to the qualified vendors.
TIP 5: Don’t Bid without meeting the qualification:
As bidding against the e-tender in India without meeting the qualification criteria or unable the supply the good against the order may lead to blacklisting of the vendor from the Bidding list, it is ideal to Bid against the tender which is possible to execute fully as per the scope of the work. Submit the BID if our organization can meet all the E-Tender rules and regulations mentioned in the e-procurement process.
Once you have identified a new tender which you can BID, Make sure you fulfill the requirements mentioned in the qualification criteria and able to execute the order up to the level of customer full satisfaction.
The following questions can help you to decide further.
- Do we meet all the mandatory qualification criteria in the tender?
- Can we afford the cost and time need to execute this order?
- Do we have the required technical skills and expertise to execute, if we receive the order?
E-procurement system of govt of India helps to reduce the quantity of the paperwork (as in earlier tender every document need to submitted physically), the process becomes fast online and the tender evaluation and qualification process can be completed without any manipulation.
- E-tender process help to reduce the corruption in the tendering process and helps to get equal opportunity to all the vendors including the start-up companies.
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