Local Time in Tunis: Print | E-mail Page

Procurement of Goods/Works: Critical Information Guide

What is International Competitive Bidding?

International Competitive Bidding (ICB) is a method for the procurement of goods and works requiring notification to the international community. Bidders from eligible member countries, which includes the U.S., are given an equal opportunity to bid. The majority of Bank funded contracts are tendered through ICB.

What is Limited International Competition?

Limited International Competition (LIC) is essentially ICB by direct invitation without open advertisement. LIC is normally utilized when the contract values are small, there is a limited number of suppliers, and/or if there are special circumstances. With LIC, the Borrower must prepare a list of potential suppliers and contractors making an effort to draw them from a wide range of eligible member countries. The Borrower must submit the list to the Bank for comments and approval. The General Procurement Notice will indicate if LIC is to be utilized.

In order to be considered for inclusion on the list for LIC, U.S. companies are strongly encouraged to submit a letter of interest to the Executing Agency in response to the General Procurement Notice.

What is National Competitive Bidding?

National Competitive Bidding (NCB) is the competitive bidding procedure normally used for public procurement in the country of the Borrower. In some instances, NCB may be the most efficient and economical way of procuring goods or works, which by their nature and scope are unlikely to attract foreign competition. U.S. companies are eligible to submit bids; however, procurement notices are only published within the country.

ICB and NCB are the two most common methods of procurement, for information on the other types of procurement, please refer to the Rules of Procedure for Procurement of Goods and Works.

Where do I find procurement notices?

The invitations to bid (Specific Procurement Notices) appear in the
UN Development Business Journal
, the AfDB website (click "Opportunities" and look for the Section entitled "Goods and Works"), and at least one major newspaper in the Borrower's country. For specialized contracts, procurement notices may be published in leading technical journals, magazines or newspapers. Also, Bank rules stipulate that any company that has a sent a letter of interest in response to the General Procurement Notice must be sent the corresponding Specific Procurement Notices.

When does prequalification of bidders apply?

The AfDB requires prequalification of bidders for large or complex contracts or turnkey contracts to ensure, in advance of bidding, that invitations to bid are confined to capable firms. For suppliers of goods or equipment, prequalification may be required where quality and/or performance is of primary importance, and/or supplier back-up and maintenance services are critical.

The Bank requires that prequalification be based upon the following criteria: Experience and past performance on similar contracts; Knowledge of local working conditions in developing countries; Capabilities with respect to personnel, equipment and construction or manufacturing facilities; Financial position; and Current commitments. There is no limit to the number of firms that may prequalify and the Bank must approve the list of firms submitted by the borrowing government.

The invitation to prequalify will be published in various international media, such as the UN Business Development Journal, and indicate the criteria for prequalification. The notice will indicate where the prequalification documents can be obtained, and when the completed forms must be submitted. A minimum period of 45 days is allowed for submission of prequalification documents.

What is the timeline for submission of bids?

The Bank requires at least 60 calendar days from the date of publication of the invitation to bid (Specific Procurement Notice) for bid submissions. For contracts involving larger works, the requirement is 90 calendar days to allow prospective bidders to investigate the site before bid submission. The date of publication in the UN Development Business Journal is the start date for the bid period.

How are bids evaluated?

The Specific Procurement Notices will list the evaluation factors to be utilized by the borrowing government. In most cases, it is the lowest evaluated cost bid that is chosen among comparable bids.

What is post-qualification of bidders?

For contracts that do not require prequalification, information concerning the bidder's relevant experience, financial position, technical staff, and network of after-sales services, if needed, must be included in the bidding documents. Normally, this information is considered during the initial examination of documents in order to eliminate those bidders who do not adequately meet the above requirements. It is the Borrower's responsibility to ensure that the bidder with the lowest evaluated cost bid has the technical and financial capability to satisfactorily carryout the contract.

During the evaluation process are domestic and regional preferences granted?

In some instances, preferences are given to goods manufactured in the country of the Borrower (domestic) or in a country that has a regional economic institutional arrangement (regional) with the borrowing country. Also, contractors either from the country of the Borrower (domestic) or from members countries with a regional economic institutional arrangement (regional) with the borrowing country are given a margin of preference.

What are the steps I need to take to be successful?

1. Consult the General Procurement Notices in the UN Development Business Journal, the ADB Business Bulletin, and/or international/local journals, newspapers, and magazines.

2. Send a letter of interest to the Executing Agency of the borrowing government outlining what types of goods and works you can provide. This will facilitate your company being notified when corresponding invitations to bid (Specific Procurement Notices) are issued.

3. Consult the invitations to bid (Specific Procurement Notices) in the UN Development Business Journal, the ADB Business Bulletin, the AfDB Commercial Liaison Office Website and/or international/local journals, magazines and newspapers.