Sustainable Procurement Tools

Evaluation and Award

Evaluation and award criteria will of course be set at the beginning of the procurement process. These will be criteria and questions that seek appropriate evidence. For example, evaluation of a bidder’s approach to meeting skills and training requirement so that it is clear whether they demonstrate an understanding of how to achieve the required outcomes.

Award criteria are of course used to determine which bidder is best placed to deliver a contract., Ensure that you are not duplicating questions used at the selection stage (for example, relating to their relevant availability of environmental management systems). This is because at this stage suppliers are being assessed on the merits of how they will deliver contract requirements (such as how they will reduce emissions from the use of vehicles), rather than their suitability to bid.

Award criteria must be proportionate and relevant to the works, supplies or services that are the subject-matter of the contract,  there must be a clear methodology to evaluate responses.

If  a service involves frequent deliveries or the movement of personnel around various sites it will involve a significant number of the supplier’s vehicles. It would therefore be appropriate to ask tenderers how they will minimise vehicle emissions in the delivery of the contract, for example in an off-site laundry contract or home-to-school transport.

If the service is provided from the supplier’s premises, both the levels of transport involved and the proportion of your contract to their overall activity will need to be taken into account in determining the legitimacy of requirements. For example, the procurement of occasional products or for a consultancy service contract provided remotely vehicle emissions may not be proportionate or relevant.

An outcome/ performance-based specification can be more challenging for evaluators. An ideal response should be understood, based on intended outcomes agreed by relevant stakeholders  within a User Intelligence Group. When evaluating:

Is it clear what an excellent response should look like?

Who is doing the evaluation? Do they have the necessary skills and understanding regarding the intended outcomes? Do they need the support of subject matter experts to ensure an objective evaluation and to build capability – this may include getting subject matter experts to provide specific questions or guidance on them, ensuring they are provided with full guidance to ensure compliance with and understanding of the procurement process. This is of course particularly relevant where specifications are outcome based.

Ensure that innovation is applied in an appropriate manner.

Evaluating bids

  1. Ensure the response answers the question – does it provide evidence of how the vehicle use and climate requirements will be delivered during the lifetime of the contract?

Responses which state the existence of policies or strategies are only relevant if such detail has been requested and evidence is provided of how commitments contained within these will be applied in a relevant way to the contract.

  1. The best responses will be clearly aligned with the specification and the tender question, depending on the extent to which you are relying on technical (prescriptive) specifications and/or outcome based (functional) specifications.

If the tender question for example asks for evidence of ‘how the contractor will support [the contracting authority’s] objectives in contract delivery to minimise vehicle related climate change emissions, including through innovative solutions, while ensuring this is capable of being objectively monitored through contract management’, then:

    1. How will they minimise emissions? What measures will they undertake during contract delivery e.g. use of low/ zero carbon vehicles, management measures to ensure efficient use of vehicles in service delivery and ensuring relevant workforce apply this (e.g. through use of telematics systems/ driver training and other)?
    2. What innovation can they offer that relates to the specific requirements? Rather than including innovation in a separate criterion relating to ‘Innovation or Added Value’ it is best practice to thread a focus on innovation through specific requirements. So, for example, can they provide innovative solutions relating to reducing vehicles emissions in contract delivery.
  2. Is evidence provided of how this may be objectively monitored e.g. ongoing verification in using low/zero carbon vehicles, mileage and emissions from use of vehicles or continual improvement in transition to low/ zero carbon vehicle management.

Within the Annex are examples of wording relating to evaluation criteria that may be relevant within procurements.

Specification                                                                                                         Contract and Supplier Management