• All government agencies are required to post their invitations for quotations and tenders openly on the Government electronic business portal (GeBIZ) (www.gebiz.gov.sg). This is mandatory for all procurements above $6,000.
• Suppliers who wish to participate in Government quotations or tenders can register as a GeBIZ Trading Partner and receive a free user account. Currently, there are over 50,000 registered GeBIZ trading partners.
• The Government also shares pertinent information on public sector pipeline projects to provide suppliers with better visibility of projects over the medium term. This helps businesses to seek partners early to better plan for upcoming business opportunities. For example, GovTech's Industry Briefing is held yearly to let suppliers know of upcoming ICT projects.
• In addition, GeBIZ Trading Partners may sign up to be alerted on business opportunities via GeBIZ’s RSS (Really Simple Syndication) or via email on SPRING’s EnterpriseOne portal (http://www.enterpriseone.gov.sg/SignUp.aspx).
• It is fairer and more transparent for all quotations and tenders to be called openly through GeBIZ as this gives all suppliers an equal opportunity to participate, rather than limiting the notice to only suppliers who are informed by the procuring agency. • GeBIZ has built-in functions to safeguard the confidentiality of the bids submitted. The schedule of bids received and award notice for open quotations and tenders are published after the close of the quotation/tender to ensure transparency. • It is simple and free* for suppliers to register as GeBIZ trading partners. They may also sign up for RSS or email alerts of relevant business opportunities whenever they are published on GeBIZ. • Government agencies may also alert suppliers to opportunities that are published openly in GeBIZ, through the GeBIZ alert services or the agency’s website. This is to ensure that the procurement opportunity is publicised widely, while ensuring that procurement is carried out in a transparent manner via a single platform.* for the first account
• Government procurement is conducted according to the principles of transparency, open & fair competition, and value-for-money. Government agencies are expected to evaluate all bids submitted by eligible suppliers fairly, regardless of the size of the firm. • For tenders of large value, smaller suppliers may participate as joint collaborations or consortia to compete for these projects. • SMEs stand a fair chance at being awarded Government tenders, which are those with larger value procurements above $70,000. In 2011: o About 20% of the total number of Government tenders were awarded to suppliers with Net Tangible Assets up to $250,000. o About 65% of tenders with value up to $100,000 were awarded to companies with Net Tangible Assets of less than $250,000.
• Quotations and tenders are awarded on the basis of best value-for-money, and not solely on price.• Bids are evaluated holistically based on their ability to meet the stated requirements of the quotation/tender.• When evaluating bids, government agencies are expected to take into account price and other factors such as quality and reliability of the product or service.
• The government procurement system requires approvals to be obtained at key stages of the procurement process. It also provides for segregation of procurement roles and responsibilities to ensure checks and balances. Approval for procurement must be sought before any purchase can be made. When a quotation or tender is called, the officer(s) evaluating the bids cannot be the same person(s)who approves the award of the quotation/tender. • Complex tenders are evaluated by a team of officers with the requisite technical competencies. Procurements above $80,000 in value must be approved by a tender board comprising a minimum of three senior officers. For open tenders and quotations, the schedule of bids and the award notice are published after the close of the tender/quotation to ensure transparency.• The Ministry of Finance (MOF) reviews public sector procurement rules and guidelines regularly. We encourage government agencies to adopt, where possible, good practices such as the periodic rotation of officers with procurement responsibilities and further segregation of procurement roles to strengthen checks and balances in the procurement process. However, the Government is also mindful about striking a balance between adding more layers of checks and hindering the operational efficiency of legitimate transactions. • Management supervision plays an important role in detecting procurement irregularities and minimising opportunities for fraud. Agencies are constantly reminded to be vigilant. To facilitate this, the GeBIZ system allows agencies to generate management reports to help them monitor procurements. • Regular audits are also conducted to help detect procurement irregularities and deter potential wrongdoings.
• Public officers are accountable for the resources that have been entrusted to them. They must show diligence in ensuring value-for-money in the management and use of the resources.• Approval from the relevant authority has to be sought before any purchase can be made. Procurements above $90,000 in value must be approved by a tender board comprising at least 3 senior officers. • Value-for-money is emphasised as one of the key principles of Government Procurement. All procurement officers undergo structured training to help them understand and apply procurement principles, including and especially value-for-money.• Government agencies are advised to avoid over-specification of requirements in their quotations/tenders so as not to limit competition. In general, quotations must be open for at least 7 working days, and tenders for at least 14 calendar days (25 for tenders covered under our international trade agreements) to ensure that suppliers have sufficient time to submit their bids*.• When evaluating bids, government agencies are expected to take into account - in addition to price - maintenance cost, operating cost, and warranty clauses. Demand aggregation among government agencies is another means to reap economies of scale and achieve greater value-for-money.
* The minimum opening periods apply to tenders and quotations which are open to all suppliers. In instances where procurement is limited (e.g. due to sole supplier or national security concerns), different opening periods apply.
• Government agencies are advised to take the following measures to increase the likelihood that they will receive an adequate number of competitive bids:
o Depending on the nature of procurement, giving sufficient time for suppliers to respond to the invitation to quote/tender - this could be beyond the minimum opening period stipulated for quotations and tenders. o Ensuring that requirements are not over-specified, so as not to limit competition.
o Where necessary, alerting suppliers to opportunities published on GeBIZ.• An agency that has taken the above measures, and yet still receives only one bid, is not required to reject the single bid as it could still be competitive. • Government agencies must assess the reasonableness of the bids regardless of whether a single bid or several bids have been received. When recommending the award of a quotation/tender based on a single bid, officers are required to justify to the Approving Authority why the single bid is considered competitive or reflective of fair market value. For example, they may have performed independent checks or consulted experienced buyers.• If no reasonable bid has been received, agencies may call for a fresh quotation/tender, after revising their requirements, if necessary.