Procurement and Fairness Advisory Services
We provide clients with advice for creating effective procurement strategies and expertise for supporting defensible procurement initiatives that are open, fair, consistent and transparent.
- Developing clear business objectives and selection criteria
We start with the principle that procurement is a business process that must contribute ultimately to the success of defined business objectives. Although an individual procurement may be delivered and executed “correctly”, it will not be successful unless the selection and contract award contribute to the overall success of the organization and the achievement of the intended business objectives. Procurement is a means to achieve an end, which is organizational success.
Therefore, we work closely with project leaders and participants to create practical action plans to produce business results that are meaningful from the client’s perspective. Your business objectives drive our procurement (and fairness) consulting services.
- Consulting potential suppliers to assess market capability
We provide guidelines to facilitate consultation with potential suppliers before the procurement is initiated so that the process is open, transparent and fair to all participants. Attention is given to ensuring commercial confidentiality and preventing conflicts of interest, while avoiding unfair bias during the subsequent development of the procurement documents.
- Identifying and assessing options for competitive procurement
We will identify the range of procurement approaches that are appropriate for achieving the business objects while complying with corporate policies and leading practices. Our assessment will consider factors such as schedule and budget constraints, procurement policies and practices, characteristics of the vendor pool, current market conditions, recent industry experience, public sensitivity, client resources, and approval processes.
- Designing procurement processes and documents
Each procurement project has unique requirements and selection criteria that must be presented to the market in clear and compelling terms to attract competent suppliers to respond with compliant and competitive bids. We bring both experience and objectivity to support clients in preparing and delivering successful procurements.
- Documenting comprehensive evaluation criteria and selection processes
The procurement documents describe the opportunity and the selection criteria, which the potential suppliers expect will be applied fairly to select the successful respondent. We work closely with the client to convert the selection criteria into objective evaluation procedures and scoring guidelines that can be applied consistently to produce a defensible recommendation for contract award.
- Evaluator Training
We review the evaluation team orientation materials, undertakings and commitments, procedures and directions; confirm that all evaluators have signed an effective undertaking to declare any actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest, and protect the confidentiality of all submissions and evaluation information and documents; attend and participate in the briefing of the evaluation team members; and finally, address their responsibilities for diligence, consistency, fairness and documentation.
- Providing advice on communications, contracting and project management.
We review the final recommendation for contract award to verify consistency with the evaluations, scoring and official documentation. After the selection has been approved we can review contract finalisation details to verify consistency and fairness related to the procurement documentation, the vendor submissions and the formal evaluation results.
- Advice on Leading Practices
Throughout our engagement we advise and brief project team members on leading practices, including: principles and duties of fairness; care and protection of confidential information; avoidance and timely disclosure of actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest, bias and undue influence; individual scoring and official scoring record sign-off procedures; preparation, treatment and retention of evaluation documents.
The SEG approach to fairness advice and monitoring is called:
Proactive Planning and Intervention.
SEG works to ensure that all participants in the procurement lifecycle – the internal project team, external advisors and potential respondents – understand the need to design, execute and confirm a process that meets the high standards of fairness expected in public procurement. Our essential objectives in providing fairness services are:
- To work closely with our clients,
- To build a shared understanding and acceptance of fairness principles,
- To anticipate and plan for critical checkpoints and interventions,
- To identify concerns quickly so that they can be addressed immediately and finally,
- To resolve fairness issues before they fester into significant problems that may contaminate the validity of the entire procurement initiative.
Procurement activities demonstrate to suppliers and the general public the business values and practices of the issuing organization.
- SEG’s fairness advice mitigates the risks inherent in any public procurement project.
- SEG consultants treat each assignment as an opportunity to both deliver and share our expertise.
- We work closely with our clients to establish open and candid lines of communication with the project teams to anticipate and intercept fairness problems early.
- Through the start-up meeting and other training vehicles we convey our role and the importance of fairness in the procurement process – and to the success of their project.
- We encourage all team members to seek our informal fairness opinion and to identify fairness concerns quickly so that they can be resolved in a timely manner.
Each fairness intervention is an opportunity for us to explain the importance of fairness and how to adjust the activity or language to comply with the principles of fairness.
- Knowledge transfer is a continuous process throughout each of our assignments.
- Always we will work to enhance the capability of our clients’ procurement teams.
Acting as a Fairness Advisor, SEG consultants monitor the entire procurement process for high profile, complex or potentially contentious public sector projects. We review documentation, observe activities and verify official records to confirm or attest that the procurement process has been carried out in compliance with the relevant procurement principles, policies, documents, and leading practice.
Throughout our fairness engagements we review the outcomes at each evaluation stage, including Proponent reference checks, product demonstrations or site visits. At the client’s request we will investigate alleged, perceived or actual breaches of confidentiality and/or conflicts of interest to prepare Fairness Advisor reports (verbal or written) with findings, observations and recommendations.
Our participation provides objective, third party assurance to vendors, owners and other stakeholders, including the general public that the procurement project has demonstrated openness, fairness, consistency and transparency throughout its design and implementation.