Post-Tender Negotiation (PTN) is a separate exercise from Tender Clarification. PTN is contact between the procurement officer and the bidder(s) to refine and improve the bid(s) received in order to ensure that prices, delivery or associated terms of the contract are competitive.
PTN is conducted after the receipt of formal tenders by the procurement officer, and before the award of any contract. It is not used in all procurements, and when it is used an audit trail will be kept by the procurement officer so that it can be seen that the PTN was conducted in a fair manner.
The potential areas for negotiation will differ for every contract but typical topics might include:
At all stages the competing tenderers will be treated in an honest, fair and ethical manner, whilst retaining confidentiality of their bids. Post Tender Negotiations seek to make each individual bid as competitive as possible, without reference to any other bids. For example, procurement officers must not unfairly trade off one bid against another by using the lowest bid to seek a reduction in costs from the other bidders.
The key point is that procurement officers are required not to act in a manner that is likely to distort competition. As a result procurement officers will ensure that all PTN is meticulously recorded and that proceedings are conducted in a fair manner.
When carried out in an atmosphere of openness and mutual trust negotiations can strengthen relationships between procurement officers and suppliers because they allow a frank and open exchange of ideas and views on how best the requirement might be delivered.