Clarification on specific information contained within quotations can often be necessary before a Purchase Committee can make its ultimate recommendation on which quotation offers the best value for money while remaining appropriate from a technical perspective. When such a necessity arises, it is important that the process of attaining clarification is fully transparent. Clarification can typically address issues such as;
- Confusions with regard to an arithmetic calculation on the quotation
- Technical information such as specifications which are not clearly understandable
- Incomplete quotation
When clarification takes place following the receipt and evaluation of quotations, the process should be clearly documented and attached to original quotations and ultimately the quote evaluation form. Clarification should be sought in writing, either by letter or email, (copied to all PC members) rather than either by telephone or in person. Once all clarification has been received, a second PC meeting should be held to discuss and finally recommend an order winner.
It is important to consider that if clarification is requested from a supplier following the receipt of their quotation, Organization should be fully prepared and seek all clarification in a single request. If forced to seek clarification on multiple occasions the supplier may become impatient and be reluctant to quote for future orders with organization, particularly if they are unsuccessful in their bid. It is also important to realise that seeking clarification can potentially result in delays in the overall procurement process. With this in mind, a fixed timeframe should be allocated for suppliers to revert with clarification on their quotations. In clarification discussions no aspect of quotations provided by other suppliers can be discussed.