INFORMATION IS INCLUDED IN A SPECIFICATION

After agreement about what information will be included in the specification and an appropriate structure, it must be formatted into a useable specification. There is a range of information that can be included in a specification. Including particular topics will depend on the nature of the goods or services being specified.
1. Identification Title.
2. Table of contents.
3. Introduction.
4. Scope.
5. Background information or history of the required goods and services.
6. List of terms, symbols and acronyms (glossary).
7. List of relevant documents.
8. External approvals.
9. Security aspects.
10.Environmental and ergonomic limitations.
11.Detailed requirements.

1. Identification Title
Use a simple description of the specified goods or services for the title. The title should be as broad as possible to allow alternative solutions to be offered. Use broad, open titles to describe the basic function (for example, ―Materials Handling Equipment‖ or ―Waste Management‖) where more than one type of solution may be available. Where a range of goods or services is required the title should encompass the generic nature of those goods or services.

2. Table of contents
A table of contents needs to be considered particularly for longer and more complex specifications.

3. Introduction
An introduction sets the scene for the specification by describing the required goods or services in the larger context of the department/agency. A well written introduction will increase potential suppliers‘ interest in the invitation and help them to understand the department‘s/agency‘s needs.

Detailed requirements should not be included in the introduction.
The decision to use an introduction will be influenced by such factors as:

  • The expected level of public awareness about the department/section
  • The complexity of the required goods or services
  • The novelty or innovativeness of the required goods or services or their intended use
  • The need to describe the required goods and services in a larger context.

4. Scope
The scope is a general statement or summary about the required goods or services. Complex specifications are more likely to benefit from a scope section than simple ones. However, even for simple specifications a scope may represent an effective way to highlight the
main aspects of the requirement. Consider writing the scope as a stand-alone statement of the requirement. This will permit
procurement officers to use the scope in offer and contract documents as well as in advertisements seeking offers. The scope should include a brief description of the requirement and the application, purpose or function of the goods or services required.

5. Background information or history of the required goods and services
Goods or services that are complex may be better understood by potential offerors if their history is explained. Giving offerors information about how and why the requirement arose can help them decide their best solution. Background information includes:

  • The origin of the need for the required goods or services.
  • The current need for the goods or services.
  • An outline of the research which has been undertaken into the goods or services.
  • What options (if any) have been considered.
  • What options have been dismissed and why.
  • A description of the current system, equipment and methods which will be replaced by the goods or services being defined or solutions being sought.
  • How this requirement is related to earlier purchases and perceived future requirements.
  • The implications for the user resulting from implementing the selected solution.

6. List of terms, symbols and acronyms (glossary

  • Use acronyms and symbols sparingly.
  • Do not assume that such words and phrases will be understood or interpreted correctly by offerors (if in doubt, research the market to find the commonly used terms).
  • Use a glossary to define abbreviations, acronyms, technical terms or symbols if there is a need to use them.
  • Jargon should not be used (unless it is a well-accepted industry standard).
  • Use accepted definitions or standards to explain acronyms and symbols.
  • Place the glossary where it best assists reading and understanding the specification.

7. List of relevant documents
Provide a list of all documents referred to in the specification rather than including the actual documents or extracts. Documents that are readily available commercially, or which offerors can reasonably be expected to already hold, do not need to be provided. However, unusual or hard to find documents should be provided to offerors. But be prepared to provide a copy of any relevant document if an offeror makes the request. Documents most commonly referred to include other specifications, Standards, reference publications, Codes of Practice, Acts of Parliament and Government directions and regulations. Nominate the part(s) of the specification to which each document applies. Determining which documents to reference should be part of the analysis of the requirement. List only primary documents (that is, those documents actually referred to in the specification). Secondary documents should not be listed as they are automatically invoked by implication.

8. External approvals
A contractor may need approval from a relevant authority to perform certain work under the contract. For example, to make an electrical connection, close roads or access properties for survey work. It is normally the contractor‘s responsibility to make arrangements for obtaining any approvals or certifications necessary for the completion of the task in accordance with the laws.

9. Security aspects
Define the required security measures the offeror may need to consider.

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