A request for tenders is a formal, structured invitation to suppliers to submit a bid to supply products or services. In the public sector an official fee is needed to fortify and secure the tender bid engagement documents, such a process may be required and determined in detail by law to ensure that such competition for the use of public fund is open, fair and free from bribery and nepotism. For example, a government may put a building project ‘out to tender’; that is, publish an invitation for other parties to make a proposal for the building’s construction, on the understanding that any competition for the relevant government contract must be conducted in
response to the tender, no parties having the unfair advantage of separate, prior, closed-door negotiations for the contract. An evaluation team will go through the tenders and decide who will get the contract.
As a consequence of the scale of the tender process the majority of RFTs are published by the government sector, but companies in the infrastructure and utilities sectors may also publish RFTs. RFTs may be distributed to potential bidders through an online tender advertisement platform or published at least 2 daily newspaper of nationwide coverage. An RFT is usually an open invitation for suppliers to respond to a defined need as opposed to a request being sent to selected potential suppliers. The RFT often requests information following on from other information gathered previously from responses to a Request for information (RFI). This will usually not only cover product and service requirements, but will also ask for information about the suitability of the business.
An RFT is usually expected to conform to a legally standardized structure designed to ensure impartiality. And the tender bid winner is entitled to take responsibility of the contract business supply documentations formalities and settle any tender bid engagement charges for official recording.