Request for Proposal (RFP)
The RFP document for procurement of consultant is similar to tender document for procurement for works and goods. RFP provides all the instructions and information necessary for the shortlisted consultants to prepare their proposals. RFP includes the following:
- Letter of Invitation (LOI) (providing the information of name of Client(you), source of fund, names of shortlisted consultants, name of the consulting assignment, method of selection, dates by which the proposals are to be submitted and so on).
- Instructions to the consultants (including evaluation process, evaluation criteria and sub-criteria and their relative weights).
- Standard forms for submission of Technical Proposal.
- Standard forms for submission of Financial Proposal.
- Terms of Reference (TOR)
- Standard form of contract either Lump sum or Time Based or
Percentage or Indefinite Delivery and so on with appendices.
Government of India has prepared a model RFP document along with form of contract which is available on the website of Ministry of Finance. The model RFP documents have also been framed by World Bank and other financing institutions and are available on the websites of those institutions for different forms of contract.
You have to incorporate the evaluation criteria to evaluate the technical proposals in the Section of Instructions to the consultants provided in the RFP. The evaluation criteria generally should be adopting the following:
- Specific experience of the consultants relevant to the assignment.
- Adequacy of the proposed methodology and work plan.
- Key professional staff qualifications and competence.
- Suitability of the transfer of knowledge (training) program.
Now that we are aware of the necessary inputs for a RFQ document, let us now learn about preparation, submission and evaluation of proposals.
Preparation of proposals
The consultants should go through the RFP documents and prepare the technical as well as financial proposals as given in the TOR by making use of the standard forms. A pre-proposal conference with shortlisted consultants can be called for, in order to explain the TOR, the standard forms and clarify any query. If any clarifications are to be issued, you must issue it in the form of pre-proposal conference minutes and amendments if any required are issued later.
Submission of proposals
The consultants should submit the technical and financial proposals in two covers together before the last date and time fixed. Proposals received after the deadlines for submission are rejected and returned unopened. The consultants should use the standard forms contained in the RFP and should provide all information and documentation requested.
Evaluation of the proposals
You should have an evaluation committee consisting of three or four members who are well qualified and well versed with the assignment. The technical evaluation report is prepared by the committee and the recommendations are accepted after review by the officer competent to accept the contract. The financial proposals of the technically qualified consultants are opened based on the procedure applicable for the particular method of selection. Based on the method of selection a combined evaluation report is prepared and action taken for acceptance. The selected consultant is then notified and requested to come for negotiations.