Review of Tenders and Selection of Preferred Consultant

It may be unwise to select a consultant on price only. Rather, it is a matter of balancing the quality of the proposal, the background and experience of the personnel who are to carry out the work, the price that is to be charged for their time, and the nature of the project.

In reviewing tenders a client should consider the following key points to seek a consultant who will provide a satisfactory product for a competitive price:

  • Whether the proposal adequately addresses the Brief, demonstrates an understanding of what the client requires, and indicates sufficient knowledge of the sphere of investigations to ensure that the consultant can carry out the work satisfactorily;
  • Whether the consultant appears able to meet the time schedule for the project without unacceptable overruns on either time or budget;
  • Whether the past record of the firm and the professional qualifications and experience of individuals who are to work on the project indicate a background that equips them adequately to undertake the work. The quality and experience of those individuals who will be carrying out the most important elements of the project are particularly important, as are the expertise and time commitment of the person designated to manage the project;
  • The hourly rates proposed for each individual who is to work on the project and whether these represent good value for the expertise that is being offered, and the total price quoted and whether this appears reasonable for the scope and quality of work offered; and
  • Is the consultant a member of the Environmental Consultants’ Association? All ECA members are recognised professionals in their field who have committed to the Association’s code of ethics. If problems arise, there can be recourse via the Association for lodgement of a complaint and subsequent arbitration and/or conciliation.