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A term explained – «Fair Public Bidding Process»

Feb 20, 2018 04:20 PM

Issued by | Stefan Huber | International Security Ligue | ComGroup

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Fair bidding processes have in common that they transparently publish their rules and criteria before the actual bidding. Based on this, the issuer of bids ensures the ease of accessibility to and the understanding of the requirements for potential bidders.

This process is more relevant for security-related projects than for any other service or supplier project. The public at large does understand, that later on during the execution of a security contract, the actual work requires confidentiality. For that reason, the rules and the installed controls and governance have to comply with higher standards and ethical norms. 

Therefore, the key to a public bidding process in security is, to define some criteria for deliverables transparently, and not just describe "price “ as a sole criterion. The following set of minimum requirements are helpful for a more transparent and fairer bidding process of public (and private) organizations. 

  • License to operate. This definition can vary from country to country.
  • Must prove to be financially sound - Nowadays good financial management is a unilateral definition.
  • Pay orderly tax
  • Pay fair salaries and social contributions (*). In many developed and developing countries, there are collective labor agreements in place or at least individual ones. In effect it means make social contributions.

Compliance with the above requirements strengthens the required quality level in any given market for sure. Of course, the entry bar for bidders should be higher than the bare minimum. In fact, in many countries, they are higher. Also to mention, in the EU, the CoESS (*) has defined a set of nonbinding but proposed requirements, including performance-based criteria.

Good frameworks to learn from are established in Spain, France, and the Netherlands, etc. (to mention a few ones from many more). In these markets, there are independent observing bodies in place, staffed with different empowerment tools.

In the Netherlands, some hallmarks exist. The most prominent is probably the one from the Netherlands Veiligheidsbranche (Security Association). 

In France there is CNAPS: a statutory public body placed under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior.

In Spain, the APROSER – the Professional Association of Private Security Services created a specific observatory organization to monitor the practices of private security companies and campaign for greater transparency within the industry. 

Continue reading... a best practice case.


(*) CoESS was set up in 1989 as the Confederation of European Security Services

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