The contracting entity may request clarification from a supplier concerning a tender submitted by the supplier concerned. Any number of clarification requests can be sent, but only one clarification request can be assigned to a single tender at a time.
The tender clarification is a three-step process:
- Creating and sending a clarification request
- Clarifying the tender on the Supplier Portal (tenderer’s actions)
- Processing a received clarification in Cloudia Sourcing The processor of the comparison may always accept or reject the clarified information submitted by the tenderer, and the tenders will be versioned in respect of these confirmed tenders
Step 1) Creating and sending a clarification request
A clarification request can be sent from a) the ‘Clarification’ section, or b) from the comparison view.
- a) The creation of a clarification request can be started from the ‘Clarification’ section of the procurement under ‘Tenders’ by clicking the ‘Send request for tender clarification’ button.
- b) The creation of a clarification request can also be started in the comparison table edit view under the tender by clicking the pencil icon (Generate tender clarification request)
FIGURE: The ‘Generate tender clarification request’ feature
Irrespective of which of the two methods you use, the system will then proceed to the preparation of a clarification request:
Preparing a clarification request
In the ‘Preparing a clarification request’ view, fill out the following fields first:
- Cover letter
- Enter the cover letter related to the clarification request that will be shown to the tenderer.
- Additional recipients (non-mandatory field)
- If applicable, other recipients can also be defined for the clarification request. The clarification request is always automatically sent to the party who submitted the tender, whose address is shown under ‘Recipients’
- Set a date and time for the clarification request
- Clarification will only be submitted as a cover note and attachment
- If you check this option, no sections will be opened in the tender for the tenderer to edit
- The tenderer will make the clarification in the Supplier Portal on the submit tender page by writing a cover note and adding an attachment
- Add an attachment that will be shown to the tenderer if applicable.
FIGURE: The figure shows the ‘Preparing a clarification request’ view
Clarification request pertaining to criteria (items 1 and 2 in the figure below)
To mark the items or criteria to be clarified, activate the item concerned by clicking it, and in the text field that appears, enter a comment related to the clarification. NOTE! Opening the comment window is not alone sufficient, but a comment must be added to each item or criteria to be clarified, indicating in which respects clarification is needed for the item concerned.
- This needs to be done separately for each item or criterion in respect of which clarification is required.
- When you have defined the necessary criteria, send the request.
Clarification request pertaining to tender attachments
NOTE! A clarification request may not pertain to attachments downloaded by the tenderer under ‘Other attachments’. Only clarification requests that pertain to the criteria of the procurement object can be created. However, the tenderer may include a free-form cover note and file attachment in its clarification that will be shown to the contracting entity in the acceptance view.
Send the clarification request (item 3 in the figure)
When you have defined the necessary criteria or checked the ‘Clarification will only be submitted as a cover note and attachment’ option, send the clarification request to the tenderer
- Click ‘Send request’
FIGURE: Select the criteria to be included in the clarification request
NOTE! A clarification request may not pertain to attachments downloaded by the tenderer under ‘Other attachments’, but only to the criteria of the procurement object. However, the tenderer may include a free-form cover note and file attachment in its clarification that will be shown to the contracting entity in the acceptance view.
When the clarification request has been prepared, you can exit the view and return to the comparison table by clicking ‘Edit the comparison’ or return to the procurement details by clicking ‘Return to the notice information’.
Step 2: Clarifying the tender on the Supplier Portal (tenderer’s actions)
The tenderer will receive an e-mail about the clarification request that includes a cover note, clarification deadline and link to the Supplier Portal. The link will only remain active until the deadline given for the clarification.
In the Supplier Portal, the tenderer may clarify its tender in respect of the details of the procurement object as defined by the contracting entity when the clarification request was prepared. The other fields of the tender will be locked. However, the tenderer may add a free-form cover note and file attachment to its clarification. These will be shown to the contracting entity in the clarification acceptance view.
When the tenderer has clarified the details of the tender as specified by the contracting entity, the clarified tender must yet be submitted from the ‘Submission of tender’ page.
Step 3: Processing a received clarification in Cloudia Sourcing
When the tenderer has submitted a clarified tender, the individual who made the clarification request receives a notification by e-mail.
Click ‘Open received tender clarification’ in the comparison table edit view to initiate the processing of the received clarification
- The system switches to the clarification processing view
FIGURE: The ‘Open received tender clarification’ functionality
The view list the following documents submitted by the tenderer:
- Cover letter
- Item- or row-specific new values
The individual who processes the clarification checks the information provided by the tenderer in its clarification for each item or criterion in respect of which clarification was requested. It is important to complete the processing of the submitted clarification, as otherwise the details clarified by the tenderer will not be saved on the tender and shown in the comparison.
- To accept the clarification, click the box next to the clarified item or criterion.
- When the clarification selections have been saved, the new information is saved in the tender submitted by the tenderer. When all the clarifications provided by the tenderer have been processed in the same way, the contracting entity will be able to also access the comparison table.
NOTE! In the view that appears, the individual who processes the clarification accepts or rejects the clarifications proposed by the tenderer. The selection must be made separately for each clarified detail. It is not sufficient to just click the ‘Save clarification selections’ button in order to accept the information provided in the clarification.
FIGURE: Example of the clarification acceptance view
When the clarification selections have been saved, the new information is saved in the tender submitted by the tenderer.
You can view the submitted and active clarifications in the ‘Clarification’ section of the system. You may sort the clarifications by their status.
- Tenders: The tab lists all the tenders submitted in response to the procurement
- To send a clarification request to the tenderer from the tab, click ‘Send request for tender clarification’
- Click ‘Open incomplete clarification request’ to view an incomplete clarification request
- In progress: The tab lists clarification requests the preparation of which has been started but which have not yet been sent to the tenderer.
- Active: The tab lists clarification requests that have been sent to the tenderer but in response to which the tenderer has not yet submitted a clarified tender.
- Pending: The tab lists clarification requests in response to which the tenderer has submitted a clarified tender, but which have not yet been processed by the contracting entity.
- Processed: The tab lists clarification requests in response to which the tenderer has submitted a clarified tender and which have been processed by the contracting entity.
- First row: Clarified tender
- Second row: The original tender that was sent to the tenderer for clarification
- Not clarified: The tab lists clarification requests in response to which the tenderer has failed to submit a clarified tender within the given deadline.
Each tab shows, depending on the case, the original tender, the clarified tender, the cover letter prepared by the contracting entity, and the date and time when the clarification was sent. From the tab, you can also download a zipped package containing all the documents related to the original or clarified tender.
FIGURE: The ‘Clarification’ section contains tabs for each clarification status