The past month has been spent evaluating the tenders from five different companies in regards to the recipient study. The actual content of the tenders and the details surrounding the decision making process can unfortunately not be disclosed, however there are many general principles of such assessments that can be discussed.
An essential first step in the evaluation process is to ensure that the bidders fulfill the fundamental requirements and that they fully understand the significance, risks and costs related to the different aspects of the project. As long as the invitation to tender is clear and concise, the communication, scoring the responses and the process of evaluating the tenders should be easy and straightforward for the procuring entity. The best practice is to develop and apply a template that includes the scope criteria and weightings in order to easily compare the tenders without a lengthy and complicated analysis and calculation process.
The cost, including delivery, installation, transportation and analysis of samples, is usually one of the main criteria up for evaluation, but in this case the non-cost related criteria are just as important. The companies have to show that they are able to fulfil the respective requirements; can deliver within the allocated timeframe; comply with the legal and statutory requirements; have qualified staff available; and have experience working in Arctic conditions.
The second step is to run the tenders through internal and external quality control checks, which in this case includes both Longyearbyen Lokalstyre and The Governor of Svalbard. Although the situation is still heavily influenced by the current pandemic, the project is still pretty much on schedule and will hopefully proceed as planned.
As most of the tenders have been prepared by environmental consultants with backgrounds within biology, ecotoxicology, and marine geology, the language and terminology used is both familiar and comprehensible for a student. This is a clear example of how a student’s biological knowledge and transferrable skills can be utilized across different disciplines, and showcases other areas that could be interesting to venture into in the future.