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Journal of the Academy of Hospital Administration

Methodology for Opening of Bids

Author(s): D.C.Joshi

Vol. 12, No. 1 (2000-01 - 2000-06)

Keywords : Purchase, Bids, Tenders


The purchase officer's first duty is to select the potential supplier, whom he believes will offer value in terms of price, quality and service. The primary consideration is that the supplier should be able to handle the business effectively. The job of the hospital administrator is really challenging, when he is asked to handle purchases. In whole of the purchase cycle, this is the most vital aspect. This is the area where both name and fame is deeply associated with the position of the administrator and the administrator has not only to be honest, but also appear to be honest. This is the area where the job can be spelt clearly, every thing can be recorded with transparency. There has to be clear cut methodology a standard operating procedure. What is to be done? When is to be done? Where is to be done? By whom? Most important is how is to be done? The hospital administrator has to handle purchases of various groups of items, ranging from drugs, surgical items, laundry items, grains, vegetables, mechanical and electronic gadgets, biomedical instruments, hospital equipment, instruments, machines, electrical and civil works and almost all range of items required for the effective and efficient functioning of the hospital.

The tender opening is an important occasion when all the bidders, who have participated in
the tender, assemble, their bids are opened formally in their presence and certain information e.g. prices are read out in the open session. Predesigned methodology ensures an impartial
and fair approach to all the bidders so that complaints on this account do not arise in the future, and there is smooth flow in the purchase cycle. This methodology is suitable for most of the organisations ranging from small dispensary to big health care organisations, with little modifications adaptable to the individual and local needs.

Bid Opening Team :

The bid opening is an important responsibility, so the bid opening team should be formally
formed. The composition of the bid opening team will depend upon the estimated value of the bid, the level of the bid opening officer in the organisation is directly proportional to the estimated value of the tender. Proposal for formation of the bid opening team should be approved well in advance by the Medical Superintendent/in-charge hospital administration or the officer at sufficiently high level vested with the financial powers by the management board. The officer nominated for the bid opening is normally different from the officer who has to process the procurement case, to eliminate personal bias. The bid opening officer has other team members to assist him in the procedure of opening of the bid. These team members are also to be nominated well in advance and members should not be from the personnel handling the stores.


The bid opening team should do all home work well in advance to enable it to carry out the function effectively during bid opening, few of the steps to be taken by the team are as following :

  1. Prepare the attendance register for recording the attendance of those present at the time of opening the bids.
  2. Prepare the list of bidders who have purchased the tender forms.
  3. Arrangement of sufficient number of helping staff for shifting of the documents from the point of acceptance of bids to the opening venue.
  4. Arrangement of security staff at the bid opening venue.
  5. Arrangement of adequate number of passes to enable smooth entry of the bidders to the bid opening venue.
  6. Arrangement of public address system to enable the bidders to hear information being read out.
  7. Making suitable sitting arrangement.
  8. Arrangement for receipts, recording and stocking of documents.
  9. Prepare formats for recording of the information to be read out at the time of bid opening.
  10. Prepare formats for recording minutes of bid opening.
  11. Prepare direction pointers, notices for display at prominent locations to guide bidders to bid opening venue.
  12. Inform reception, public relation office and personal staff of the administrator, so that information is provided if sought by the bidders regarding time, venue etc.


The bid opening can be conducted conveniently in a hall, which can accommodate departmental officers of the team, the bidders or their authorised representatives, the hall should have an anteroom for the purpose of receiving of the bids, completing some other formalities with the bidders or their representatives, before they all are allowed to enter the bid opening venue in particular.

Eligibility for participating in the old opening :

There should be predetermined criteria, as to who will be allowed to participate in the bid opening.

  1. Bidders who have purchased the tender documents, with a proof of such purchases.
  2. Authority letter from the bidders in respect of their representative.
  3. Bidders who have submitted their bids.

Those who do not fulfill the above criteria would be deemed to be unauthorised and would not be allowed to enter bid opening venue in particular and participate in the bid opening process.

Bid opening process:

The process should start at the time/date given in the Notice inviting Tender (NIT) The bidders should be requested to enter the ante room first, to produce their letter of authorisation for participation in the bid opening process and also provide proof of having purchased the bid documents from the authorised source to enable the bids to be accepted. Suitable entries have to be made in the bid receipt register and the attendance register. The signatures of all the participating bidders should be obtained on the attendance register specified for the purpose. Passes would then be provided to authorised bidders/their representatives to enable them to enter the bid opening venue. For the bidders who submit their bids earlier to the date of bid opening , bids having letter of authorisation for submission of bids and the bids themselves being submitted as required by the bid document, would be accepted by the authorised officer. A receipt to this effect is issued by the authorised officer to the bidder. In case such bidder wants to participate in the bid opening process, the pass should be issued by the bid opening officer. In such cases it should be ensured that such bids are made available, suitably numbered at the bid opening venue. Any bid submitted after due times as per NIT should be returned unopened by the bid opening officer. Entry of the bidders to the bid opening venue should be regulated only with help of the issued passes and assisted by the adequate security staff. It can be appreciated that the bid opening is a very sensitive issue and on many occasions it becomes a big law and order problem, so there should be an effective stand by arrangement for any unforeseen eventuality. If the estimated value of the bid is high and the response to the NIT is very extensive then entry should be restricted to one person per bid only. The bid opening officer should be empowered to deal with any eventuality during the process as the issues are so sensitive, that the decisions have to be quick, the bid opening officer should not be expected to refer the case to the superior officer for immediate crisis management. The decision of the bid opening officer would be final.

At the start of the process the bid opening officer should clearly state that the information to be provided under which heads, he has to be precise in mentioning what information is to be provided during the bid opening session, no other query of the participants would be entertained.

Actual process starts when the process of acceptance has ended and all the accepted bids are shifted to the bid opening venue. Following steps are then taken.

  1. Each and every bid should be numbered and serially arranged.
  2. Entries of bids are made in the register, superscribed on the bid and this entry encircled with red ink and initiated by the bid opening officer. The bid opening officer will display the intactness of the seal, of the bid being opened, to all the participants, prior to opening it.
  3. Record and initial this entry
  5. check and ensure that the number of copies and the mode of submission of the bids are as per the bid documents.
  6. Bids not conforming to the laid down criteria should be rejected then and there, and recorded, initiated, giving reasons for rejection.

After opening the bids, the officer should read out the information, as specified earlier.

The information should be on:

  1. Name of the bidder.
  2. Name of the article.
  3. Quantities/price quoted in the bid.
  4. Discount, if offered.
  5. Taxes and levies

Record the information on the predesigned format. Encircle the entries in the bid in the red ink initial these in the bid before proceeding to the next item to be read out.

Record the information on the predesigned format. Encircle the entries in the bid in red ink initial these in the bid before proceeding to the next item to be read out.

The bid should be sealed thereafter and initial these in the bid before proceeding to the next item to be read out.

The bid should be sealed thereafter and initialed by the bid opening officer.

Minutes of the bid opening:

In all the cases it has to be ensured that the bid opening process completes on the same day. The bid opening officer will prepare the minutes of the proceedings, the formats are predesigned, to facilitate the work. The minutes are to be presented on the same calendar day., in case the bid opening could not be completed the same day or drags well beyond the closing hours of the office, the minutes are issued the next day, reasons should be clearly recorded by the bid opening officer for perusal and acceptance by his superior officer. The minutes should comprise the following.

  • Report on the bid opening duly prepared by the bid opening official and signed by the bid opening officer along with other members of the bid opening team. Certifying that only those bidders who were eligible to participate, were allowed to participate.
  • Information regarding items read out.
  • Submission of bid documents.
  • Statement that all steps taken to preserve the sanctity of the bids.
  • Certificate regarding proper storage of bids, after the bid opening in secure area.

Submission of minutes :

The bid opening officer should submit the minutes of the bid opening, duly signed by all members of the bid opening team to the Medical Superintendent/In-charge hospital administration/Director, as the case may be for further necessary action.

Making over of bids :

The bid opening officer should make over the complete set of bids along with the minutes of bid opening and other documents after the opening of bids is over to the officer who has to process the procurement action.

* Chief Medical Officer I/C P and T Dispensary,
No.1, Hazratganj, Lucknow. UP

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