Legal Updates

Choosing a winner of a tender based on criteria that were not part of the tender is overstepping authority and violates the principle of equality between bidders

January 18, 2021

A local authority that requested bids for security services in a competitive procedure selected a wining bid despite the existence of another bid that was cheaper. The financial difference between the two bids was negligible and stood at only ILS 91 (a 0.22 permil difference), so the authority decided to summon the bidders for a hearing and considered various quality components such as: profitability, equity, turnover and relevant experience.
The Court accepted the petition and held that the cheapest bid should be chosen. The principal of equality between the bidders does not allow to consider aspects that were not included in the criteria that was published in advance in the competitive procedure. Here, the competitive procedure took place after the bidders were selected in a framework tender. However, as these are criteria that were not published in advance as part of the procedure, the local authority did not have any authority to run independent quality tests and had to choose the cheapest offer.