Legal Updates

One must choose an interpretation that gives validity to the bid instead the one that lead to its disqualification

February 5, 2023

The Municipality of Bnei Brak has published a tender for the management, operation and maintenance of a public parking lot. A bidder who was not selected contended to disqualify the winner of the tender due to insufficient experience in operating parking systems and technological means similar to the characteristics of the parking lot in the tender.

The Court rejected the petition to disqualify the winner and held that the winner met the threshold conditions in accordance with the tender stipulations. The starting point for interpreting any stipulation of the tender stipulations is its language. If there are several linguistic options, the one that best fulfills the objective purpose of the tender and its conditions will be preferred. In addition, the interpretation that upholds the bids of the tenderers should be preferred over an interpretation that disqualifies them. Here, the threshold conditions in the tender stated, inter alia, that it is necessary to have at least 36 months of experience during the last decade in operating a parking lot with at least 500 parking spaces, or three parking lots with at least 350 parking spaces. The winner presented 10 years of experience in operating the Open University parking lot in Ra'anana, which is a free parking lot and does not have an automatic parking ticket vending machine or advanced systems like those in the tender. However, in the tender there was no requirement to show experience in operating a paid parking lot or a parking lot where certain technological means were used. Therefore, one must choose an interpretation that gives validity to the bids instead the one that lead to their disqualification, while protecting the bidder's reasonable expectation that its bid will be examined according to the terms of the tender and will not be disqualified based on conditions not mentioned in the tender.