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Rule 45:
E-auction

Explains how an agency could run an e-auction after initially evaluating offers.

  1. An agency may run an e-auction after its initial evaluation of proposals. An e-auction is a scheduled online event where suppliers bid against each other on price, quality or other quantifiable criteria.
  2. An agency must notify suppliers in advance if it intends to run an e-auction. This advance notice must be in the Notice of Procurement and must include:
    1. a summary of the Rules that will apply to the e-auction
    2. the specific criteria that will be used in the e-auction.
  3. The automated evaluation method used in an e-auction must be based on the criteria set out in the Notice of Procurement.
  4. Before beginning an e-auction, an agency must provide each participating supplier with:
    1. a summary of the results of its initial tender evaluation
    2. the automated evaluation method that will be used to re-rank suppliers based on their e-bids
    3. the formula that the automated evaluation method is based on
    4. any other relevant information about how the e-auction is run.
  5. An agency must offer to train each participating supplier to use the hosted e-auction website or the e-auction software before the e-auction begins.

More information on e-auctions

An e-auction is an online reverse auction. It gives suppliers the opportunity to bid against each other to improve their offers. An e-auction can be run on specialist in-house software or as a hosted service.

When considering an e-auction, remember the principle of getting public value, including any broader outcomes you could leverage. 

It takes place in real time. The benefits of an e-auction include:

  • the negotiation process is paperless and streamlined
  • the negotiation takes less time
  • the process of awarding the contract is more transparent
  • it discourages collusion and bid-rigging.
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