NEC ECC: Can a Client insist on seeing how the total cost of each Activity Schedule item has been built up?

We have Framework Contract with a large organisation where a number of individuals within that organisation invite mini-competitions from the framework suppliers. The framework includes a list of salary banded rates for our staff to work on these commissions.

The mini-competitions use Option A or Option E of the Professional Services Contract.
Mini-competitions have been issued recently under Option A but, as part of our submission, the Client has asked us to provide a schedule of the people and associated rates used to build up the lump sum price for each item on the Activity Schedule.

We don’t think the Client is entitled to this information but does anyone have a view or similar experience?

What would people’s view be if our Quality Submission score was to be reduced for not supplying this information?

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Often a Client will want to see what the breakdown is for their own cost data management and benchmarking purposes, although an Activity Schedule doesn’t always assist with this, depending upon how it is structured. It may also be a simple request to allow a comparative review between tenderers, for evaluation purposes.

The procurement obligations differ between public sector bodies and private organisations, which you don’t mention in your question. However, maybe just ask the Client why they want the information, which allows you to understand the nature of the request.

I am assuming that the tender evaluation criteria has already been set out clearly, so not sure why this would affect your Quality Submission score, unless there was something specifically related to the Activity Schedule. If your score was reduced accordingly, then you may have grounds to challenge the decision even with a private organization, which should have detailed governance procedures by which they operate. This may not lead to the outcome you hope for, but it would certainly raise issues of non-compliance within the organisation that they would hopefully address.

Can the client INSIST on seeing this information ? Have a look in, I would imagine, the ‘quotation procedure’ or ‘selection procedure’ document. If it is not somewhere in the framework agreement which you have signed up to, then the answer is ‘No’.

Can they deduct marks from your Quality Submission ? It depends on how they have set up the competition. And part of that, would be by reference to the ‘selection procedure’ document. I.e. Is the process they are using for this package in accordance with the selection procedure or are they changing the rules as they go along.