One of the cornerstones of a fair and successful competitive bidding process is transparency. Transparency requires that the process should be conducted openly and that the selection of the winning candidates be based on criteria published in advance. Key features of transparent processes include:
- Advance publication of the bidding documents, with process rules, qualification requirements and selection criteria;
- Separation of qualification and selection processes; and
- Public opening of proposals including separate sealed financial offers from qualified applicants.
The funding agency needs to ensure that participants in the competitive processes, as well as the general public, perceive the process to be fair.
The various steps of the competitive subsidy bidding process are as follows:
- Marketing and official publication of the bidding opportunity as described in Section 7.2.1;
- Conducting a pre-bid meeting that allows bidders to request clarifications and make possible suggestions for modification, discussed in Section 7.2.2; and
- Bid opening, bid evaluation and selection, and subsequent bid award, presented in Section 7.2.3.
In order to allocate subsides to pilot projects, it is recommendable to require business or sustainability plans, as outlined in Section 7.2.4.