Public bodies or organizations may, on certain occasions, need the different services provided by private institutions or companies . In order to contract these services, the bidding process is necessary , a type of administrative procedure through which these types of services can be acquired under the law.

What is a tender?

Bidding is a common process by means of which the State of a country can contract and acquire the different services provided by a private company in an agile and transparent manner to avoid possible corruption of public funds.

  • Definition
  • Characteristics of a tender
  • What is a tender for?
  • Types
  • Process or call
  • Bases
  • How to participate in a tender
  • How it differs from the award
  • How it differs from a contest
  • Fraud
  • Importance of a tender
  • Examples


A tender is a process through which one seeks to acquire conditions of purchase or services for a specific project. It is a type of contest or call that is carried out among all possible suppliers with the aim of being able to contract a good or service under the framework of the law.


This process can also be applied in the leasing of places for public institutions. It is of an administrative nature and through it it is possible to obtain the best conditions in terms of price, financing, energy efficiency, optimization of resources, quality and, of course, environmental protection.

Characteristics of a tender

Among the main characteristics that can be observed in the bidding process, the following are mentioned:

  • It is carried out by the public sector to contract a good or service from the private sector .
  • It is considered as an advertising phase .
  • Companies that apply can only submit one offer .
  • It can be done publicly or privately .
  • It also establishes the dates on which the contest starts and ends.
  • It can be face-to- face , electronic or mixed .
  • The stages of the tender are indicated in a specific place known as the call.
  • It is characterized by having a series of technical specifications .
  • The tender is carried out through the issuance of a document in which all the needs are explained.

What is a tender for?

A tender is a process that allows different public organizations to have access to the contracting of services or goods by a private company. It is the means used to be able to contract companies within the legal framework and to avoid in this way that acts of corruption and inappropriate and illegal spending of public funds are presented.


There are several types of tenders. Depending on the type of budget you have, tenders can be classified as follows.

  • Federal : are those that occur in the dependencies of the States and in the Municipalities and that have a partial or total charge of the funds.
  • State : in this case, there can be a state bid with its own budget or with the state or it can be a state bid using a type of federal budget.
  • Municipal : they have the same mechanisms as the state ones but it differs in that they have a scope of lesser scope.

Depending on the way in which the bids are carried out, they can be classified into:

  • In person : they only present proposals in sealed envelopes, in the form of documents and through an act of presentation. It is also characterized by having an opening period for proposals, and all the delivery of documents must be in person by the bidder.
  • Electronic : it only allows bidders to participate using the different electronic means of communication.
  • Mixed : in this case, bidders can participate in person or electronically.

Finally, depending on the amount , the tender can be of the following types:

  • Public : this is a type of administrative process of preparation to the contractual will by means of which a public body invites several interested parties in order to select the best option. It is used mainly to lease goods, contract public works or buy real estate.
  • Invitation to three : in this case, the tender is made by inviting at least three different suppliers so that they can present the best budget.
  • Direct adjudication : it is a process that is carried out with the objective of being able to acquire an asset directly in order to cover the needs that are had at the time.

Process or call

The first step is the issuance of a document by a public body explaining all the needs that must be covered, as well as all the conditions by the contracting body. After the private companies read the document, they will decide if they want to adhere to the offer and then begin to present all the necessary documentation in order to prove and show that they have all the necessary means to carry out the work that is needed.

The offers are then evaluated within a reasonable time and later, after analyzing in detail all the proposals that have been presented, the most competent institution is hired . Then, the project is awarded and all the conditions that have been agreed between the parties are established in an official medium .


The bases of a tender are also known by the name of specifications and are based on four different principles that are:

  • Legality : in this case, it refers to the strict adherence to the law that the tender must have in order to properly regulate the procedure. It is the way in which it is guaranteed that no extra requirements are requested from what is established and so that no type of non-compliance is discussed.
  • Clarity : bids must be based on clarity. Everything that is written on it must be written clearly, that it is easy to understand and that it correctly shows what is being requested or needed by the requesting body.
  • Objectivity : this basis implies the elimination of all kinds of conditions that may produce subjectivity to avoid possible subsequent lawsuits and so that the entire legal framework can be applied correctly.
  • Impartiality : establishes that all the conditions and requirements of a tender are the same for all candidates without any exception.

How to participate in a tender

The first thing is to stay informed about possible tenders. Keeping all company documents up to date is essential. The candidate must register in the selection process and this is likely due to pay a fee as right registration . After knowing the need, the proposal must be established , be it technical or economic.

How it differs from the award

The tender is a process where the first part of all the processing, the offers, the bases and the advertising is studied and analyzed . The award is a process in which the documentation is analyzed and where the signing of a contract finally takes place .

How it differs from a contest

The main difference is that the tender is a way of opening up private companies to offer their different services to meet specific needs. For its part, a contest is when applications are opened in order to meet the needs of a State.


The best way to prevent fraud in tenders is to practice and carry out a series of analyzes , studies and investigations that determine the capacities and strengths of a private institution. The study of the documents presented during the process is also of vital importance to ensure that the company is under the legal framework of the law.

Importance of a tender

Its importance lies in the fact that the tender is the means by which it is possible to acquire the best services and the best purchasing conditions for a specific project. It is the way in which all contracts can be carried out under the necessary legal aspects that guarantee quality and excellent workmanship.


Some examples of tenders are:

  • The State requests the construction of a highway (public tender)
  • A private company requesting the construction of a building (private tender)
  • A meeting where as many bidders as possible are expected to attend so that you can have more options.

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