NPM No. 085-2017


Issues Concern: ISO Certification Requirement



1)    Whether it is proper for the BAC to have issued a Supplemental/Bid Bulletin in the absence of any bidder during Pre-Bid Conference and if it is under any obligation to explain to its prospective bidder the rationale of its Supplemental/Bid Bulletin;

Clarifications, modifications, changes or amendments to the Bidding Documents must be reflected through the issuance of the corresponding Supplemental/Bid Bulletin, and posted in the websites of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) and the concerned Procuring Entity. This is important to inform the prospective bidders of the revised requirements, if any, and to afford them the opportunity to comply with these additional requirements. Consequently, if no Supplemental/Bid Bulletin is issued to reflect changes in the Bidding Documents, or even if the same was issued but not posted at the PhilGEPS’ and PE’s websites, the original provisions contained in the Bidding Documents remain and the prospective bidder, including the winning bidder, cannot be compelled to abide or comply with the changes made by the PE.

2)    Whether a claim by an opposing bidder that there is only one capable supplier for a particular bidding may be used as basis for effectively removing a technical specification requirement despite the insistence of the end-user for its inclusion.

Accordingly, it is up to the procuring entity to prepare and craft detailed technical specifications in their bidding documents; and it is incumbent upon them to show that the specifications or conditions set forth are based on relevant characteristics and/or performance requirements. An ISO requirement may be acceptable so long as the procuring entity can show that this is necessary, imperative and relevant based on its needs, and that these standards can be validly measured, tested, proven and/or confirmed.

3)    Whether water districts are prohibited from requiring a three (3)-year continuing certification for ISO 14001:2004.

In this case, the 3-year continuing ISO requirement may be included as part of the specifications, if the PE deems it necessary, imperative and relevant based on its needs, provided that such requirement will not be too limiting that it becomes restrictive and violative of the principle of competition, and the standards required can be validly measured, tested, proven and/or confirmed. If not, the PE has the discretion to remove such specification.