goods_and_service_procurement_practice_guide.doc

The market sounding process itself carries little

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The market sounding process itself carries little risk to agencies if particular principles are followed: Uniformity . While no two suppliers are alike, engagement with all suppliers consulted should be as uniform and consistent as possible. Security . If information is provided by a supplier it should not be shared with other suppliers (directly or inadvertently), or people outside of the agency unless permission from the supplier is attained. Any documentation provided by suppliers should be stored securely. Boundaries . Agency staff should be open with suppliers about what can and cannot be discussed. The purpose of the market sounding must be clearly communicated to suppliers before it begins to avoid any misunderstanding. When should Market Sounding end? For the purposes of these guidelines market sounding is considered to be a planning activity. Therefore, market sounding should cease when the agency is prepared to advertise their Request or has determined that the procurement process will not proceed. Communications to suppliers about the end of the market sounding period should be made at the same time, to ensure that no supplier is unfairly advantaged. It is important to note that ending the market sounding period should not inhibit standard ‘business as usual’ with existing suppliers. However once the procurement becomes a competitive process, any discussion that could potentially advantage (whether real or perceived) one Respondent over another should not occur 82 Ver. December 2017 Appendix
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Examples of effective Market Sounding As previously stated, there is no one way to conduct market sounding. Depending on factors such as the make-up of the particular industry, complexity of the requirement and the value/risk proposition of the procurement, effective market sounding could be accomplished through a range of approaches including: Telephone calls Meetings Workshops Product demonstrations Publicly advertising an Expression of Interest Issuing a Draft Request for Comment The following case studies have been chosen to illustrate good practise in this area. Case Study – Pharmaceuticals The project With previous pharmaceutical contracts, there were significant difficulties in encouraging suppliers of patented pharmaceuticals to submit an Offer. This created a significant risk to WA government agencies (primarily WA Health, as the largest purchaser of pharmaceuticals), as it resulted in a substantial portion of the requirement for pharmaceuticals being purchased outside of a formal contract, which meant that the purchases were not protected by government terms and conditions. Market sounding approach Planning meetings were held with potential respondents. These discussions revealed that suppliers saw no benefit to tendering for patented items, and that they did not wish to be ‘locked into’ a contract. From these discussions, it was determined that suppliers’ concerns
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