08.03 Evaluation criteria

The evaluation criteria provide the basis for an objective and transparent evaluation process. Depending on the complexity of the procurement, they can consist of a very simple definition or a long and detailed one. 

The evaluation criteria must be established in the solicitation documents, and they must define the key areas of importance that will be considered in the evaluation.

During the evaluation, the process must adhere to criteria established in the solicitation documents. New criteria cannot be introduced subsequent to the bidding deadline.

There are three types of criteria which are described in the paragraphs below.

Formal criteria

Defined as those requirements that must be met to make a valid offer and thus not subject to scoring in the technical evaluation, formal criteria are a true/false absolute requirement for the proposals to be considered. 

Formal criteria normally include the following:
  • submission of complete offers as requested in the solicitation documents, including all forms requested (proposal submission form, confidentiality undertaking, etc.);
  • documents duly signed by a representative of the bidding firm;
  • validity period conforming to the requirements;
  • acceptance of Terms and Conditions;
  • eligibility of the supplier to present an offer (based on adherence to UN Code of Conduct and other eligibility criteria);  
  • assessment of financial stability and volume of business (sales, revenue, etc…) compliant with requirements established in solicitation documents. The criteria must be based on the estimated amount of the procurement action; and
  • separate technical and financial offers (in the case of an RFP).
Non-compliance with formal criteria must lead to the technical offer being found ineligible for evaluation. 

Technical Criteria

Technical criteria are defined based on the specifications provided in the solicitation documents. In the case of procurement of goods, technical criteria might consist of the minimum functional or technical requirements that must be met. In the case of services, the criteria might include qualifications and experience required, provider availability, physical presence, specific technical approach, and so on.

Technical criteria must be defined clearly and in such a way that proposals can be evaluated for their adherence (or failure to adhere) to them. In the case of RFP for services, technical criteria usually are scored with points to determine the offer with the highest value to UNAIDS.

Financial Criteria

Financial criteria establish the basis on which financial offers will be reviewed. It must be clear to suppliers what factors must be included in the financial offers (including travel costs, shipping costs, customs duties, maintenance or licenses) and the extent to which these must be provided in detail. 

The ratio between technical and financial factors may differ from one RFP to another. The right balance between the different evaluations criteria must be established before the RFP is issued, and that balance must be stated expressly in the tender documents. 

In most RFPs, technical quality is weighted more heavily than price considerations. The balances needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis, but the recommended weighting is 60% for the technical aspects and 40% for the price. Deviation from this requires justification and clearance from Procurement Coordinator. 

Points for the financial criteria are calculated by assigning 100% of the points to the lowest-priced of the technically qualified bids; other qualified bids are assigned points on a proportional basis.