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William Brown

REWIND T stands for the “reasonably well informed and normally diligent tenderer”.  This is how the courts will interpret tender documents, specifically the assessment criteria and scoring indicators set out within those documents.  It is a really useful acronym to remember if you are involved in public procurement.

The test comes from the European Court of Justice case of SIAC Construction v Mayo County Council (2001).  I will not bore you with the details – but in essence – the REWIND T test is all about ensuring transparency.  Tenderers need to know exactly what they are being asked and how they will ultimately be scored.

To apply the REWIND T test, go get a cup of coffee, sit down at your desk, and put yourself into the shoes of the REWIND T.  How would it read your assessment criteria?  How would it answer them?  Alternatively, give your tender documents to a colleague who is not involved in the competition and get them to answer these questions.

By periodically “zooming out” like this, any ambiguities in your documents will quickly become apparent, allowing them to be resolved.  You will then end up with a set of procurement documents that are objectively clear and easy to mark in a fair and transparent way.

For a recent example of the courts application of the REWIND T test, have a look at Word Perfect v Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (No. 3) [2018].  This case looked at a number of issues regarding manifest errors during a tender evaluation.  One issue concerned the meaning of the word “narrative”.    One tenderer interpreted this as meaning “charts and graphs”.  Another thought it meant “written words”.  What do you think the REWIND T would say?  Have a look at the judgement to find out!

This blog was written by William Brown, a Senior Associate at Quigg Golden.  William writes a regular blog that focuses on explaining construction and procurement law concepts… in about 300 words.  Follow him on LinkedIn to read more.

William Brown will led a seminar at PAI on Friday 8 February: Construction Procurement Masterclass- Getting it Right- Evaluating Tenders, Debrief Letters and Awarding Contracts. For more information, or to book: click here 

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