Section C Issuing an Enquiry

Look beneath the surface; let not the several quality of a thing nor its worth escape thee.

Meditations VI, 3 by Marcus Aurelius Antonius AD 121–180

For an owner, one of the first steps after project sanction and the development of the contracting strategy is to prepare to issue an enquiry or a request for a proposal (RFP). For a contractor, the first step in the project process is receipt of an enquiry document and the preparation of a tender or proposal.

This phase is preceded by a prequalification process (see Section B subsection 4), whether one is a client or a contractor. The purpose is to find four to six organizations that have the capability to execute the proposed project and who are willing to do so on the terms outlined in the enquiry document.

If necessary, invite expressions of interest and prequalify the names on the list, in order to make sure you have people who have the right background, experience, and expertise.

The following enquiry checklist4 is designed to be used either by an owner enquiring for a contractor's services or to be used by a contractor enquiring for goods and services.

1 Enquiry Preparation Phase

1.1

An owner proceeding with an enquiry for a main contractor before authorisation would be a mistake. Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with a contractor getting agreement to proceed with early enquiries for goods and services in order to validate their cost estimate.

1.2

Make sure that all enquiries ...

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