EP2038828A2 - A process for securing tendering system - Google Patents

A process for securing tendering system

Info

Publication number
EP2038828A2
EP2038828A2 EP06842769A EP06842769A EP2038828A2 EP 2038828 A2 EP2038828 A2 EP 2038828A2 EP 06842769 A EP06842769 A EP 06842769A EP 06842769 A EP06842769 A EP 06842769A EP 2038828 A2 EP2038828 A2 EP 2038828A2
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
tender
buyer
system
tendering
online
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
EP06842769A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP2038828A4 (en
Inventor
Jitendra Kohli
Original Assignee
KOHLI, Jitendra
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to IN3290DE2005 priority Critical
Application filed by KOHLI, Jitendra filed Critical KOHLI, Jitendra
Priority to PCT/IN2006/000483 priority patent/WO2007066357A2/en
Publication of EP2038828A2 publication Critical patent/EP2038828A2/en
Publication of EP2038828A4 publication Critical patent/EP2038828A4/en
Pending legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination

Abstract

The invention provides a method, system and development of related computer software (Fig.3) for electronically conducting on the Internet/Intranet the complete process of Tendering. Further, the system includes, but not limiting to, steps from pre-authentication of bidder/buyer (Fig.3, Smart Login) using to award of contract and monitoring of the award and all Intermediate steps exemplified by online submission of digitally- signed and encrypted bids in time-locked electronic tender boxes, public online tender- opening event, with comprehensive security and transparency related features necessary for transparent functioning particularly (Fig.3, 'Core Tendering Activities '). The system includes on line facility for appending corrigenda, storing tender/bidding documents, accessibility to bidding documents only by the authorized bidders, ability to download entire tender/bidding documents by prospective suppliers, facility for online payment/offline payments, adaptability for digital signatures, electronic seals & encrypting bids by the bidders themselves, facility for on line negotiations and meetings (Fig.3, 'Core Tendering Activities ').

Description

A PROCESS FOR SECURING TENDERING SYSTEM.

FIELD OF INVENTION:

The invention relates to a method, system and development of related computer software in combination with hardware for electronically conducting on the Internet/ Intranet the complete process of Tendering. Further, the invention relates to using electronic tendering by Government, Multilateral Agencies such as World Bank, and professional corporate organizations globally. The system includes, but not limiting to, steps from obtaining of internal approvals (ie the Pre-Tendering processes) to award of contract and monitoring of the award and all intermediate steps exemplified by online submission of digitally-signed and encrypted bids in time-locked electronic tender boxes, public online tender-opening event, with comprehensive security and transparency related features necessary for transparent functioning particularly, as required by/ expected of Government organizations and multi-lateral agencies globally. The system is capable of handling open as well as limited tenders. On line facility for appending corrigenda, storing tender/bidding documents, accessibility to bidding documents only by the authorized bidders (in case of limited/restricted tenders), ability to download entire tender/ bidding documents by prospective suppliers, facility for online payment, use of digital signatures, electronic seals & encrypting bids by the bidders themselves, storage of online bids in time-locked electronic tender boxes, public online tender opening, facility for on line negotiations and meetings, comprehensive matrix for multiple levels authorization for each organization, ability to integrate manual bidders are some of the peculiar featur.es of the system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:

Currently the tenders are floated mostly manually inviting bidders to quote their bids. Every page of the bid is signed by the bidder and then sealed in an envelop and deposited in a locked tender box. The tenders are opened, on cut off date, in presence of a group of Government Officers and Representative of the Bidders to ensure transparency and avoid preferential selections. After opening the tenders are tabulated to ascertain the quality and prices for selection of a bidder. Order is being placed to the selected bidder for further processing. More or less the entire process is manual involves number of people and thus becomes time consuming and prone to mistakes and unfair practices. So far no completely automated e-tendering system is available. To the best of our knowledge there is no Internet/ Intranet based Electronic-Tendering system is in use any where in the world, which has comprehensive features (including special features for high security) required for the formal tendering process specifically as required by Government organizations, and Multi-lateral organizations such as the World Bank. The current internet-sites for Government tendering are either merely Tender-Notice sites, or are doing bidding with rudimentary and restricted features, without appropriate security and transparency related features which are absolutely necessary if Electronic-Tendering by Government organizations is to become a global norm. Furthermore, the focus of current offerings in this area is primarily on e- Purchasing, Reverse- Auction and its adaptations suitable for procurement by private sector. Government Tendering has its own peculiar characteristics with requirements of Transparency and Security, which can be addressed only by the system designed specially for this purpose. Also, the current system offerings available in the market have not been able to appropriately address the issue of "Variation in the Tendering- Policy, Procedures and Rules" amongst various Government organizations globally. Consequently, current offerings pertaining e-Procurement/ e-Tendering are not only restricted by poor Transparency and Security related features, but in addition restrict users of such shared e-Procurement portals "by not offering flexibility to make the software to operate in accordance with required Tendering Policy and Procedures of each Government organization using the shared internet portal"

The tendering system of the present invention has an in-built feature of "Online Customization by the non-technical operating personnel of each Buyer Organization". This would adapt the functioning of the software to dove-tail with the varying tendering policy requirements of different Buyer organizations globally.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:

The main object of the present invention is to provide a process for securing tendering system. The other object is to provide a unique technique/mechanism for an automatic system for electronically conducting on the Internet/ Intranet the complete process of Tendering/ Procurement by Government and professional Corporate organizations globally. Another object is to provide e-tendering that includes all steps from Obtaining of Internal Approvals (ie the Pre-Tendering processes) to Award of Contract and Monitoring of the Award and all intermediate steps exemplified by online submission of digitally-signed and encrypted bids in time-locked event managed tender boxes, public online tender-opening event. Further the system is provided with comprehensive Security and Transparency related features necessary for Transparent functioning as required by/ expected of Government organizations and Multi-lateral agencies globally. Yet other object is to provide electronic tendering system with flexibility for handling open as well as limited tenders. Yet another object is to provide a system having on line facility for appending corrigenda, storing tender/bidding documents, accessibility to bidding documents only by the authorized bidders (incase of limited tenders), ability to access entire tender/ bidding documents by prospective suppliers, facility for online as well as offline payment, use of secured means by the bidders themselves, facility for on line negotiations and meetings, comprehensive matrix for multiple levels authorization for each organization, ability to integrate manual bidders.

Still other object is to provide a system with online customization of the tendering processes to align these to the tendering policy of the concerned Government Organization and Rules for each tender, which does not require any technically skilled personnel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:

Figure 1 relates to overall system configuration of a process for securing tendering system. The ETE Software is installed on the Hardware (ie Application Server and Database Server).

Figure 2 relates to a flow diagram for a process for securing tendering system Figure 3 depicts over view of ETE modules

STATEMENT OF INVENTION:

Accordingly the present invention provides a process of tendering system comprising; a secure and open means for the bidder and the buyer in a predetermined time locked event and including the steps of pre-authentication of the bidder/buyer, access to the resources, tendering of bid, monitoring of activities, evaluation of bid and award are integrated over a secure platform.

One of the embodiments of the present invention, the step of pre-authentication includes the authorization of bidder/buyer through predetermined means of identification and exchange.

According to other embodiment of the present invention, the step of access to the resources is carried out after the pre-authentication over the said secure platform.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, the step of tendering includes the submission of bid by the bidder to the buyer in a time locked event over the said secure platform.

According to yet other embodiment of the present invention, after the said bid is time locked the system awaits for the predetermined amount of time to monitor other requests and introduce corrigendum if required.

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention, the evaluation of the bid is carried out through the predetermined parameters of the said system.

According to still other embodiment of the present invention during the step of award, the system generates a public inspection means through which the trail of all the activities carried out by the system can made public,

In accordance with the other aspect of this invention there is provided a process of tendering system comprising; a secure and open means for the bidder and the buyer in a predetermined time locked event and including means for categorization of a product.

A process of tendering system further includes the secure means to provide information to/by the bidder or buyer individually or publicly over the said platform. A process of tendering system where the means are provided for date & time zone adjustment to the bidder/buyer so a to facilitate a common reference local time.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION:

Thus, as herein above mentioned currently there is no system solution available in the world with comprehensive features for Government tendering,

Technical features, which have been expressed in the form of the related "Functionality" are outlined below:

In the description given below, the term ETS (ElectronicTender System™) refers to

® any system/ portal built using any version of ETE (Electronic-Tendering Engine .

(K)

Within the frame work provided by ETS using Electronic-Tendering Engine .

A broad outline of some tendering related activities which can be carried out is as follows:

Registration

- Registration by officers of Buyer organization(s) on ETS with facility for Online/ Offline payment of Registration Fee. The Licensing-Settings can determine the number and countries of the Buyer organizations that register on

ETS.

- Registration by executives of Supplier organizations on ETS with facility for Online/ Offline payment of Registration Fee.

The unique feature lies in the fact that information is captured in ETE of both the concerned Organization and the Key Person who would be responsible for the Security policy and other key issues wrt use of ETS.

After receipt of the registration fee and acceptance of registration, the administrator of the application can attach a 'Verified' or 'Not Verified' tag against each organization profile depending upon whether physical verification of the registration credentials has been done or not. This unique feature helps a lot in reducing Internet related fraud. Simultaneous capture of Information during Registration of both the concerned Organization and the Key Person who would be responsible for the Security policy and other key issues wrt use of ETS.

The feature of PKI-based Digital Signing of the Terms & Conditions of Site Usage which have been accepted during registration.

Multiple Buyer Organizations And Supplier Organizations On A Shared Platform

- Feature for multiple Buyer organizations, multiple Supplier organizations, and multiple tenders of each organization to exist simultaneously on a common ETS. The number of Buyer organizations and the countries of their location would be controlled by the licensing conditions. - Although multiple Buyer organizations could be sharing a common platform/

ETS, each Buyer organization would directly control many important online activities on ETS through its own duly authorized officers without intervention by the System Administrators of the platform.

- Under a security procedure, each Buyer organization would be able to configure ETS to function as per its policy agreed online with ETS, which could be distinct from ETS functioning for other Buyer organizations sharing the same portal. Thus each Buyer organization would experience a feeling of independence even on a platform it shares with other Buyer organizations.

The feature of having an umbrella configurable framework for capturing the Security and overall Tendering policy of a Buyer organization which would be applicable to all tenders of that organization, with facility that even on a platform shared by many Buyer organizations, the key designated person of each such organization would be able to

'configure online' the policy vis-a-vis that organization is unique to the system of the present invention. Thus variations in the Tendering Policies of different organizations can be handled.

Additionally, the feature of PKI-based Digital Signing of the above-mentioned Policy as furnished, and as edited from time to time. Strong Security-Oriented System Of User Authentication & Forgot Password

- A strong security-oriented system of User-Authentication is provided on ETS, with an equally strong system for "Forgot Password" with Digital-signature. The authentication system demands Userld, Password, Security-PIN (S-PIN).

An optional, high-security, Digital-signature based Log-in is also provided as per the security framework of ETS. The special features only available with the system of the present invention are:

— feature of login with - User Id (or username), Password and Security PIN submitted correct simultaneously,

~ feature of an alternative Smart Login (ie with PKI-based Digital Signing),

— feature of the user himself being able to generate a Password and / or a Security PIN at client end by activating 'Forgot Password' facility with PKI-based Digital Signing.

Organization Identity and Verification

- Apart from each individual registered user of an organization (Buyer or Supplier) having a Userld on ETS, each organization would also have an Organization ID (OID) on ETS. - To avoid fraudulent transactions, it is important for Buyer-organizations on ETS to know whether the Supplier organizations they are dealing with on ETS, and vice-versa, actually exist or are merely names on the internet which in reality may be fake. Facility is provided to the Licensee or ASP to have a policy by virtue of which organizations which have been successfully verified by a duly authorized agency, would carry a tag, "Verified", while those organizations registered on ETS whose existence has not been authenticated, would carry a tag, "Not Verified" in its specified postings.

The unique feature of empowering the administrator of the application to attach a 'Verified' or 'Not Verified' tag against each organization profile depending upon whether physical verification of the registration credentials has been done or not.

Types of Tenders

- Open, as well as, Limited Tenders (with option of Global/ Domestic in both cases) can be floated by Buyer organizations on ETS Virtual Organization Hierarchy

Creation of an administrative structure (3 -tier) for officers of a Buyer organization at different levels with varying administrative powers and for different roles relating to various tender-floating and tender-management activities

Creation of multiple "Tendering-Authorities" under a Buyer organization representing different Department Heads in that organization who are authorized to float tenders under the name of the related "Tendering- Authority"

- Creation of an administrative structure (3 -tier) for executives of a Supplier organization at different levels with varying administrative powers and for different roles relating to various tender-response activities

- Creation of multiple "Marketing-Authorities/sales-entities" under a Supplier organization representing different Department Heads in that organization who are authorized to respond to tenders of different types/ segments as per that organization's internal policy. The following unique features are only available in the system of the present invention: feature of having multiple duly authorized Tendering Authorities within a single registered Buyer organization, with facility to assign powers to float tenders in the name of the Tendering Authority and/ or powers to only manage Requisition Indents,

- feature of having multiple duly authorized Marketing Authorities or entities within a single registered Supplier organization, with facility to assign powers to respond to specific tenders through that Marketing entity.

S&TPA™ (Security and Tendering Policy Agreement)

Online configuring of S&TPA™ (Security and Tendering Policy Agreement) module of ETS by the authorized senior officer of a Buyer organization to capture relevant aspects of the Buyer organization's tendering policy and related security policy. Each S&TPA™ can be digitally signed by the authorized senior officer of the Buyer organization.

Online Management of Pre-Tendering Approval (PTA):

- Before floating a tender, ETS provides facility to a Buyer organization to conduct online the "Internal Pre-Procurement Approval Process" by the duly authorized personnel/ officers of the organization. The initiator can send digitally signed requests to a "multi-level Organizational Approval Hierarchy". Facility is also provided for consolidating multiple approved indents for being covered by a common tender. - The unique feature of Electronic Requisition (or Indent) Management System which covers the formal requirements of Government entities with multiple approval levels with varying 'Financial' and 'Functional' powers, consolidating Approved Requisition Notes, and if required, transferring these to concerned Tendering Authorities. ITFPR (Initiating Tender Floating Process)

- Online Configuring of ITFP (Initiating Tender Floating Process) module of ETS by the concerned senior officer(s) of a Buyer organization to capture some relevant aspects and rules specific to the tender in question. Different tenders can have different rules depending upon the size and other characteristics of each tender within the overall organizational policy framework. Each ITFP ® can be digitally signed by the authorized senior officer(s) of the Buyer organization.

ETS does not force a Buyer organization to necessarily use for every tender of that organization, all the functionality offered by ETS. Flexibility is provided to select activities, which are required to be performed "Online" for a particular tender. Different online activities may be planned for different tenders. For example, some tenders may have facility for online Tender-Notices only, some may have facility for online Tender-Documents in addition to Tender-Notices, others may have additional facility for Online Submission and Receipt of Bids with facility for Online Tender Opening Event ™ (OTOE), while some others could have the complete set of available activities.

The feature of having a configurable framework for capturing the 'Rules governing a specific Tender' of a Buyer organization, which provides great flexibility while also adhering to the umbrella Security and overall Tendering policy of that Buyer organization is unique. Thus variations in the Tendering Rules from one tender to another, and one organization to another can be handled. Further, the feature of PKI-based Digital Signing of the above-mentioned Tendering Rules as furnished, and as edited from time to time is also only associated with this system.

Online Management of Tender Notice/ Notice Inviting Tender (NIT)/ Invitation for Bids (IFB):

- Tender Notices/ NITs/ IFBs can be Created and Edited, Approved with Digital Signatures (if required), and posted on ETS by duly authorized officers of a Buyer organization without any intervention from the System Administrators of the portal on which ETS is hosted.

- A Tender-Notice can be created with a unique Electronic Reference No. In addition, facility is also provided for displaying Buyer organization's Internal Reference No. which is conventionally followed by it in the manual system.

- A highly flexible template for creating a Tender-Notice which can accommodate to a large extent the varying requirements of different Buyer organizations, without the system losing control of important online activities

- Flexibility of giving different titles to a Tender-Notice depending on the conventions followed in the Buyer organization. This can vary from tender to tender. - Viewing of Tender-Notices by all users (registered or unregistered) in case of

Open Tenders. In case of Limited Tenders it is the prerogative of the concerned Buyer organization, whether to allow such a facility.

The unique feature is Tender Notices being created and edited by one authorized user, approved with feature of PKI-based Digital Signing by another authorized user and then being posted on the site.

The unique feature is providing flexibility for referring to different Tender Notices with different Titles as per applicable conventions.

The unique feature is referring, as well as, searching a Tender-Notice with a unique Electronic Reference No., IN ADDITION to the Buyer organization's Internal Reference No. which is conventionally followed by it in the manual system.

Online Management of Corrigenda to a Tender-Notice: - For both Open and Limited tenders, one or more Corrigenda to each Tender Notice can be Created and Edited, Approved with Digital Signatures (if required), and posted on the ETS by duly authorized officers of a Buyer organization without intervention from the System Administrators of the portal on which ETS is hosted.

- A Corrigendum can be created with a unique Corrigendum Reference No. In addition, facility is also provided for displaying Buyer organization's Internal Reference No., which is conventionally followed by it in the manual system.

- The system control parameters for the different tendering activities given in the latest corrigendum automatically supersede the system controls of the earlier corrigenda or the original Tender-Notice as the case may be.

- Unique feature of authorization with PKI-based Digital Signature before creation of a Corrigendum.

- The unique feature of providing flexibility for referring to Corrigendum with different Title as per applicable conventions of the concerned Buyer organizations.

The unique feature of referring, as well as, searching a Corrigendum with a unique Electronic Reference No., IN ADDITION to the Buyer organization's Internal Reference No. which is conventionally followed by it in the manual system.

Online Management of Invitation-Letters/ Tender-Notice for Limited Tenders:

- For Limited Tenders, Invitation-Letters with corresponding Tender-Notice can be Created and Edited, Approved with Digital Signatures (if required). Invitation-Letters can be Dispatched from ETS by duly authorized officers of a

Buyer organization without intervention from the System Administrators of the portal on which ETS is hosted.

- Unique feature of dispatching Invitation Letters (with PKI-based Digital Signatures) for a Limited Tender from a duly authorized Electronic Short-List of Invitees.

Online Management of Tender Documents: - Tender Documents prepared offline (on Buyer organization's client-side computers) can be Uploaded on ETS and digitally signed by duly authorized officers of a Buyer organization without intervention from the System Administrators of the portal on which ETS is hosted. - Facility is also provided for online creation, editing and approval of some

ElectronicForms., which are an integral part of the Tender Documents. These ElectronicForms would be filled online at the time of bid-submission. The ElectronicForms uploaded as part of the Tender Documents would be digitally signed by duly authorized officers of a Buyer organization without any intervention from the System Administrators of the portal on which ETS is hosted.

- In addition to facilitating creation of an "Official-Set of Tender Documents" with official Serial Numbers, optional facility is also provided to the Buyer organization to allow a separate facility for Supplier organizations for free viewing/ downloading of Tender-Documents. The latter would not be considered as an official set and would therefore not impart eligibility for bidding. Apart from text, a Buyer organization can include Engineering Drawings in Tender Documents.

- The unique feature of Tender Documents being posted on the site after being digitally signed (PKI-based Digital Signing ) by an authorized user.

- The unique feature of providing flexibility for referring to different Tender Documents with different Titles as per applicable conventions of the Buyer organizations.

- The unique feature of having in electronic form an "Official-Set of Tender Documents" which can be downloaded (after required Online or Offline payment is made) with official Serial Number. This unique facility is made further unique with an optional facility provided to the Buyer organization to allow a separate facility for Supplier organizations for free viewing/ downloading of Tender-Documents (Note: The latter would not be considered as an official set and would therefore not impart eligibility for bidding).

Online Management of Addenda to Tender Documents:

- One or more Addenda, prepared offline (on Buyer organization's client-side computers), each with a unique Addendum Reference No., can be Uploaded on ETS and digitally signed by duly authorized officers of a Buyer organization without intervention from the System Administrators of the portal on which ETS is hosted.

- Facility is also provided for online creation, editing and approval of Addenda to the ElectronicForms, which are an integral part of the Tender Documents.

These ElectronicForms would be filled online at the time of bid-submission. The ElectronicForms uploaded as Addenda would be digitally signed by duly authorized officers of a Buyer organization without any intervention from the System Administrators of the portal on which ETS is hosted. - Unique feature of authorization with PKI-based Digital Signature before uploading of an Addendum is allowed.

- The unique feature of providing flexibility for referring to Addendum with different Titles as per applicable conventions of the concerned Buyer organizations. - The unique feature of Addenda being posted on the site after being digitally signed (PKI-based Digital Signing ) by an authorized user.

Online Procurement of Tender Documents:

- Online procurement of Tender Documents and related Addenda by duly authorized executives of a Supplier organization with facility for Online*/

Offline payment for the Tender Documents.

- The official set of Tender Documents downloaded online after making the required payment (online or offline), would have a unique Reference Number. If the Buyer so wishes, Payment for Tender Documents can be received "Offline". On acknowledgement by the Buyer, an automatic message is then sent to the concerned supplier enabling him to procure Tender Documents "Online".

- Repeat downloading of official set of Tender Documents by duly authorized executives of a Supplier organization without having to make the payment again. This may be required in cases where the set downloaded earlier has got deleted by accident. The original Reference Number is retained in the repeat sets. [*Note: Online payment facility, wherever mentioned in this document, would require that the ETS portal be integrated with Payment Gateyvay(s) to be provided by third parties]

Unique feature of allowing only a duly authorized user of a Supplier organization to download Official copy of the Tender Documents

Online Subscription Service for Tender-Notice/ Corrigenda Alerts:

- Within the framework provided by ETS, Supplier organizations registered on ETS can subscribe to this service as per their requirements namely on the basis of the buyer organizations' name/identity, or the product/service category for which a tender is floated.

System of Automatic Online Alerts for Corrigenda and Addenda:

- This service is rendered to those supplier organizations which are officially eligible to participate in a tender and fulfill the required conditions of ETS.

General Terms & Conditions of a Tender:

- Approval and Posting on the site (by duly authorized officers of a Buyer organization) the General Terms & Conditions applicable to all tenders of an organization. Provision to be made on the site itself for signing of the General Terms & Conditions by each eligible bidder with record of which tender it is being signed for. Provision also to be made for stating whether it is with or without deviation. Facility to be provided for keeping the deviations of each bidder confidential.

- Unique facility pertaining General Terms & Conditions of a Tender as stated above, especially features pertaining capturing deviations as part of bid- submission in a 'Secure' manner with ElectronicEncrypter ™ function. (Even the System Administrator of the portal, and or the officers of the Buyer organization cannot see or decrypt the encrypted contents till the Public Online Tender Opening Event).

Special Terms & Conditions of a Tender: - Approval and Posting on the site (by duly authorized officers of a Buyer organization) the Special Terms & Conditions applicable to all tenders of an organization. Provision to be made on the site itself for signing of the Special Terms & Conditions by each eligible bidder with record of which tender it is being signed for. Provision also to be made for stating whether it is with or without deviation. Facility to be provided for keeping the deviations of each bidder confidential.

Secure Bid Preparation and Submission: (From Buyer-organization ' s perspective)

Setting Eligibility criteria for bid submission. Eligibility criteria can vary depending on whether the tender is Open or Limited

- Configuring the list of eligible bidders in case of limited tenders

- Configuring the list of eligible bidders (after the first stage) in case of each stage of a multi-stage tender

- Configuring the system as to whether Earnest Money Deposited (EMD)/ Bid Security is required

- Configuring the system for accepting only specified bid-types for each tender (eg Technical, Techno-Commercial, Price etc) and also the stages in which these are to be submitted and opened.

- Configuring the system for accepting bids in multiple currencies (eg in case of Global Tenders)

- Configuring the system to accept delayed bids (while marking them as "Delayed") or not, and many other such criteria as allowed in the framework of ETS.

(From Supplier-organization's perspective)

- Offline preparation of bids (ie on Supplier organization's client-side computers) by duly authorized executives of the Supplier organization

- Bids can be submitted in single or multiple parts (ie multiple bid-types) as specified by the Buyer organization, with facility for opening these in single or multiple stages. ETS guides the duly authorized executives of a Supplier organization to submit bids as per online instructions of the Buyer organization for that tender - For global tenders facility is provided to submit price-bids in multiple currencies as specified online by the Buyer organization

- Online filling, approval and posting of ElectronicForms™ (as part of bid- submission) by duly authorized executives of the supplier organization without compromising confidentiality even to the System Administrator of the ETS portal, or to the authorized officers of the concerned Buyer organization till the Public Online Tender Opening Event ® (OTOE)

- Online posting of main bids with digital signatures by authorized users of the supplier organization without compromising confidentiality even to the System Administrators of the portal, or the authorized officers of the concerned Buyer organization till the Public - Online Tender Opening Event ® (OTOE)

- Facility to post multiple supplementary bids (for each bid-type) with digital signatures by duly authorized executives of a Supplier organization without compromising confidentiality even to the System Administrators of the portal, or the authorized officers of the concerned Buyer organization till the Public -

Online Tender Opening Event ® (OTOE). Clear distinction is made in the system as to whether the supplementary-bid-type is - Modification, Substitution, Withdrawal or Alternate, as distinct from the main bid which would be "Original". - Facility would be provided to the duly authorized executives of the Supplier organization to track the various bid types and supplementary bids they have uploaded for each bid-type, as well as, those they are supposed to upload but have not yet uploaded

- ElectronicEncrypter: Before posting the bids, facility is provided to the duly authorized executives of the Supplier organization to "encrypt" the bids with

ElectronicEncrypter function in a manner that neither the System Administrators of the portal, nor the authorized officers of the concerned Buyer organization can view the contents of the bids till the Online Tender Opening Event (OTOE). - Additional Layer of SSL Encryption during Transit: Bids duly signed by the authorized executives of the Supplier organization and securely encrypted with ElectronicEncrypter function, are further encrypted (using SSL feature) before being uploaded for additional security during transit from the Supplier organization's computer to the portal server - Bids are submitted through file upload (FTP) and not through e-mails

- Facility for Online Signing of — General Terms and Conditions of the Buyer organization with or without deviation

- Facility for Online Signing of — Special Terms and Conditions of that tender as specified by the Buyer organization with or without deviation

- Facility is provided such that deviations in General Terms & Conditions, and Special Terms & Conditions, if any, are kept confidential even from the System Administrators and the authorized officers of the concerned Buyer organization till the Public - Online Tender Opening EventR (OTOE). - ElectronicEncrypter™ : Before posting the bids, facility is provided to the duly authorized executives of the Supplier organization to create pass-phrase(s) at the client-end itself and 'encrypt' the various bid(s) (or bid parts) with ElectronicEncrypter™ function in a manner that neither the System Administrators of the portal, nor the authorized officers of the concerned Buyer organization can view the contents of the bids till the concerned authorized user of the Supplier organization himself furnishes the Pass-phrase during Public Online Tender Opening Event (OTOE).

- To submit the bid(s) after PKI-based Digital Signing, encrypting using the ElectronicEncrypter™ function, and further encrypting (using SSL feature) for additional security during transit from the Supplier organization's computer to the portal server Receipt of Bids:

- Under a Security procedure, a duly authorized officer of the Buyer organization can configure the system to allow or prevent submission of delayed bids. If delayed bids are allowed, these are marked as "delayed".

- Facility to receive online at the portal, digitally signed and electronically sealed (ie encrypted) bids

- Online receipts are given by the ETS for bids which are received

- Under a Security procedure, a duly authorized officer of the Buyer organization can configure the system such that if offline bids (ie those submitted by manual submission method) are received, then the system allows an "Integrated" Public

® Online Tender Opening Event (OTOE) under which both online and offline bids are publicly opened as per the framework provided by ETS Secure Bid Storage in Time-Locked ElectronicTender Box

- Facility to store digitally signed and electronically sealed (ie encrypted) bids received online at the portal, in Time-Locked ElectronicTender Boxes™ with high security. It is not possible to open these Time-Locked ElectronicTender Boxes™ till the specified date and time have elapsed and till all the duly authorized Tender-Opening Officers are present online on the ETS -' Unique feature to store digitally signed and electronically sealed (ie encrypted) bids received online at the portal, in Time-Locked ElectronicTender Boxes™ with high security. It is not possible to open these Time-Locked ElectronicTender Boxes™ till the specified date and time have elapsed and till all the duly authorized Tender-Opening Officers are present online on the ETS and have recorded their presence with PKI-based Digital Signatures Public - Online Tender Opening Event ® (OTOE):

Facility for the buyer to conduct Public "Online Tender Opening Event ®" on the ElectronicTender site, which can be attended electronically by bidders from remote locations in different cities/ countries as permitted by the rules configured for that tender.

- Facility for the authorized personnel (one or up to three of the Buyer to conduct Public - Online Tender Opening Event ® with Bidders attending from remote locations electronically with full security procedures. Online Tender-Opening

® Event should be simultaneously viewable by all attendees from their respective locations.

- Facility for the authorized personnel of the Buyer organization to conduct online security check, EMD-check during the Public - Online Tender-Opening Event ®. It should be possible to receive EMD online, as well as, offline.

- Facility for the Buyer's authorized personnel to Digitally Counter Sign the bids opened during the Online Public Tender Opening from remote locations while adhering to the Certifying Authority norms pertaining, application of digital signatures - Facility to authorized personnel of the bidder-organizations participating in the

® Public - Online Tender Opening Event to download during the Public- Online

® Tender Opening Event itself, the salient points of the bids of other bidders.

- Facility to generate Online Comparative Charts of the Public - Online Tender Opening Event based on the salient points of each bid as submitted. These

Comparative Charts should be downloadable by authorized personnel of all participating bidders, as well as, the buyer organization. If offline tender- opening has been done, it should be possible to produce an integrated Comparison Chart containing the results of both online and offline tender- opening events and the system should make this available for downloading before the online tender-opening event ® closes

- For Price-bids of global tenders, it should be possible to prepare related comparison charts in multiple currencies as specified online by the buyer

- Facility for requesting online, the Minutes of the Online Tender Opening

® Event

- The unique facility for the buyer to conduct Public "Online Tender Opening Event ®" on the ElectronicTender site, which can be attended electronically and simultaneously by authorized officers of the Buyer organization and authorized representatives of bidders from remote locations in different cities/ countries as permitted by the rules configured for that tender.

- Unique feature of Electronic Attendance Register of the Public Online Tender Opening Event ® with PKI-based Digital Signatures of all authorized participants.

- Unique facility for the authorized personnel of the Buyer organization to conduct online Security check , EMD-check of various bids during the Public -

Online Tender-Opening Event ®. (Note: EMD may have been received online, as well as, offline).

- Unique facility for the Buyer's authorized personnel to Digitally Counter Sign the bids opened during the Online Public Tender Opening from remote locations while adhering to the Certifying Authority norms pertaining application of digital signatures. Unique facility to authorized personnel of the bidder-organizations and Buyer

(D organization participating in the Public - Online Tender Opening Event to

® download during the Public- Online Tender Opening Event itself, the salient points of the bids of other bidders which have been captured in special ElectronicForms™, or complete bids of other bidders (if so permitted by the duly authorized officer of the Buyer organization.

- Unique facility to authorized personnel of the bidder-organizations and Buyer

® organization participating in the Public - Online Tender Opening Event to

® download during the Public- Online Tender Opening Event itself, duly

® prepared Comparison Chart of the Pubic Online Tender Opening Event

- Unique facility to authorized personnel of the bidder-organizations and Buyer

® organization participating in the Public - Online Tender Opening Event to

® download during the Public- Online Tender Opening Event itself, duly signed

Minutes of the TOE event (ie a complete log of all the actions which take place).

Facility for Integrated/ Hybrid Public Tender Opening Event:

- Facility to conduct Integrated/ Hybrid Offline and Online Public Tender

® Opening Event , if so required by the Buyer

- Unique facility to authorized personnel of the Buyer organization to conduct

®

- Hybrid Public - Online Tender Opening Event , ie Online and Offline events in parallel and integrated manner.

Online Generation of Comparison Charts and other Reports:

Facility for Multi-Stage Public - Online Tender Opening Event (OTOE): - Facility to authorized personnel of the Buyer organization to online configure the list of eligible bidders for the next Online Tender Opening Event (in case of Multi-stage tenders)

- Facility to inform online the list of short-listed vendors. - Unique facility to authorized personnel of the Buyer organization to online configure the system for Multi-stage bidding, create list of eligible bidders for the next Online Tender Opening Event, and to inform online the list of shortlisted bidders at each stage. Facility for Re-Bidding:

- Facility for re-bidding by the Buyer for one or more bid parts without having to re-float the whole tender.

Unique feature of authorization with PKI-based Digital Signature before allowing Re-bidding for one or more bid parts without having to re-float the whole tender

Facility for Bid-Evaluation:

Facility for Evaluating the Bids with parameters permitted as per the rules configured for that tender within the framework of ETS.

Unique facility with ElectronicEvaluator™ for evaluating the Bids with parameters permitted as per the rules configured for that tender within the framework of ETS.

Facility for Online Award of Contracts:

Facility for online Award of Contract with processes for sending online intimation letters to unsuccessful bidders, as well as, the contract to the successful bidder(s). Some processes from Buyer perspective are:

Decision on awarding contract to one or more bidders

- Create, Approve and dispatch Intimation of Acceptance of Tender for Successful Bidder(s) - Create, Approve and dispatch Intimation Letters to Unsuccessful

Bidder(s)

- Return of Earnest Money Deposit to Unsuccessful bidders (where feasible through the available Payment gateway) Receive performance Security from Successful Bidders (where feasible through the available Payment gateway)

- Facility for Repeat Orders

- Facility for specifying multiple consignees in a contract - Facility for breaking an order into delivery batches at different locations

(bunching) with different lots to be delivered at different times

Facility for Online Contract/ Project Monitoring:

Facility for Online Tracking/ Monitoring of important project Milestones as configured by the Buyer within the ETS Framework

Unique Facility with ElectronicTracker™ for Online Tracking/ Monitoring of important project Milestones as configured by the Buyer within the ETS Framework

Online Tracking System for Important Tendering related Activities:

- For each tender, status of important tendering related activities can be monitored/ tracked by authorized users associated with that tender. Senior authorized officers are also empowered to take administrative action.

- Separate monitoring panels are provided for Buyer and Supplier organizations.

International System of Product-Categorization based on United Nations Classification and Other Classifications:

- The Central Product Classification (CPC) of the United Nations constitutes a comprehensive product classification of Goods and Services. The CPC is a system of categories that are both exhaustive and mutually exclusive. Specially wrt "services", before the development of the CPC, no international classification covering the whole spectrum of outputs of various service industries, and encompassing different analytical and statistical needs was available. ETE offers this distinctive facility of — displaying Tender-Notices, searching Tender-Notices, searching Organization-Profiles and other related services based on the CPC of the United Nations.

Option is also given at the time of licensing for other systems of Product- Categorization, such as -UNSPSC, NIGP, CPV. Electronic Search:

- Facility is provided on ETS for searching (with a versatile set of parameters), Tender-Notices posted on ETS.

- Facility is also provided on ETS for searching (with a versatile set of parameters), Tender-Notices compiled from different sources by ETS service provider.

- Facility is provided on ETS for searching Buyer organizations, or Supplier organizations based on specified criteria.

Electronic Report:

Within the framework provided by ETS, a variety of Reports for vigilance, analytical, as well as, statistical purpose can be generated on request by duly authorized persons. There are separate reports for Buyer organizations, Supplier organizations, ETS Portal-management.

Public-Page for each Buyer Organization:

Each Buyer organization registered on ETS can opt for having an independent Public-Page, where important Transparency related information (eg Tender Opportunities & Awards) can be displayed to the public at large. While the framework for this is provided by ETS, the management of the Public-Page is done by duly authorized officers of the concerned Buyer organization.

Public-Page for each Supplier Organization:

- Each Supplier organization registered on ETS can opt for having an independent Public-Page, where important Organization related information relevant for tendering can be displayed to the public at large. While the framework for this is provided by ETS, the management of the Public-Page is done by duly authorized executives of the concerned Supplier organization. Facility for Managing Advertisements:

- Online Banner Advertisements on important pages are a significant source of revenue on popular internet portals. Facility would be available to duly authorized system administrators of ETS portal to - Upload, Replace and

Schedule the display of such advertisements on ETS.

Administration Facility for Buyer Organizations:

- A powerful set of administration related facilities to authorized senior officers of a Buyer organization, which apart from enabling them to create a Virtual Organization Hierarchy, empowers them to dynamically manage "authorizations" for various officers, manage "authentication related functions" of the concerned officers, et at. These administrative functions can be performed by duly authorized officers of a Buyer organization without intervention from the System Administrators of the portal on which ETS is hosted.

Administration Facility for Supplier Organizations:

- A powerful set of administration related facilities to authorized senior executives of a Supplier organization, which apart from enabling them to create a Virtual Organization Hierarchy, empowers them to dynamically manage "authorizations" for various executives, manage "authentication related functions" of the concerned executives, et al. These administrative functions can be performed by duly authorized executives of a Supplier organization without intervention from the System Administrators of the portal on which ETS is hosted.

A Powerful Administration Facility for System Administrators of the portal on which ETS is hosted:

- A powerful set of facilities is provided to the duly authorized System- Administrators to manage the functioning of the portal and various Buyer and Supplier organizations registered thereon in an efficient manner, keeping in view the requirements of Security and Transparency. Amongst other features, facility is provided to duly authorized System-Administrators of ETS service provider to undertake the following "Emergency" measures depending on the security policy and relevant Local Laws: a) Block/ Un-block/ Deregister the registered User-organizations b) Temporarily Disable viewing of "Suspect" content. c) Expunge "Objectionable" content posted on ETS

Facility for flexible Reference Time Zone and Local Time:

- Flexibility is provided to each licensee, ie ETS portal service provider, to set a "Reference Time Zone" applicable for the complete portal. Within this framework, a buyer organization can define a local time specific to requirements of each tender.

Facility for Multiple Authorized Certifying-Authorities:

- Flexibility is provided for managing multiple authorized Certifying-Authorities as per relevant Local Laws. An individual user (Buyer or Supplier) would have the facility to obtain his Digital Certificate from any of the Certifying Authorities enabled on the ETS portal. Facility is also provided to have a Digital Certificate Policy which could be in consonance with relevant Local Laws.

Facility for providing Customized Help and Messages across ETS:

- Flexibility is provided for customizing Page-Level and Field-Level Help, as well as, various Messages across ETS keeping in view the support policy of the ETS service provider and the technology awareness of the targeted user-base. - Unique facility of a very User-friendly Help facility with 'Page-specific Help' on each screen, and 'Field-specific Help' where required against individual fields on a screen. Facility for providing Customized Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions of ETS Usage:

- Flexibility is provided for customizing the Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions of ETS Usage based on the policy of the ETS service provider and relevant Local Laws and conventions.

Electronic Archives and Audit-Trail:

- Powerful facility is available for Archiving and maintaining Audit-Trail of crucial data pertaining various activities being carried out on ETS.

Secure E-mails:

- Facility for ETS Administration to send E-mails. to various user-organizations. Option is provided for digitally signing and encrypting these e-mails.

- Facility is also provided to authorize users of Buyer and Supplier organizations for similarly sending and receiving Secure E-mails.

Facility for Secure Electronic Message:

Facility of Secure Messaging between different users of the system

Facility for Electronic Meeting:

Facility for Online Secure Meetings (Including Pre-Bid Conference^

Electronic Billing:

- With Electronic Tender's Online Revenue/ Billing System called Electronic Billing, the portal-owner/ service-provider would be able to charge the users of

ETS, both Buyer and Supplier organizations, on one or more of the following criteria as decided by ETS portal service provider from time to time: a) Annual Registration/ Renewal Fee b) Usage of different facilities of the system (including the extent of usage of specified facilities) with periodic Invoices.

- The service-provider would be able to create different Tariff Charts from time to time. Also, the service-provider would be able to have different Tariff Charts for different organizations using the system, as well as, a default Tariff Chart for each country, or at a Global level. It would also have the facility to make specified or all services free.

- Unique facility of ElectronicBilling™ with Global-level, Country-level and Organization-level Tariff Charts on a given ETS portal Buyer's Internal Vendor Registration System:

- In addition to independent registration of Suppliers/ Vendors on ETS, ETS provides a unique online system of dove-tailing Buyer's Internal Vendor Registration System (encompassing a variety of 'Supply-Heads' and 'Supplier- Grades'). If required by the Buyer, this internal Vendor Registration can be used to control specified tendering related online activities of suppliers registered on ETS.

- Unique Facility of dove-tailing Buyer's Internal Vendor Registration System (encompassing a variety of 'Supply-Heads' and 'Supplier-Grades') with the main ETS in a manner that can be used to control specified tendering related online activities of suppliers registered on ETS.

Claims

I Claim:
1. A process of tendering system comprising; a secure and open means for the bidder and the buyer in a predetermined time locked event and including the steps of pre- authentication of the bidder/buyer, access to the resources, tendering of bid, monitoring of activities, evaluation of bid and award are integrated over a secure platform.
2. A process as claimed in claim 1 wherein the step of pre-authentication includes the authorization of bidder/buyer through predetermined means of identification and exchange.
3. A process of tendering system as claimed in claim 2 wherein the step of access to the resources is carried out after the pre-authentication over the said secure platform.
4. A process of tendering system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the step of tendering includes the submission of bid by the bidder to the buyer in a time locked event over the said secure platform.
5. A process of tendering system as claimed in claim 4 wherein after the said bid is time locked the system awaits for the predetermined amount of time to monitor other requests and introduce corrigendum if required.
6. A process of tendering system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the evaluation of the bid is carried out through the predetermined parameters of the said system.
7. A process of tendering system as claimed in any of the previous claims wherein during the step of award, the system generates a public inspection means through which the trail of all the activities carried out by the system can made public.
8. A process of tendering system as claimed in claim 1 comprising; a secure and open means for the bidder and the buyer in a predetermined time locked event and including means for categorization of a product.
. A process of tendering system as claimed in claim 1 including the secure means to provide information to/by the bidder or buyer individually or publicly over the said platform.
10. A process of tendering system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the means are provided for date & time zone adjustment to the bidder/buyer so a to facilitate a common reference local time.
EP06842769A 2005-12-07 2006-12-07 A process for securing tendering system Pending EP2038828A4 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
IN3290DE2005 2005-12-07
PCT/IN2006/000483 WO2007066357A2 (en) 2005-12-07 2006-12-07 A process for securing tendering system

Publications (2)

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EP2038828A2 true EP2038828A2 (en) 2009-03-25
EP2038828A4 EP2038828A4 (en) 2009-07-22

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EP (1) EP2038828A4 (en)
WO (1) WO2007066357A2 (en)

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Publication number Publication date
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EP2038828A4 (en) 2009-07-22
WO2007066357A3 (en) 2009-01-15

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