Dubai's Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has moved a step closer to its aim of bringing out its own publication, with the closure of tenders by 9am today.
The authority, which will operate the region's first metro system in Dubai, announced plans to have a publication for its commuters in a tender notice dated December 23, 2008.
However, the extent of the tender was not clearly defined as it officially stated the tender for the project as for 'printing' only. Nowhere did the notice of tender specify if it requires the aspiring parties to undertake the publishing of the product that would require complete editorial production and marketing of the product.
The tender notice was sent to a select few publishing houses that had shown interest in Metro publication with a strict criteria that required companies to clearly define their technical and financial proposals in elaborate presentations.
The notice conveyed that "Evaluation of Tenders shall be on the following basis: 50 per cent of scores for technical aspects and remaining for the financial aspects.
The tender required aspiring parties to accompany the tender application with an unconditional local bank guarantee worth two per cent of total project value, valid for 120 days extendible to another 30 days.
Regarding financial terms, section 11 of the tender notice said: "The performance guarantee shall amount to 10 per cent of the contract price and shall be in the form of a bank guarantee. The performance guarantee should be submitted immediately after the winning offerers receive the Letter of Acceptance."
While the news of tender from RTA did generate enthusiastic initial response from the industry, some of the probable publishers refrained from participating as it lacked clarity on the requirements. "No one at the RTA has stated in writing what's the extent of work required by the participating companies," said a senior management official from one of the Dubai-based publishing houses.
On the condition of anonymity, he also said that "in the absence of any clarity on the product and its frequency along with other factors, it's not fair to compare tenders submitted by various parties and reach a conclusive decision," said the same publishing executive.
RTA officials refused to make any comment adding that every thing is clearly specified in the notice of tender and prospective clients have to abide by the requirements to qualify for the bid.
The tender notice stated, "The Offerer is expected to examine carefully the contents of all the Tender Documents. Failure to comply with the requirements of the tender submission will be at the Offerer's own risk." Point seven of the tender notice also added for further clarity on the subject that: Offers that are not substantially responsive to the requirements of the tender documents will be rejected. Tender notice asked for a bid bond to accompany the tender stating, that "the Bid Bond shall be free of interest and payable in cash".
The bond is to be returned to the bidder upon its expiry or upon fulfilment of RTA's undertaking, whichever is the earlier.
RTA to fund 100 marriages
The RTA allocated Dh200,000 from the proceeds of Metro Stations Naming Rights Project, contributed by the first batch of companies that won the international bid of the project, to support the mass wedding of special needs people. The national mass wedding of special needs billed as "Hope Wedding" will witness more than 100 marriages.