A new series of ISO standards offers the international construction industry practical tools to ensure fair competition, reduce the possibility of abuse and improve predictability in procurement outcomes.

Procurement is the process through which contracts are created, managed and fulfilled. It involves all the steps from the identification of the project or products to be procured, to soliciting and evaluating tender offers, to awarding and administering contracts and confirming compliance with requirements.

The first part of the series, ISO 10845-1:2010, describes processes for developing a procurement system, and provides rules and guidelines relating to standard procurement methods and procedures. It also gives a framework for developing a procurement policy and establishes the manner in which procurement is to be managed and controlled. The remaining seven parts, which are just published, relate to specific aspects of procurement.

ISO 10845-2:2011 establishes a standard format for calls for expressions of interest, for tender and contract documents, and the general principles for compiling procurement documents for supply, services and engineering and construction works contracts, at both main and subcontract levels. It provides the platform for the standardization of component documents and improved communications between those engaged in the procurement process.

Part 2 of ISO 10845 can be applied in procurement documents which make use of international forms of contract such as the FIDIC and NEC3 contracts published by the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) and the Institution of Civil Engineers, respectively.

ISO 10845-3:2011 contains standard conditions of tender. It establishes what a tenderer is required to do in order to submit a compliant tender, makes known the evaluation criteria to tenderers, and establishes the manner in which the procuring entity conducts the processes of offer and acceptance, and provides feedback to tenderers on the outcomes of the process.

ISO 10845-4:2011 contains standard conditions for calling for expressions of interest. This includes what is required for a respondent to submit a compliant submission, makes known to respondents the evaluation criteria, and the manner in which the procuring entity conducts the process of calling for expressions of interest and evaluates submissions.

Parts 5 to 8 of ISO 10845 establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the outcomes of a contract in relation to the engagement of targeted enterprises, joint venture partners, local resources and local labour and to establish a target level or minimum performance criteria for a contractor to achieve or exceed in the performance of a contract. These standards enable a procurement system to respond to aspects of sustainable development in a meaningful and measureable way.  

Dr. Ron Watermeyer, project leader of the ISO 10845 series, says, “This series will be an invaluable tool for promoting international trade, in particular for developing countries who may lack experience and instruments in this field. The various parts of ISO 10845 can readily be incorporated into procurement systems by reference in policy or in legislation. Parts 3 and 4 can be readily incorporated into procurement documents by reference.

“These standards can help those engaged in procurement activities to better perform their duties. They will help promote a uniform procurement system and improve the quality of procurement documents. Its standard processes, procedures and methods can also serve as a basis for developing consistent curricula for education in procurement and form the basis for capacity-building needed to procure much needed infrastructure, particularly in developing countries”.

The new standards were developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 59, Buildings and civil engineering works.

ISO 10845-1 costs 208 Swiss francs, ISO 10845-2 costs 142 Swiss francs, ISO 10845-3 costs 158 Swiss francs, ISO 10845-4 costs 98 Swiss francs, ISO 10845-5 costs150 Swiss francs, ISO 10845-6 costs 142 Swiss francs, ISO 10845-7 costs 136 Swiss francs and ISO 10845-8 costs 118 Swiss francs and are available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing & Communication department (see right-hand column).