Re: Do you use ChileCompra/ChileProveedores ?

Postby admin » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:03 am

Well years ago when I first got back to chile, I was invited to submit a bid on the chilecompra system.

I would say the whole experience was less than transparent. In theory it was a good idea, but there are far too many ways to work around it.

We caught wind of a gov tourism org that had a serious problem getting a web site built (three years, four designers or something, still no working site). So we pitched a plan
To develope a sight for them to the heads of the organization. They liked the plan, but told us I would have to bid the project through the chilecompra system.

So I registered as a provider (did not cost anything as I recall).

The project was posted, and it was essentially word for word my proposal. They did everything but post my age, weight and height as a requirement. It essentially brought the competition for the contract to O among anyone else in chile.

Now, my ethical dillema was fairly light in that case because at the time there really was only handful of people in chile qualified to compete for that type of contract, and I am sure most had better things to do. We also had some serious political juice on the internal wheels of that organization. Still I was confident I could have won the contract in a fair fight, it was the organization that wanted me to handle it and no one else.

We did have to post a bond of about a million pesos to insure the contract was completed as part of the requirements.

I have heard of other cases where highly lucrative contracts get awarded to compation because they bid 1,000 pesos less than the lowest. even if the proposal is overall better. They somehow get an inside track on the bid.

So I would say depends on what you are providing, and how unique it is. did not cost anything as I recall).
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Re: Do you use ChileCompra/ChileProveedores ?

Postby fraggle092 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:18 am

We found it to be more trouble than it´s worth, supplying municipal and government agencies can be pretty much of a closed shop, despite ChileCompra. One good thing about them is that they will pursue non-payers. Our local municipalidad owed us a couple of million pesos from a Chilecompra contract and after 6 months of getting the runaround, I contacted Chilecompra. We got paid less than a week later.
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Re: Do you use ChileCompra/ChileProveedores ?

Postby admin » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:38 pm

Yea, for the most part everyone that I have spoken to that has used it finds it complete pain, unless your entire biz revolves around government contracts.
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Re: Do you use ChileCompra/ChileProveedores ?

Postby admin » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:48 pm

It is likely why when the new government came in to office there were entire "consulting firms" that did nothing but government contracts that just evaporated overnight. Once they lost their political contacts, they really had no real business besides playing the chilecompra game.
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Re: Do you use ChileCompra/ChileProveedores ?

Postby FrankPintor » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:13 pm

admin wrote:The project was posted, and it was essentially word for word my proposal. They did everything but post my age, weight and height as a requirement. It essentially brought the competition for the contract to O among anyone else in chile.

I suspect it's not an uncommon experience, and really only shows how Chile is like other places... I've previously bid for contracts for the ESA in Europe, the project summaries are posted on a public website, you can register your interest and download the statement of work, prepare your proposal and bid, and so on... all very open and transparent... well, I and my partner didn't get the contracts, though we did get an official rundown on which parts of our bid weren't acceptable, all part of the process, maybe encouraging for a future attempt...

Some time later I ran into an acquaintance who has been working as a consultant there for some time. This guy was preparing an internal proposal for a research project, and I commented on my negative experience with the tender process... he told me that his proposal would shortly appear in a condensed form on the official website inviting tenders. Like you said, a made-to-measure project only missing his age, weight and height...

To be fair, to a bureaucrat who needs to avoid project risk, making the project fit one guy he knows will deliver is probably not a bad option. Maybe not the cheapest option but it will probably work out OK from his point of view. It's as true in Chile as anywhere else.
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Re: Do you use ChileCompra/ChileProveedores ?

Postby zizzles » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:18 pm

A friend has these comments:

"I have a small translations company here in Chile and have been bidding for government work through the online system for the last six years, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

I believe that the system is a genuine attempt to make government procurement transparent, fair and efficient and I understand they have looked at best practice from online public tender systems around the world. The Chilecompra team regularly organize free seminars and presentations to explain to individuals and companies how the system works and how to write successful bids for work. Over the years, they have increased the transparency of the system, for instance now the financial bids are all published online and, once the tender has been awarded, the awarding panel have to publish a document showing how they evaluated each bid. Of course, individuals within the government can still try to give work to the people they know, but the system makes it hard for them and I understand that a lot of auditing goes on to try to stamp out nepotism. Also as a bidder, you have to sign a document stating that you are not married or related to a senior officer in the organization you are bidding to.

With regard to the comment about competitors undercutting your pricing, the bids are invisible to the competitors and to the organization you are bidding to until the tender closes, so this is not possible unless you have already revealed prices to your potential client outside of the system. I think perhaps a lot of the more recent changes to the system have dealt with this kind of issue.

I have no contacts either in the last government or this one but have won some tender contracts by offering the right combination of quality and price and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I have won them fair and square. When I have not won the tender, it has nearly always been because of price – translating is a very competitive business in Chile and some people are so desperate for the work they will bid very low indeed. So now I only go for those tenders where their evaluation criteria place great emphasis on quality and experience and award fewer marks for price.

Overall, I would say that the Chilean government is a good source of work – government contracts certainly helped my business get through the recession when Chilean businesses were cutting back on expenditure – and the best thing is they pay within 30 days of billing. The downside is that it takes a lot of time to get all the paperwork together to register in the beginning on chileproveedores (once registered, it’s done and you don’t have to produce it again) and then it takes time and energy to prepare the bids."
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