Requesting Entity: Meralco Industrial Engineering Service Corporation (MIESCOR)
Issues Concern: Payment of Bidding Documents for the Re-bidding
Whether there is a requirement of "bidding fee" or "filing fee" as a condition for bidding.
[T]here is no requirement for a "bidding fee" or "filing fee" in our government procurement system. Neither Republic Act (RA) No. 9184 nor its revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) requires prospective bidders to pay a fee as a condition for bidding or submitting bids for any government procurement activity. x x x [T]he fee allowed to be charged pertains to the sale of bidding documents, and not for participating or submitting a bid. Consequently, it is neither precise nor proper to refer to the fee for the sale of bidding documents as a "bidding" or "filing" fee.
Whether the procuring entity may require an unsuccessful lone bidder in the first bidding to pay for bidding documents in the second bidding, where both bidding documents are substantially similar.
[E]ach procurement activity is distinct and separate from each other, even if the subject matter of the procurement activities are one and the same - as in the case of a second bidding after the failure of the first. Considering that the preparation and development of a revised bidding document may entail another set of costs and expenses upon the procuring entity, they may deem it necessary to charge bidders anew. Consequently, the exercise of discretion to require payment for bidding documents in one activity has no bearing on the exercise of the same discretion in another. The procuring entity can, therefore, still charge for the acquisition of bidding documents in the second bidding, especially if the bidding documents may have been modified as a result of the mandatory review and evaluation to determine the reason for the failed bidding.
In this regard, the decision in charging fees for bidding documents, whether for the first bidding or any subsequent re-bidding, depends upon the procuring entity, taking into account the need to recover the cost of its preparation and development vis-a-vis the effects on competition and participation of bidders.