The effects of full transparency in supplier selection on subjectivity and bid quality

Jan Telgen, Fredo Schotanus

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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In this paper, we highlight a number of problems arising with a commonly used supplier selection method: the weighted factor score method. We discuss the behaviour of this method with respect to weighting, scaling issues, and relative scoring. Assuming that there is no convex dominance, we formally prove that with the same supplier selection method, we can make any supplier win by judiciously choosing the right parameters of the awarding mechanism. This means that any supplier can win if certain parameters are not published in a request for a proposal. This result applies to both absolute and relative scoring methods. Also, we prove that the buyer should fully disclose all details of the awarding mechanism to suppliers in order to receive better bids. The practical implications of our results are far reaching for procurement, both public and otherwise: full transparency and disclosure of all details regarding weights and awarding schemes is not only required to avoid subjectivity in supplier selection, but it also leads to better bids from suppliers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2010
Event4th International Public Procurement Conference, IPPC 2010 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 26 Aug 201028 Aug 2010
Conference number: 4


Conference4th International Public Procurement Conference, IPPC 2010
Abbreviated titleIPPC
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


  • Supplier selection
  • Transparency
  • Purchasing
  • METIS-269374
  • IR-74072


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