competitive tendering

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The process, widely used in the commissioning of archaeological work, whereby a detailed specification of works is circulated to a number of potential contractors (typically three or four), each of whom bids for the work by providing a tender document that includes such matters as a price for the job, a timetable, and an explanation of how it will be carried out. The person commissioning the work is free to select between the tenders supplied, although certain public bodies may be forced to select the cheapest on grounds of principle. Many private organizations select on the basis of quality, reliability, projected speed of operations, and track record rather than price.

Subjects: Archaeology — Law.

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