The principle of openness should prevail in public procurement. This means that, given the use of public funds, public procurement opportunities should be open to all qualified firms and individuals, and the public should have access to information pertaining to public procurement.
In spite of the above, access to public procurement information is not absolute. Confidential and proprietary information of firms and individuals participating in the public procurement process is not readily available to the public.
There are also procurement methods, such as restricted/selective bidding, that limit the availability of the solicitation document to firms meeting certain qualifications. The request for quotations (or shopping) and direct contracting (sole source) also present certain limitations on competition.
The bid/proposal evaluation process is always kept confidential until the evaluation panel reaches a final conclusion, and the evaluation report is cleared by the approving authority southafrica-ed.com.
Some defense procurements are confidential, limiting relevant information only to those with a “need to know”.
Except for confidential defense procurements; however, the results of the public procurement process should be publicized and made available on relevant websites. In addition, public procurement information (except for confidential/proprietary information) should be open and accessible to all.