A Guide to the selection Procedures for Public Tenders in Panama

Proceso de selección de licitación pública en Panamá :

Company owners, shareholders, and business administrators know how complex it is to chart a path to success in a public tender selection process in Panama. However, the promise of a stable contract and reliable payment makes public bids much more attractive. In addition, they provide economic and reputational benefits and contribute to the nation’s progress.

We have created this guide to give you knowledge in some key areas that will allow you to start your path to success confidently.

Knowing the external bases and internal strengths

As we saw in a previous article, the public procurement process in Panama is governed by law number 22 of 2006, which establishes the basis for any public tender procedure and guarantees transparency, equal opportunities, and equity. The first step is being familiar with the regulations and their definitions.

Public tender selection process in Panama are open when the amount to be contracted exceeds $50,000, as expressed by Law 22 of 2006, modified by Law 153 of 2020, Article 58.

The next point is understanding how the General Directorate of Public Procurement and the PanamaCompra portal work, where all the country’s bidding opportunities are published.

Once you understand how this process operates, and the stages involved in selecting a government supplier, we must look inside the company and develop what is known as a “suitability map” or “opportunity map,” which should be the focus of this analysis:

  1. Evaluate the bidding requirements of the industrial sector in which the company participates.
  2. Categorize your company’s strengths.
  3. Define your competitive advantage according to what you have learned in the previous points.

It’s about recognizing where your company’s capabilities align with the government’s needs and bidding on the tenders where you have the most significant strategic advantage.

Proficiency in bid preparation

To prepare a bid you must pay close attention to detail. A bid is not about embellishing what your company can do but about presenting your case convincingly, from a technical, but mainly, economic point of view. In the public procurement process, the price of the bid is the determining factor. All the documentation you submit must tell a story that summarizes your competence, experience and ability to meet the needs of the tender entity.

From making sure your financial statements are in order to providing evidence of your past performance, every document submitted should show your company in the best possible light without overstating your capabilities. 

The public procurement process is rigorous and impartial, and the selection criteria are made public. Familiarize yourself with these criteria, which range from price as a determining factor to technical capacity quality guarantees and after-sales service. Bidding evaluation committees are required by law to adhere to these criteria strictly. Attention to these details will help you tailor your proposal to meet the requirements of the Statement of Objections.

Entity consultation process

A preliminary and approval meeting is held if the bid price exceeds $175,000. During these meetings, you will have the opportunity to ask questions, request clarification, and understand the nuances of the bid documents, also known as the Statement of Objections. 

Participating in these meetings will allow you to assess the competition and the level of interest in the bid. Therefore, attending or sending a representative to improve your bid submission is always recommended.

Post-presentation Surveillance

Once the offer has been submitted, the job still need to be finished. It is vital to remain vigilant about the process and stay informed of any possible changes or requests for additional information. The PanamaCompra portal should be the focus of your attention during this period. The updates will be reflected during this period

Facing the challenges of preparing a bid

In Panama, as in many other places, time can be everything; bureaucracy and lack of knowledge of the type of selection procedure when preparing an offer are usually significant obstacles. For entrepreneurs looking for expert guidance through every detail of this public administrative maze, Mónica Castillo Arjona – Law Firm offers a firm hand to guide them through public tender selection process in Panama.

Partnering with our team will allow you to obtain our experience and continuous improvement. We participate in events, seminars, and workshops about the Panamanian public sector, both nationally and internationally, to keep us abreast of its constant changes.

We have an in-depth knowledge of the laws and can provide you with valuable assistance when submitting a winning bid. We ensure that all legal nuances are handled delicately and with the utmost attention to detail.


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