Tendering is one of the stages in construction procurement that requires extensive information and documents exchange. However, tender documents are not always clear in practice. The aim of this study was to ascertain the clarity and adequacy of tender documents used in practice. Access was negotiated into two UK construction firms and the whole tender process for two projects was shadowed for 6-7 weeks in each firm using an ethnographic approach. A significant amount of tender queries, amendments and addenda were recorded. This showed that quality of tender documentation is still a problem in construction despite the existence of standards like Co-ordinated Project Information (1987) and British Standard 1192 (1984 and 1990) that are meant to help in producing clear and consistent project information. Poor quality tender documents are a source of inaccurate estimates, claims and disputes on contracts. Six recommendations are presented to help in improving the quality of tender documentation. Further research is needed into the recommendations to help improve the quality of tender documents, perhaps in conjunction with an industry-wide investigation into the level of incorporation of CPI principles in practice
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