As with most other Government organisations in India, Northern Railway has also introduced e-tendering in India. Vendors can participate in the Northern Railway e-procurement process on the official website – http://www.ireps.gov.in/ .
To bid for the e-tenders, vendors will have to purchase a legally valid class 3 digital signature certificate issued by a licensed certifying authority. Once the vendor procures a digital signature certificate, he/she can visit http://www.ireps.gov.in/ and create a login account.
The vendors will also require a computer with an internet connection to access the Northern Railway e-tendering portal. Without a valid digital certificate and verified login details, the vendor cannot participate in e-tenders.
- The vendor can register on the official Northern Railway e-procurement portal to obtain a user ID and password. To register on the portal, vendors have to fill up the registration form.
- The bidding company/ individual has to import the public key for a valid class 3 digital signature certificate using the browser settings.
- Vendors are apprised to provide their correct e-mail address. They will receive their unique password and other important tender-related communication through e-mail.
- To obtain a valid and authorised digital certificate, vendors should contact a certifying agency. Sify SafeScrypt (Sify) issues digital signature certificates which are valid for one or two years. When the certificate is valid, a vendor can use it any number of times to bid for the various Northern Railway online tenders. The certificate is required for authentication, signing bids for e-tenders, electronic documents etc. The certificate is are required for authentication, signing bids for e-tenders, electronic documents etc.
- In case the vendor’s digital certificate is no longer valid, he/ she would be unable to submit bids for the e-procurement of Northern Railway tenders. If a vendor tries to login onto the official portal of Northern Railway e-tendering with an expired certificate, he/she will be redirected to an interface to change the details related to the digital certificate. The bidders are advised to renew or change their certificates before the expiry date.
- Once the vendors sign using their digital certificate and submit their bid for the e-procurement process for Northern Railway, they are not approved to change their earlier bid. The financial bids for the e-tenders submitted by the bidders, are stored in an encrypted form. Due to security-related features, the data cannot be decrypted before the closing time of the tender. The vendors can submit another bid by with the option to ‘Revise offer’. Submitting another bid will supersede the vendor’s earlier financial bid. Only the latest revised bid will be considered valid and will be used for ranking and other purposes.
The e-tendering process for Northern Railway is secure and transparent. The identity of the bidder can be confirmed by their digital signature certificates and their unique password. The identity of the official who signs the bid can also be verified on the official portal for e-procurement for Northern Railway. The official who signs the tenders can be identified by a two step authentication process which includes their unique password and the digital certificate. Integrity of the tender-related data can be confirmed through the tender document verification process.