The RICS is set to issue a code of practice for electronic tendering in a bid to address the industry’s poor take-up of the method.

The code, which the RICS hopes to issue across the industry by Easter, will give guidance on the security and reliability of e-tendering, as well as giving general information on the practice. The RICS hopes this will ease many companies’ suspicion of online bidding.

The code will include examples of good and bad practice in an effort to persuade companies of the benefits of e-tendering.

Steve Pittard, chairman of the RICS construction IT group and a member of the working committee on e-tendering, said that the move followed a 2004 RICS conference that highlighted a general mistrust of e-tendering systems.

He said: “The industry’s perception of e-tendering is very confused. Some people think it’s just about reverse auctioning, but that’s only one example of how the method can be used. People are also dissuaded from the practice by security concerns and confusing variations in document types.”

Pittard added that it was in the industry’s best interest to embrace the system.

He said: “Paper documents can easily go astray. We need the industry to take up e-tendering to improve efficiency in construction bidding."