Call for Tender – Travel Agency Services

1 Name and Address of Customer

Democracy Reporting International gGmbH

Prinzessinnenstraße 30

10969 Berlin



2 About Democracy Reporting International

Democracy Reporting International gGmbH (DRI) is a non-partisan, independent, not-for-profit international organization registered in Berlin, Germany and operating in different parts of the world. DRI has operated since 2009 And at the moment has around 60 staff members around the world.


3 Objective of the Tender

DRI calls for this tender in order to provide travel agency services for its project staff, consultants and different project stakeholders within Europe and internationally. DRI is looking for a travel agent which would provide the travel related services, in particular the booking and handling of air flights scheduled to commence on 1 January 2019. This tender is advertised for public procurement according to the VOL/A and the awarding of the framework contract for the travel agency services shall be given to a service provider which provides the best ratio between price and quality of services.


4 Contract Duration

The duration of the framework contract is set for 2 (two) years (01.01.2019 till 31.12.2020), with the possibility of a further extension for another 2 (two) years (01.01.2021 till 31.12.2022).


5 Scope of Services

The selected travel agent will provide corporate travel services that include air ticketing for domestic and international travels. Other services, i.e. accommodation bookings in Germany and abroad, car rentals as well as rail bookings are to be handled as well, however the scope of those services is rather small.

Both options, booking via an experienced team of the travel agency, as well as booking by DRI staff directly via an online travel portal provided by the travel agent, should be available.


6 Further information

DRI often receives subsidies from public institutions, therefore the regulations of the German Travel Expenses Act (Bundesreisekostengesetz) apply  to most bookings. Negotiated company rates, e.g. for accommodation, are not available.

The travel agent should have a partnership with a CO2 offsetting company or be willing to conclude such an agreement no later than at the time of being awarded the contract.


7 Bookings

7.1 Bookings via service team (so-called offline bookings)

The service shall be carried out by a team designated for this purpose, whereby the location of such team is not relevant. All travel agency personnel providing services under this contract shall be proficient in English. Requests may be sent by e-mail, phone call or done online by an authorised representative of DRI. The list of authorised representatives will be submitted to the travel agent.

The booking shall only be executed after prior internal approval by DRI authorised representative. The team is in charge to advise travellers, confirms reservations, issues and delivers tickets and carries out cancellations and re-bookings.


  • Travel by Air

The designated team of the travel agent shall be able to find and present various travel options/ schedules and connection flights to a requested destination. As a rule, it shall present the economically most favourable travel options to minimise transit/ connection time and stopovers. The bidder shall always present cheapest option based on Economy Class rates unless otherwise instructed by DRI. The travel agent shall ensure the following:

  • That all levies, taxes are included in the quoted price.
  • That all itineraries are presented in English
  • That is includes at least three itinerary options indicating departure/arrival times (always local time), price including fare and taxes, deadline for issuing the ticket and conditions of re-booking and cancellations.
  • That all itineraries include information about the luggage allowance.


The travel agent shall furthermore adhere to the following requirements:

  • Flexible tickets, especially for long flights or flights in unstable countries, should be proposed if the price difference is minor;
  • Reservations are to be kept on hold for the maximum period the airlines are offering;
  • All itineraries presented to be logistically feasible for the traveller to make connecting flights;
  • Inform when a visa is required to enter a country;
  • Provide information about additional fees and procedure for a given airline related to rescheduling flights, the cancellation policy and the luggage policy;
  • Provide information about procedures at relevant airports, including immigration controls and necessary transfers between terminals during connections;


  • Travel by Rail

Rail travels are generally only permitted in Economy Class (2nd class). The 1st class can only be selected if no more seats are available in 2nd class. Itineraries shall be presented in English indicating the tariff, the times of departure/arrival (always local time) with a price including fare and taxes, the deadline for issuing the ticket and the conditions of re-booking and cancellations.


  • Hotel Accommodation

The travel agency should provide group bookings and single bookings. Hotel accommodation should be reasonable in price, safe and conveniently located in relation to the traveller’s business destination as well as provide an internet connection. Itineraries shall be presented in English and where possible, with three itinerary options indicating the lodging fees l, meals, departure/arrival date with a price including fare and taxes and the conditions of re-booking and cancellations.


  • Quality of Service

The travel agent agrees by submitting their bid that their service team can be reached over phone or email from Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 18:00. The travel agency shall provide emergency services outside regular working hours through a 24-hour phone number, available to DRI . The bidder should ensure a response with an itinerary within six hours after initial request.


7.2 Travel Portal (so-called Online Bookings)

In addition, it should be made possible for the travellers themselves to make bookings online in a portal made available by the travel agent  in English language (so-called self-service). The portal should acknowledge the best price and list different options accordingly. The bid should transparently show the fare and taxes, re-booking and cancellation conditions as well as the luggage regulations. It will be considered an  advantage, if also hotel accommodation / train bookings can be made by the traveller directly on  the portal.

After concluding the booking via the portal, the tickets and documents should be issued by the travel agent.


8 Invoicing

In future DRI aims to pay for all means of travel using a travel credit card. This card will be deposited with the travel agent for payments. It is intended to use the AirPlus Travelcard (AirPlus Company Account compact), however, this can still be a subject of agreement  between the agent  and DRI. Alternatively, it is also possible to provide a collective e-invoice on a regular, two-week basis. The e-invoice shall be organised by cost centre, provide all necessary details, as well as prices and fares.


9 Previous Booking Volume

In 2017, DRI has booked 8 national flights (worth under € 1,000.00), 121 Europe-wide flights (worth over € 20,000.00) and 264 international flights (worth € 120,000.00). There are about 20 train journeys and 70 lodgings yearly within  Germany and about 100 lodgings internationally booked per year. These numbers serve the sole purpose of orientation and as a basis for the calculation of the bid.


However, in terms of scope, value and frequency of orders within this framework agreement, no commitments can be made.


10 Financial Bid

In order to make evaluate the bids, we use the following fictitious (past-oriented) values for the calculation for the maximum term of 4 years contract: 80 national flights, 600 Europe-wide flights and 1,200 international flights, 60 national rail journeys, 400 hotel nights in Germany, 500 hotel nights internationally.

Furthermore, it is estimated that about 10% of the total booked transportations and hotel accommodation are cancelled or re-booked.

The fees for implementation and the operations of the travel portal will be taken into consideration as well.


11 Required Documents to be Submitted

  1. Annex I – Bidder Information Form
  2. Annex II_Financial Bid
  3. Annex III – Declaration of Honour
  4. Presentation of the designated team (e.g. years of experience, required language skills)
  5. Presentation of the buying behaviour of the travel agent (How does the travel agency ensure that the most economical rate is booked at the time of booking? How can be ensured that the travel agent receives the best rate at the time of booking? Are web rates considered? Are Low-Cost Airlines considered? How it will be ensured that the booking is in compliance with DRI’s travel policy?)
  6. Presentation of service quality (service/ availability outside the required office times (Monday – Friday 9:00 – 18:00); 24h emergency number; cancellation policy; complaint management; review meetings; knowledge and skills of the designated the travel agents, who will be contact points for DRI; guaranteed response time after receiving a request/communication from DRI (max. 6 hours)), presentation of the travel portal (trial access desirable)
  7. List of current corporate clients serviced by the travel agent (DRI reserves the right to contact one of the clients for a reference check with prior notice to the travel agent)
  8. Certificate of cooperation with a CO2 offsetting company or a self=declaration that such cooperation will be entered once the contract is awarded.

Note: Only fully completed offers can be considered in the selection process.


  1. Criteria for Evaluation of Proposals


No. Criteria %
1. Service quality 20
2. Designated team 10
3. Buying Behaviour


4. Financial Bid 40



  1. Disclaimer:

The submission for this tender document does not entail any commitment on the part of DRI, either financial or otherwise.


  1. Submission of Bids l:

Completed tender document with original signed Annexes should be submitted via courier/post till 30th November 2018, 1:00 pm (Berlin time), in a sealed envelope clearly marked with

Tender – Travel Agency Services – Do not open


to the following address:

Democracy Reporting International gGmbH

Prinzessinnenstr. 30, 10969 Berlin


The bids received after the deadline shall not be considered. Documents sent by e‐mail or fax shall not be accepted.


  1. Questions :

Any requests for clarification about the contents of the tender document shall be sent no later than 26th November 2018 to the following email address: [email protected]. DRI will endeavour to provide response/ clarification expeditiously; any delay in providing such information will not be considered a reason for extending the submission deadline. DRI will share the responses on its website which will be available to all bidders. Bids with incomplete submissions may be rejected.


  1. Award Procedure

Only fully and timely submitted bids as outlined in point 11 will be considered for the evaluation.


  1. Operational Language

Written communication regarding this  this tender, may be in English or German. However, the working language of DRI is English and the winning bidder must have satisfactory level of English since many of DRI staff do not speak German.


  1. Additional Information

Submitting a bid implies acceptance by the bidder of all terms and conditions outlined in  this document and its annexes.


  1. Confidentiality:

The entire evaluation procedure is confidential.


  1. Notification of Award:

The successful bidder  will be informed in writing that their  tender has been accepted.

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