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(1) - Who Should You Speak to?
  • Principal Contracts Officer

  • Purchasing and Contracts Unit

  • G D S Supplies Group

  • Universities Purchasing Consortium

  • Purchasing Department

  • Corporate Resources Group

  • Corporate Contracts

  • Purchasing Officer

  • Corporate Purchasing Manager

  • Purchasing and Contracts Unit

  • Corporate Purchasing Officer

  • Building Services Manager

Public Sector Contract Notices:
Request for Proposals The four most important notices are described below: Periodic indicative notice (PIN): most contracting authorities are required to publish a PIN setting out details of future contracts. In the public sector a PIN is simply a method of providing advance warning to tenderer's of future contracts.

Notice on the Existence of a Pre-qualification List:
this notice only applies to contracts regulated under the Utilities Directive. Utilities using a pre-qualification system must publicise the system annually where the system is to run for more than three years, or once if it is for a shorter period

Tender Notice:
this is the most important of the procurement notices, advertising individual contracts to be awarded by contracting authorities. A pre-information notice is an early indication of a tender to be published at a later date.

Contract award notices:
once a contract has been awarded the contracting authority must publish the result in the Official journal. The notice must contains details of how and to whom the contract was awarded including the date of the award, the award criteria applied, the number of tenders and the final contract price.

(2) - Procurement Criteria
  • is not bankrupt
  • is not subject of proceedings for a declaration of bankruptcy
  • has not been convicted for an offence concerning his professional conduct
  • has not been guilty of grave professional misconduct
  • has fulfilled obligations relating to social security contributions
  • has fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of taxes
  • Financial and economic standing:
  • Evidence of financial and economic standing may be provided by means of:
  • appropriate statements from bankers
  • the presentation of the enterprises balance sheets
  • or extracts from the balance sheets
  • a statement of the enterprises annual turnover
Legal requirements:
The definition of a contractor wishing to submit a tender for the award of a public contract comprises any legal or natural person involved in supplies, construction and services activities. It also includes private consortia, as well as private consortia, as well as joint ventures or groupings. Contracting authorities may impose a requirement as to the form and the legal status of the contractor that wins the award.

Request for Proposals:
Outlines a general framework and invites you to make proposals for the type of product or service which you could offer. It is typically used to encourage project participation within the framework of a specific EU-Programme. Usually the co-financing is to a maximum of 50%, and the product or service developed remains the property of the company to whom the contract is awarded.

Calls for expressions of Interest:
Ask you to express your interest in supplying a certain type of product or service. For specific contracts the EU will then contact all companies which have previously expressed their interest.

Invitations to Tender:
Ask you to submit a bid for a specific product or service. They are typically used for concrete products and services sought, e.g. printing, cleaning, studies, computer supplies. The product or service is paid for 100% and becomes the property of the European Union.

How can enterprises be sure not to be discriminated against during the procurement process:
The Selection and Qualification Criteria? To prevent the contracting authorities eliminating suppliers, contractors or service providers on grounds that are discriminatory the Directives list two major categories of qualification requirements: legal; economic and technical.

Eligibility requirements:
In principle there are automatic grounds for exclusion when a contractor, supplier or service provider.

    Standard Industrial Terms & Definitions Standard Industrial Terms & Definitions
    Fixed and Variable costs are standard definitions in the industrial organization literature. The effect of fixed costs on SME's may be a relatively greater burden on SME's than on large firms. Fixed costs may comprise a larger proportion of the total costs incurred by SME's. The fixed costs of large firms, on the other hand, tend to be relatively lower and less of a burden on the large firm. In sum, the costs of just "getting in the game" tend to be much greater, in relative terms, for SME's than for large firms

    The Significant Constraints are the following:
    Lack of information allowing suppliers to bid for contracts. Good and easily available information is vital in exploiting procurement opportunities.

    Today, over 135.000 procurement notices are published each year in the OJEC and it is no easy task for suppliers to identify out of this mass, the specific calls for tender in which they have an interest.

Government procedures and practices that favour large businesses - Contract Bundles:
Governments may bundle quantities sought in procurements so that they may lower transaction costs associated with procurement by dealing with fewer contracts and contractors and take advantage of quantity-discounting strategies.

Bundling often makes it difficult for SME's to compete for contract awards. There may be substantial costs for SME's in registering and qualifying as a government supplier. Some registration and qualification conditions may be onerous and lead to exclusion of SME's from various lists maintained by procuring entities.

Facilitating SME's Access to Public Procurement:
Small and medium-sized enterprises are a unique source of innovation and competition in the internal market and account for 99.8% of the total number of EU enterprises. The European Commission has always paid particular attention to them. By facilitating their access to procurement opportunities, EU procurement policy allows those firms to strengthen their competitiveness and enables them to contribute more towards growth, employment and competitiveness in the European economy.
Commission action has mainly been focused on creating a level playing field where bids from firms, whatever their size or origin, have similar chances of success. Since the early 1990s, measures have been focused specifically on SME's' needs in terms of simplification, information, services support, and promoting cooperation between SME's on public contracts.

Barriers to SME's and the reasons for not participating to tender procedures
Recent studies have shown major obstacles for SME's on the public procurement market. In the Sixth Report (2000) of the European Observatory for SME's, a chapter was included on this subject. SME's are subject to a number of constraints on their competitiveness in public procurement markets. Many of the constraints result from the relative effects of fixed costs on SME's to conduct public procurement relative to the effects of fixed costs on large businesses.

Contract Procedure Costs to SME's
There are two types of cost that SME's, and firms in general, incur. variable costs are costs that change with production of a good or service. For example, most firms hire labour to deliver specific outputs. Labour is in this context a variable cost.

A fixed cost on the other hand, is one that a firm must incur in order to maintain its existence Fixed costs must be paid in order for the firm to stay in operation, even if the firm produces nothing. Fixed costs and variable costs comprise the total costs of the firm.

 ITOL Accredited (Certificate / Diploma*) in Tendering & Public Sector Contract Management 

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