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The bidding process

i Notice

As a general rule, contracting authorities comply with the general principle of transparency, according to which all their acts concerning public tenders must be formally published.

Specific rules are laid down by the PCC with regard to publication of: contract notices, both at the EU level and at the national level, as well as on the buyer profile; prior information notices; and contract award notices on the results of the procurement procedure.

ii Procedures

Contracting authorities may use the following tender procedures:

  1. open procedures, where any interested economic operator may submit a tender in response to a call for competition;
  2. restricted procedures, where any economic operator may submit a request to participate in response to a call for competition, and only those economic operators invited to do so by the contracting authority following its assessment of the information provided may submit a tender;
  3. competitive procedures with negotiation, where any economic operator may submit a request to participate in response to a call for competition. However, only those economic operators invited by the contracting authority following its assessment of the information provided may submit an initial tender, which shall be the basis for the subsequent negotiations. Afterwards, contracting authorities shall negotiate with tenderers the initial and all subsequent tenders submitted by them. The contracting authority then assesses the final tenders on the basis of the award criteria and awards the contract;
  4. negotiated procedure without prior publication, which can be used by awarding authorities under specific circumstances set forth by the PCC;
  5. competitive dialogues. In accordance with such procedural scheme, contracting authorities shall set out their needs and requirements in the contract notice and may also define them in a descriptive document. Any economic operator may submit a request to participate in response to a contract notice, but only those economic operators invited by the contracting authority following the assessment of the information provided may participate in the dialogue. Contracting authorities then open a dialogue with the selected participants aimed at identifying and defining the means best suited to satisfying their needs. Having declared that the dialogue is concluded and having so informed the remaining participants, contracting authorities ask each of them to submit their final tenders on the basis of the solution or solutions presented and specified during the dialogue; and
  6. innovation partnership, introduced by the PCC implementing the 2014 Public Contracts Directive.

Awarding authorities may also use electronic procurement or electronic auctions.

iii Amending bids

As a general principle, no material changes regarding either the conditions of the tendered contracts or the requirements for eligibility to bid are allowed.

When the evaluation criteria is the most economically advantageous tender, contracting authorities may authorise or require tenderers to submit variants, indicating such faculty in the contract notice. However, variants shall be linked to the subject matter of the contract, and only variants meeting the minimum requirements laid down by the contracting authorities shall be taken into consideration.