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The bidding process

i Notice

According to the Procurement Laws, the call for competition for public contracts must be advertised in an electronic system called CompraNet, which is a governmental access-free mechanism. Among other things, the following information must be provided:

  1. name of the contracting entity;
  2. if the bidding process is national or international;
  3. description of the goods, leases, services or works that are going to be contracted;
  4. requirements to participate in the bidding process;
  5. criteria for evaluation of proposals and for the award of contracts; and
  6. draft of the contract.

Additionally, a summary of the call must be published in the Federal Official Gazette (DOF) including at least: (1) purpose of the bidding process; (2) volume of good, lease, services or public work to be procured; (3) number of the bidding process; (4) schedule process; and (5) the date on which the call was published in CompraNet.

Although autonomous constitutional bodies have their own regulations regarding public procurement, the rules established in those regulations for bidding process are quite similar from those established in the Procurement Laws.

On the other hand, as a result of Mexico's 2013 energy reform, procurement of hydrocarbons and electricity are out of the scope of the Procurement Laws and Pemex and the CFE have their own special regulations. Regarding hydrocarbons, private companies are currently able to enter into contracts with the state productive company Pemex for the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons in oil fields under the special rules applicable. In a nutshell, the Ministry of Energy decides the form of public procurement process and establishes the guidelines of the call, as well as the draft of the contract, while the SHCP establishes the fiscal terms of such contracts. After that, the National Hydrocarbons Commission prepares and publishes the call, carries out the bidding process and awards the contract. The procedure for procurement of electricity is practically the same as the above, but carried-out by the CFE.

ii Procedures

In general terms, according to Article 134 of the Mexican Constitution and the Procurement Laws, the public procurement procedure must be conducted in the following manner:

  1. A call for competition must be published in CompraNet.
  2. At least one clarification meeting must be carried out. There must be at least six calendar days between the clarification meeting and the next stage of the procedure (submission and opening of proposals).
  3. Proposals must be submitted and publicly opened. Between the call for competition and the submission and opening of the proposals there must be at least: 20 calendar days for international biddings, and 15 calendar days for national biddings.
  4. All proposals must be evaluated in accordance with the bidding rules. The contracting entity shall issue a decision awarding the contract to the tender that meets the applicable requirements.
  5. The contract must be signed during a period of 15 calendar days after the award of the contract is declared.

The Procurement Laws provide that the bidding process may be carried out using electronic means, in which case the whole process must be carried out through CompraNet using electronic identification means.

In the bidding process of oil fields, it is not possible to use electronic means since the submission and opening of the proposals are broadcasted live on the National Hydrocarbons Commission website. In contrast, the entire bidding process of electricity projects could be done on the CFE's procurement electronic system.

iii Amending bids

Before issuing a call for competition, public entities are able to publish the project on CompraNet during at least 10 business days to receive relevant feedback from potential bidders. Comments and opinions received shall be analysed by public entities aiming to consider them in the final bidding document.

The contracting entities may change some terms and conditions of the bidding rules, provided that such changes are issued at least one week before the submission and opening of the proposals. All changes must be published on CompraNet.