2.5.6 What needs to be considered when advertising a tender?

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It is important when making decisions on the advertising of contract notices that it is carried out in such a way as to enable the market to be opened up to competition. Therefore, the only way that the requirements laid down by the ECJ can be met is by publication of a sufficiently accessible advertisement in sufficient time to respond by tender.

An advert should contain the following basic elements.

Table 2-11: Basic contents of a procurement advert

Awarding Body  -

State the awarding body which may also include a partner organisation or funding contributor.

Project Description

A brief explanation of what is required

Timeframes

Project start dates, completion dates and duration.

Environmental issues

Only include as part of the advert if they are key issues to the success of the project and it requires specific expertise. Otherwise put it in as part of the Terms of Reference.

Experience/Qualifications Required for the Contract

By placing these requirements in the advert only those applicants who can satisfy them will bother applying for example, contracting authorities may require a contractor to have at least 3 years experience in building major road infrastructure in order to bid for the development of a motorway between Paphos and Nicosia.

Close -

This will normally include both the day and time when the completed tender needs to be with the awarding body.

Contact

This may be in the form of a specified person or a more general departmental contact.

The EU must be promoted under any projects funded or partially funded by EU programmes. Please refer to the Regulation for the Information and Publicity of the Structural Funds.

Notices are published at three stages in the tendering process, as follows:

Prior Information Notice (PIN)

A PIN is an early warning mechanism to inform suppliers that contract notices will be forthcoming.  It is most appropriate when it is issued at the beginning of a year or well in advance of any tendering activity (such as project feasibility stage) because at least 52 days must elapse between a PIN and the issue of a tender.  The notice gives essential project characteristics of a prospective contract to be let in the coming 12 months.

Publication of a PIN in the OJEU assists a contracting authority to be more transparent and also enable suppliers to prepare in advance of forthcoming contacts. It also enables contracting authorities to have shorter timescales for the return of expressions of interest or tenders.

Contract notice

Where open tendering is used, the notice acts as an invitation to participate in the tendering process.  Where restricted tendering is being used, the notice gives suppliers an opportunity to submit an expression of interest. This is often followed by the issue of a Pre Qualification Questionnaire that is evaluated to produce a restricted list of suppliers for tender. The time limit allocated for this notice varies according to tendering methods and procedures chosen.

Contracting authorities can use the following commonly used means of publication.

Official Journal of the European Union/TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) - Publication in the Official Journal is mandatory when projects are above the EU thresholds and not mandatory for small value contracts.
Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus- Publication in the Gazette is mandatory when projects involve the open or restricted procedures and not mandatory for small value contracts using the simplified procedure.
The Internet - The wide availability and ease of use of the World Wide Web makes contract advertisements on websites far more accessible, especially for undertakings from other Member States and for SMEs looking for smaller contracts.
National journals specialising in public procurement announcements, newspapers with national or regional coverage or specialist publications.
Local publications - Contracting entities may still use local means of publication such as local newspapers, municipal announcement journals or even notice boards. However, such means ensure only strictly local publication, which might be adequate in special cases, such as very small contracts for which there is only a local market.

It is important when planning a procurement project to ensure that contracting authorities effectively advertise in the appropriate press in order to maximize the potential levels of competition. In certain specialist areas this may require advertisements to be placed in trade journals, etc.

All contracts at or above the EU thresholds (exclusive of VAT) must be advertised in the OJEU and the Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus. In certain occasions it would be advisable to also advertise in the specialist press; e.g. Construction Journals etc. These could be both local and global depending on the nature of the project and the market assessment.

If a contract value is below the mandatory thresholds you may still place a “voluntary” advert on the OJEU.

OJEU are obliged to publish your advert within 12 days. If you also decide to publish in other sources (such as a website or the national press or trade magazines) you must not

send your advert to the other publications before OJEU
provide information or details in the other advert that is not included in the OJEU advert.

Contract award notice

The contract award notice must be published for all contracts awarded under the Directive.  The Notice gives details about the award, the contract value and the successful contractor or consultant.  It has to be issued within 48 days of the contract being awarded.

For cases above the EU thresholds there are certain EU templates for PIN, contract notice and contract award notice that should be used. These can be found at www.simap.eu.int.


© 2007 Republic of Cyprus, Treasury of the Republic, Public Procurement Directorate
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