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
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.
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.
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
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.
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