2.5.7 What is an acceptable procurement timetable?

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A procurement timetable should be produced for all major procurement exercises. It is the responsibility of the Procurement Manager to set the timetable and it should set out all the key stages in the procurement process, as well as the length of time expected for each stage. The timetable should be determined at the outset of the procurement process and should take into consideration the availability of all the key members of the procurement team.

It should be noted that the timescale varies from project to project depending on its complexity and the availability of each member of the procurement team. An indicative outline timetable for an open procedure which can be used and adapted appropriately by contracting authorities is provided below.

Table 2-12: Sample procurement timetable for the open procedure

1

Budget approval

Start Date

2

Establish Procurement Arrangements i.e. -a project structure/timetable/Procurement/evaluation teams

1 week

3

Agreeing a procurement strategy and EU procedure (this could set the timescales from this point in the planning process)

0.5 week

4

Drafting specification

1 week

5

Market assessment

1 week

6

Establish evaluation criteria

0.5 week

7

Preparing tender documentation including Terms of Conditions

1 week

8

Advertising the project (OJ/Local press etc)

 

9

Tender submission

See Law N12 Chap.V Part 2 & note below

10

Tender evaluation

1-4 weeks

11

Decision to award/application of the time for appealing to the Tenders Review Authority

2 weeks

12

Collection by the Contractor of all the required supporting documents for the contract signature

1-3 weeks

13

Contract signature date

Tendering  Process End Date

An indicative outline timetable for a restricted procedure which can be used and adapted appropriately by contracting authorities is provided below.

Table 2-13: Sample procurement timetable for the restricted procedure

1

Budget approval

Start Date

2

Establish Procurement Arrangements ie-a project structure/timetable/Procurement/evaluation teams

1 week

3

Agreeing a procurement strategy and EU procedure (this could set the timescales from this point in the planning process)

0.5 week

4

Drafting specification

1 week

5

Market assessment

1 week

6

Establish evaluation criteria

0.5 week

7

Preparing tender documentation including Terms of Conditions

1 week

8

Advertising the project (OJ/Local press etc)

 

9

Invitations to submit PQQ

1 week

10

PQQ submission

See Law N12 Chap.V Part 2 & note below

11

PQQ evaluation

1 week

12

Invitations to tender (min of 5)

1 week

13

Tender submission

See Law N12 Chap.V Part 2 & note below

14

Tender evaluation

1  week

15

Decision to award/application of the time for appealing to Tenders Review Authority

2 weeks

16

Collection by the Contractor of all the required supporting documents for the contract signature

1-3 weeks

17

Contract signature date

Tendering Process End Date

Using this information a timeline can be drawn, with responsibilities assigned for each activity within the procurement team and supplier teams. This suggested approach gives an overall timescale for the process and will enable the procurement to be managed efficiently and effectively to achieve fast delivery.

The input of experts should be built into the timetable and diary dates given as soon as possible. The above example shows an indicative total duration, however as stated, this will depend on the size and complexity of the project, procurement procedure and the process.

Time-limits for Replies - Minimum time-limits are set down for the different stages of the particular contract award procedure chosen by the Legislation [Law N.12(I)/2006, Title II Chapter V Part 2, Title III articles 83 and 84(c)(ii)]. In all cases, the times specified in days relate to calendar days. When fixing the timescale for submitting expressions of interest / requests to participate or tenders, contracting authorities should take account of the complexity of the contract and allow sufficient time for submitting the necessary information and preparing tenders.

The main minimum time-limits, which are defined from the date of dispatching the notice to the OJEU, are as follows.

Open Procedure

for receipt of tenders: 52 days
if a PIN has been published: as a general rule the minimum time may be reduced to 36 days but in no circumstances less than 22 days.

 

Restricted, Negotiated and Competitive Dialogue Procedures

for receipt of expressions of interest / requests to participate:  37 days;
for receipt of tenders under restricted procedures: 40 days from date of issue of invitation to tender; 
If a PIN has been published: as a general rule the minimum time for receipt of tenders under the restricted procedure may be reduced to 36 days but in no circumstances less than 22 days (no reduction in times for receipt of expressions of interest).
Under a negotiated procedure or in competitive dialogue the time allowed for receipt of tenders may be agreed between the parties involved.

Where genuine urgency renders these time limits impracticable, shorter time-limits may be applied as follows 

for receipt of expressions of interest, not less than 15 days from the date of dispatching the notice and
For receipt of tenders, not less than 10 days from the date of issue of invitation to tender.

 

The following provides a summary table for use by contracting authorities.

Table 2-14: Timeframe for different procedures as set out in the EU Directives

 

Restricted

Negotiated

Open

Earliest date for last receipt of tenders from date of despatch of OJEU Contract notice No PIN

N/A

N/A

52 days

As above if a PIN was published

N/A

N/A

36 days

Time from date of request to send contract documents

N/A

N/A

6 days

Earliest date for last receipt of requests to participate (expression of interests) from date of despatch of Contract Notice.

37 days

37 days

N/A

As above in cases of urgency/accelerated procedure

15 days

15 days

N/A

Earliest date for last receipt of tenders from date of despatch of invitation to tender. This is likely to be after the evaluation of PQQs

40 days

       

N/A

N/A

As above if a PIN was published

36 days

N/A

N/A

As above in cases of urgency/ accelerated

10 days

N/A

N/A

 

Electronic / online advertising: minimum times for responses may be reduced where contract notices are transmitted electronically to the OJEU and all tender documentation is made available electronically in accordance with the provisions of the Directives. The reduction can be up to a cumulative 12 days, (7 days for contract notice and 5 days for provision of documents in electronic format), reflecting the potential for time saving if up - to - date technological methods of communication and transmission are used at the various stages of the process. Conditions for availing of these potential time reductions are set out in Law N12, Title II Chapter V Part 2.

The use of the urgent procedures, or accelerated procedures, as referred to in the Directives, must be justified and documented and have been caused by unforeseeable events outside the control of the contracting authority. The EU Commission and ECJ interpret urgency very strictly. Delay or inaction on the part of the contracting authority is not sufficient reason for applying exceptional procedures. Unforeseeable events in the Directives means events which fall outside the field of normal economic and social activity, such as floods or earthquakes which necessitate urgent services to assist the victims. It should also be noted that recourse to this procedure is permitted only to the extent necessary to procure services necessary to deal with the immediate urgent situation. For requirements after such a period, the contracting authority  has  sufficient  time  to  publish  a  contract  notice  and  award  a  contract  in accordance with normal procedures.


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