3.2.2.2 Preparing the Technical Specifications

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As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Technical Specifications form part of the Terms of Reference. Laws 11(Ι)/2006 and 12(Ι)/2006 contain extensive references to the Technical Specifications (in articles 32 and 25, respectively).

This paragraph presents the following:

Key issues which must be understood regarding the determination of technical specifications, such as:
What are the technical specifications?
Which types of technical specifications can I use?
What is meant by the terms “mandatory” and “desirable” requirements – technical specifications?
What are the crucial elements in determining the technical specifications?
What is the legal dimension of technical specifications?
Instructions on how to prepare technical specifications:
What should be the contents of the technical specifications document?
What should be the contents of a technical specification?
How do I create technical specification texts?

What are the Technical Specifications?

The Technical Specifications are texts that describe in detail the qualitative characteristics of the activities, resources and results of the contract, which the implementation of the contract must satisfy (achieve) in order for the objectives of the contract to be achieved. At the same time, they function as criteria for acceptance and/or evaluation of the tenders submitted by the candidate economic operators, as well as the measure for acceptance of the results or activities or resources of the contract (and for their certification/payment) during the implementation phase.

The characteristics to which the Technical Specifications refer may concern various types of requirements, such as requirements for quality of manufacture (content, composition etc.), performance, use (usability), safety (operation), appearance, size, implementation methods/techniques etc. They are usually specified in a descriptive way but also by supplying quantitative indications, such as values for the levels of performance, size etc., which are either a minimum which must be met or a maximum which must not be exceeded.

The Technical Specifications must also take into account environmental criteria (e.g. exhaust emission levels, noise levels etc.). They must also incorporate and use social criteria such as the accessibility by persons with a disability etc.

Types of technical specifications

In general, Technical Specifications are classified in three types:

Functional specifications,
Performance specifications, and
Technical design specifications.

The presentation of these three types of Technical Specifications, accompanied by clarifications about the usefulness, the field of application and the advantages and disadvantages of the two last types of specifications, which are the most frequently used, is given in paragraph 2.7.4 (Chapter 2).

The following are additionally mentioned:

Functional specifications are the typical answer to the expected results and to the requirements resulting from them. They describe all external characteristics and connection interfaces which must be achieved by the contract (regardless of whether this is a service contract or a contract for the manufacture of a product, such as a software product).

       In the case of manufacture of a product, in particular, the functional specifications are a sort of “guide” and point of reference, as they present the target capabilities (properties), appearance, usability criteria and relations with the environment for the manufactured product.

       In general, the functional specifications describe “what” the usability will be, but not “how” this usability is going to be implemented.

The functional specifications translate the requirements into technical terms, in order to:

(a) Ensure that the requested characteristics of the result (product or service) have been fully understood before the implementation design stage begins, and

(b) Specify clearly and beyond dispute all information required for design of the target result.

The functional specifications are obtained with the collaboration of the Project Owner and/or its consultants (designers etc.) and of the direct beneficiaries of the contract. The participation of the direct beneficiaries is important, as it ensures that the result will have the requested (operational etc.) characteristics which will benefit its users.

The functional specifications contain specific information regarding the functional requirements of the contract. This information may be the following:

oPurpose: What is expected to be achieved by the specific function.
oInputs: Which inputs will be accepted, in what form should inputs be provided, what are the acceptable sources of inputs and other relevant information.
oProcesses: The steps to be followed, the algorithms, formulas and techniques to be employed etc.
oOutputs: Desirable characteristics of outputs, such as form, volume, time, destination etc.

       For example, in the case of a project involving the construction of an office building, the above information could be the following:

oPurpose: the provision of office premises with specific individual spaces (20 offices, 3 meeting rooms, restaurant, 6 WC etc.), arranged in accordance with the architectural drawings and the building construction programme.
oInputs: construction personnel and project management personnel (engineers, foremen, skilled and unskilled technicians/workers, machinery operators etc.) in the quantities (person-months) needed, project materials (concrete, reinforcement, bricks, coating materials, joinery, electrical and mechanical equipment etc.), construction machinery (builders crane, hoists, mixers etc.), subcontractors, financial resources.
oProcesses: construction methods for individual elements of the building, sequence of construction activities, activities schedule etc.
oOutputs: The constructed office building etc.

       In the case of a procurement consisting of computers, the above information could be the following:

oPurpose: supply and installation of 19 computers as workstations in the local area network of an organisation.
oInputs: supply of materials (computers, cabling and other accessories), installation activities, operation tests.
oProcesses: method of implementation of the supply (with or without the Contracting Authoritys participation), installation approach/method, delivery schedule and installation and testing schedule etc.
oOutputs: Ten new workstations ready for operation.
The performance specifications specify the requested performance, by setting detailed input/output requirements for the product they refer to.

       The following are examples of ways in which such requirements are measured:

oProcessing capability: volume of inputs to be managed per each unit of time.
oAccuracy: number of error-free outputs (usually expressed as a per cent rate).
oAvailability: the period of time during which a solution may be used, as a per cent rate of the period of time during which it may supposedly be used.

       The specification of a performance requirement (which will subsequently be “included” in a Technical Specification) is not always easy. In many cases a reference level must be determined, to which the achievement of the requirement will be compared “objectively”, something which is difficult enough.

Additionally, the requirement must be specified at the appropriate performance level, which should reflect the true capabilities but also the broader performance level of the environment of the contract. If the requirement is defined at a performance level which is too high, then meeting this requirement shall be very costly (the differential cost will most probably be higher than the differential profit). In contrast, if the requirements defined are too low, then user expectations shall not be achieved, resulting in negative (financial and other) impacts.

       Performance requirements may also be laid down in cases where the tender procedure involves the “consultation” of the Contracting Authority with the tenderers, during which the various performance levels and their associated costs may be explored. In these cases, the tender documents initially include indicative performance requirements, which shall be finalised after conclusion of the “consultation”.

       Other performance requirements which may be laid down (through the relevant Technical Specifications) in a tender procedure could involve security, health & safety in the premises where the contract scope is to be implemented, or special technical reports (e.g. for electrical installations).

The technical design specifications are in practice the contract implementation specifications, i.e. they refer to the characteristics of the means which must be used for implementing the contract, to the way in which the individual activities shall be implemented, to the characteristics (quality, appearance, size etc.) of the results (deliverables) etc. This is the most common type of specifications, and it is what most people mean when referring to “Technical Specifications” (e.g. the typical strength of concrete, weight of paper per unit area, strength of ceramic materials, resistance to chemicals etc.)..

These specifications are drafted by experts, who are familiar with the technology, products etc. in the market, their availability and the cost for their acquisition/use. Above all, they must of course be familiar with the overall objective and specific objectives, and with the target result and its environment.

Mandatory and desirable Technical Specifications

Requirements (and Technical Specifications) are often distinguished into:

Mandatory, which are the essential requirements which must be applied by the Contractor, and
Desirable, which although they result in benefits they are not essential (critical) for achieving the results and objectives of the contract.

The mandatory requirements are important in a tender procedure, as tenderers who do not meet them may be excluded from the tender procedure precisely for this reason. In contrast, the desirable requirements may during the evaluation simply lead to an advantage for the economic operator offering them. Obviously, this can happen only when the award criterion for the contract is the most economically advantageous tender. In this case, the desirable specifications must form part of the criteria used to evaluate the technical offers of the tenderers.

The mandatory requirements are usually combined with the desirable requirements as follows: the mandatory requirements are the essential requirements, while the desirable requirements expand them or specify higher performance levels.

The way in which the desirable requirements offered shall be assessed (during the evaluation of the tenders submitted by the economic operators) must be specified in advance and must be described in the tender documents. Fulfilment of the desirable requirements is assessed in one of the following two alternative ways:

A qualitative way, based on their qualitative comparison,
A quantitative way, based on some method of quantifying (directly or indirectly) the benefit to the project owner, such as for example calculating the cost to the project owner if it were to fulfil the offered requirements using its own resources.

The concept of Minimum Mandatory Technical Specifications is also used quite often. Whatever the developments in the implementation of the contract, not satisfying these specifications can not be allowed. Usually this concept is used in tandem with allowing (albeit rarely) economic operators to submit variants8 [ Pursuant to Laws 11(I)/2006 and 12(I)/2006, Contracting Authorities may allow tenderers to submit variants when the award is made using the criterion of the most economically advantageous tender. This possibility must be stated explicitly in the tender documents, otherwise it is shall be understood that variants are not allowed. ], proposing (alternative) solutions which are different from those contemplated in the tender documents. Variants may be requested in the case of contracts whose scope can be implemented by different technical solutions, and usually involve cases where the Contracting Authority is not in a position to know precisely the solutions available in the market which are suitable for meeting its needs, and wishes to give to economic operators the opportunity to propose the optimum solutions (technically and financially).

In such a case, there is evidently a requirement for limiting the range of allowable differentiations in the contract scope (including the technical specifications), as well as for specifying the way in which comparability between the tenders of candidate economic operators shall be ensured, so that that the appointment of contractor may take place relying on transparent procedures and on criteria which are fair to all.

As part of this effort, the Minimum Mandatory Technical Specifications must be determined in such a way and at such a level as to ensure:

The achievement of the results and objectives of the contract (independently of the way in which this could take place).
The possibility of comparing the technical solutions offered, and primarily the financial offers of the tenderers, to allow the appointment of contractor.
The fulfilment of certain requirements for specific desirable processes which must be implemented.

This task is quite difficult and generally involves a high risk of problems occurring in the tender procedure. For this reason, allowing the submission of variants by the candidate economic operators is usually avoided. If it is decided to use this option, the Contracting Authority must have studied the contract scope, in order to specify the items for which it shall the submission of variants and determine an effective way in which to evaluate the variants.

Crucial elements in determining the Technical Specifications

The Technical Specifications represent contractual terms, in accordance with which (and in combination with the other terms of the contractual documents), the Contractor shall implement the contract. The Technical Specifications obviously have a significant effect on cost of the contract as well as on important parameters that determine the time needed for its implementation.

The determination of the Technical Specifications is a crucial task during the development of the tender documents, because the success of the tender procedure in leading to the acquisition of the requested results (supplies or services or constructions) at the right quality, in the available time and within the available budget, depends on it. For this reason, the Technical Specifications must be determined in such a way as to ensure both of the following two aims:

The achievement of the desirable characteristics which are requested by them, and
The promotion of the broadest possible competition between the economic operators to tender for the contract (so that the optimum cost is achieved, and the conditions of transparency and equal treatment of candidates are ensured).

Therefore, the Technical Specifications must at the same time ensure that:

The requirements placed on the Contractor in connection with the required activities and resources, as well as the expected results of the contract, are clear, fully understood without room for misinterpretation, and transparent, so that the economic operators may offer what is actually requested.
These requirements have the necessary flexibility and allow (render acceptable) other compatible, innovative and economically advantageous (in terms of “best value for money”) solutions, which fulfil the broader requirements of the contract.
These requirements do not result in discrimination between economic operators, nor to the exclusion of any of them from the tender procedure, but instead offer equal opportunities to all.

and that:

It shall be possible for the Contracting Authority (i.e. there will be no problems on the grounds of the Technical Specifications) to evaluate the tenders of candidate economic operators and award the contract (in a timely manner and without problems).

If the Technical Specifications are wrong or inadequate or too restrictive, then one or more of the following are likely to happen:

Certain qualified/suitable economic operators may be discouraged from participating in the tender procedure or may be excluded from it.
The requirements of the contract may be misinterpreted or interpreted differently by the candidate economic operators.
The tenders submitted may not be satisfactory (in terms of quality etc.).
There may be difficulties in the evaluation of tenders.
The tenders submitted may contain wrong or unsuitable materials or services.
The best value for money may not be achieved for the project.
Significant costs and/or losses may be incurred.
Delays and/or non-implementation (or non-completion) of the contract may be caused.
There may be negative publicity, damaging the public image of the project owner.

To avoid the above and to ensure achievement of the aims of the contract, it is imperative (and, where not obligatory, it is strongly recommended) to determine the Technical Specifications by using relevant standardised texts (of European, international or national technical specifications). Such texts ensure the following:

Completeness in the description of the requirements.
Optimum formulation (wording) of the requirements.
“Intercompatibility” of the relevant texts used and, consequently, ease of “integration” of the formulation (wording) of the requirements.
Correct measurement of the work done, and full determination of the responsibility of the party to implement the contract.
Savings in effort.
Transparency, etc.

Therefore, Contracting Authorities must first conduct a search for such requirements texts in relevant libraries (National, European, international), and only undertake to develop their own technical specification text if no such text is available. Instructions on how to do this are given in the following.

The legal dimension of Technical Specifications

From a legal viewpoint, Technical Specifications are important for ensuring free competition, equal treatment of candidate economic operators, and transparency. Laws 11(I)/2006 and 12(I)/2006 (articles 32 and 25, respectively), make extensive reference to the Technical Specifications.

In particular, the above Laws provide the following:

The Technical Specifications (TS) must be defined where possible in such a way as to take into account accessibility criteria for people with disabilities or design for all users.
The TS shall afford equal access for tenderers (economic operators) and must not have the effect of creating unjustified obstacles to the opening up of public procurement  to competition.
The TS shall be formulated (by the Contracting Authorities) in the following alternative ways:
-Either by referring to mandatory national technical rules, to the extent that they are compatible with Community Law.
-Or by reference (in decreasing order of preference) to:
(a)National Standardstransposing European standards, i.e. specifications approved by one or more recognised standardising bodies9 [ In Cyprus, this organisation is the Cyprus Organisation for Standardisation (CYS) www.cys.org.cy ] for repeated or continuous application10 [ It is pointed out that the use of specifications which are more demanding (“stricter”) than the respective National or European Standards is allowed, provided that they do not lead to discrimination (unfair competition). ].
(b)European Technical Approvals” (ETA), i.e. favourable technical assessments of the fitness for use of a product for a particular purpose, based on the fulfilment of the essential requirements for building works, by means of the inherent characteristics of the product and the defined conditions of application and use. The requirement for the products to be used to be issued with an ETA may be prescribed only if these products are not covered by any European Standard. A list of the products that have been issued with an ETA is available by the approval body designated for this purpose in each Member State11 [ In Cyprus, the Central Laboratory of the Public Works Department is such a body. ].
(c)Common Technical Specifications” (CTS), i.e. technical specifications laid down in accordance with a procedure recognised by the Member States of the European Union (which has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union) for the purpose of ensuring their uniform application in all Member States.
(d)International Standards”, i.e. standards adapted by international standards organisations and made available to the general public.
(e)Other “Technical Reference Systems”, i.e. unofficial standards produced by European standardisation bodies, according to procedures adopted for the development of market needs.

or when these do not exist by reference to:

(f)National standards” not transposing respective European Standards but not conflicting with the Community Legislation,
(g)National Technical Approvals”,

or, finally, by reference to:

(h)National Technical Specifications” relating to the design, calculation and execution of the works and use of the products.

In all cases under (a) to (h) above, each reference shall be accompanied by the words “or equivalent”.

-Or in terms of performance or functional requirements; the latter may include environmental characteristics. However, such parameters must be sufficiently precise to allow tenderers to determine the subject-matter of the contract and to allow Contracting Authorities to award the contract.
-Or in terms of performance or functional requirements, with reference to the aforementioned specifications (“National Standards”, “European “Technical Approvals”, “Common Technical Specifications” etc.) as a means of presuming conformity with such performance or functional requirements.
-Or by referring to the aforementioned specifications (“National Standards”, “European Technical Approvals” etc.) for certain characteristics, and by referring to the performance or functional requirements (as mentioned above) for certain other characteristics12 [ It is pointed out that the choice between technical design specifications or functional/ performance specifications often depends on the procurement method used:
- In the case of projects implemented using the design-build system, or in the case of Public-Private Partnerships, the TS usually refer to functional/performance requirements (mainly of the results) of the contract.
- When a method based on bills of quantities or lists of unit rates is employed, the TS usually make reference to detailed technical design specifications for the required activities or resources of the contract.
It is also pointed out that quite often, in cases where the TS mentioned contain references to requirements of the technical design for the required activities or resources of the contract, references to performance/functional requirements may also be used, either in the general description of the contract scope or in the description of its expected results. In such a case, if the checks conducted to confirm the implementation of the contract scope (measurements) and, respectively, the payments rely on the detailed technical design TS for the required activities and resources of the contract, these shall prevail over the references to performance/functional requirements (which are considered inferior). ]
.
Where a Contracting Authority makes use of the option of referring to the specifications (“National Standards”, “European “Technical Approvals” etc.), it cannot reject a tender on the grounds that the products and services tendered for do not comply with the specifications to which it has referred, once the tenderer proves in his tender to the satisfaction of the Contracting Authority, by whatever appropriate means, that the solutions which he proposes satisfy in an equivalent manner the requirements defined by the technical specifications. An appropriate means might be constituted by a technical dossier of the manufacturer or a test report from a recognised body (i.e. a test and calibration laboratory or a certification or inspection body which complies with applicable European standards and is established in a Member State of the European Union).
Where a Contracting Authority uses the option to prescribe in terms of performance requirements or functional requirements (mentioned above), it may not reject a tender for works, products or services which comply with a “National Standard” transposing a European standard, with a “European Technical Approval”, a “Common Technical Specification”, an “International Standard” or a “Technical Reference System” established by a European standardisation body, if these specifications address the performance or functional requirements which it has laid down. In his tender, the tenderer must prove to the satisfaction of the Contracting Authority and by any appropriate means that the work, product or service in compliance with the standard meets the performance or functional requirements of the Contracting Authority. An appropriate means might be constituted by a technical dossier of the manufacturer or a test report from a recognised body.
Where Contracting Authorities lay down environmental characteristics in terms of performance or functional requirements (mentioned above), they may use the detailed specifications, or, if necessary, parts thereof, as defined by European or (multi-) national eco-labels, or by and any other eco-label, provided that:
-These specifications are appropriate to define the characteristics of the supplies or services that determine the contract scope,
-the requirements for the label are drawn up on the basis of scientific information,
-the eco-labels are adopted using a procedure in which all stakeholders, such as government bodies, consumers, manufacturers, distributors and environmental organisations, can participate, and
-they are accessible to all interested parties:

       The Contracting Authorities may indicate that the products and services bearing the eco-label are presumed to comply with the Technical Specifications laid down in the tender documents, and must accept any other appropriate means of proof, such as a technical dossier of the manufacturer or a test report from a recognised body.

Unless justified by the contract scope, Technical Specifications shall not refer to a specific make or source, or a particular process, or to trade marks, patents, types or a specific origin or production with the effect of favouring or eliminating certain undertakings or certain products13 [ It is pointed out that in general, reference to products of specific make or origin or to particular processes raises the risk of cancellation of the contract, as it also violates the EC Treaty (article 30) regarding the free movement of goods (unfair discrimination and advertising). ]
. Such reference shall be permitted on an exceptional basis, where a sufficiently precise and intelligible description of the subject-matter of the contract in accordance with what has been mentioned above, is not possible. Such reference shall be accompanied by the words “or equivalent”.

As already mentioned, the application of the above provisions of the Laws is mandatory. As the notion of “Technical Specifications” is often used to refer more broadly to all elements of the contract, particular attention should be paid to the specification and description of all contractual terms (described in the Tender Documents), to ensure that these do not lead to a violation of the provisions of the Laws and of the relevant Community Directives.

Contents of the Technical Specifications document

The Terms of Reference text that forms part of the tender documents must contain the Technical Specifications which must be applied for the implementation of the contract scope, together with clarifications and instructions about their application. In many cases, this part of the Terms of Reference (which includes the Technical Specifications) forms a separate volume and is individually referred to as “Technical Terms of Reference”.

In general, the text of the Technical Terms of Reference comprises the following chapters:

Introduction

The contents of this chapter are organised in the following way:

An introduction presents the Technical Specifications which follow in the text, also describing their purpose and structure.
Mention is made of what to be included or not  in the Technical Specifications.
A list is given, in order of precedence, of the specifications/standards to be used in the case of activities, resources and/or results of the contract which are not covered by the Technical Specifications presented next.
Reference is made to constraints (mandatory collaborations/synergies, time constraints etc.) and to the allocation of responsibility to the Contractor in connection with the application of the Technical Specifications.
Special issues clarifications are presented, to facilitate the understanding of the Technical Specifications presented next.

To avoid complications or financial claims from the part of the Contractor, the Introduction of the Technical Specifications volume may also contain certain provisions, such as the following ones:

“If a candidate economic operator finds out that a specific term of the Technical Specifications deviates from the National or Community Legislation, it must inform to this effect the Contracting Authority within the deadline expiring on the date specified for the submission of comments, questions or recommendations, by special letter, otherwise such candidate economic operator:

       a) Shall be deprived of the right to any financial compensation

       b) If appointed Contractor, it shall additionally be obliged to join forces with the Contracting Authority in the harmonisation of the deviating term with the National or Community Legislation, even if this entails the economic operator incurring a financial burden, as such financial burden (if any) is assumed to be part of the normal business risk.”

“Regarding any material, activity, construction, quality control etc. not covered by:
oThe mandatory national regulations/specifications/codes (not conflicting with the Community Law), and
othe present Technical Specifications,

       the following shall apply, in order of precedence:

oNational Standards transposing European Standards
oThe European Technical Approvals
oThe Common Technical Specifications
oThe International Standards
oThe National Standards, Technical Approvals and Technical Specifications (not contrary to the Community Legislation and the present Technical Specifications).”
“Every participant in the tender procedure and, consequently, the Contractor, acknowledges, by the mere submission of its tender, that the Technical Specifications provided are suitable and adequate for the performance of the contract scope, and that it undertakes any obligation, risk or consequence deriving from  their application.”
“All expenses for the application of the Technical Specifications and of the associated and/or referenced regulations/codes/specifications shall be borne by the Contractor, regardless of whether or not a relevant explicit statement to this effect is made. The Contractor shall not bear the expenses for a particular activity only if an explicit and undisputable statement to the contrary is made in a relevant article of the Technical Specifications.”

Technical requirements (Technical Specifications)

This chapter which is the main body of the volume contains only the detailed Technical Specifications, which the Contractor must apply. Any other references, referrals etc. must be listed in another chapter (usually in the Introduction).

This chapter is structured in subchapters serving to distinguish the Technical Specifications of the expected results, the required activities and the necessary resources (when the latter are not included in the specifications of activities). Within each subchapter, the requirement modules that correspond to the individual components of the contract scope are presented separately, so that they may be easily located and taken into account during the preparation of the tenders as well as during the implementation of the contract. In every such section, the Technical Specifications that satisfy the respective requirements are mentioned.

The quality of the Technical Specifications is a very important element which must be checked by the Contracting Authority before the contract is put out to tender.

The checklist given below is intended to guide the competent officials of Contracting Authorities in identifying the items to be checked before approving the Technical Specifications for a contract.

 

The text of the Technical Specifications should be free from the following:

Overestimates of the requirements and/or use of terms such as “the highest possible quality”, except if necessary, because this raises costs excessively.
“Casual” terminology, which could lead to vagueness and, later on, to potential areas of future disputes.
Overspecification of characteristics (characteristics that do not serve user needs and are not necessary to fulfil user requirements), leading to cost increases and stifling innovation.
Elements that diminish competition or lead to discriminations, or that favour (or, conversely, restrict) certain economic operators.
Inconsistencies between the Technical Specifications and the other tender documents, including the General Conditions of Contract.
References to names of suppliers/materials etc., except if necessary, and then always accompanied by the words “or equivalent”.
The requirement for candidate economic operators to be certified or be registered with specific environmental management schemes (e.g. ISO 14000, EMAS) or be registered with a specific eco-label management scheme, except if provision has been made for some other equivalent and/or for the use of other means as evidence.

Table 3-13: Checklist for the approval of the Technical Specifications

 

Instructions on developing a Technical Specification

The text of a Technical Specification should comprise the following:

Introduction

The Introduction presents the purpose of the Technical Specification and the way in which it was composed, as well as any conditions that restrict its application.

Main body (text)

The structure of the Technical Specification must be as close as possible to the structure of the other specifications in use in the country.

The contents of a Technical Specification usually include the following:

The description of its scope.
The inputs used (raw materials, methods, labour etc.) and the criteria for their acceptance.
The characteristics of outputs, which may be either qualitative characteristics or performance/functional characteristics (this is the main section of the Technical Specification) e.g. printing speed and quality of a printer, strength of a bridge to loads, number of copies per unit of time of a photocopier.
The quality control requirements (criteria and ways of implementation) for acceptance of the outputs.
The health & safety conditions/requirements during implementation, and the requirements regarding the protection of the environment.
The method used to measure the outputs.

Remarks, Application guidelines

These contain data/information concerning the application of the Technical Specification, reference to other Technical Specifications with which it may combined or with which it interworks, and description of the relation/interconnection with them, and other clarifications as needed.

 

Procedure for developing a new Technical Specification

To develop a new (ad hoc) Technical Specification, it is recommended to adopt an approach consisting of the following steps:

Specification of the requirements (functional, output, quality etc.) of the intended outputs (work, material, service, construction etc.).
Analysis of output requirements and establishment of requirements in inputs (materials, activities, methodologies etc.) for implementation of the outputs.
“Market” research to identify existing alternative solutions and the possibilities offered by innovative solutions for achievement of the outputs. This includes:
Identification of information sources (persons, organisations, documents)
Communication/ research on the requested data from these sources.
Specification of input and output requirements (technical specifications), at a level of detail which allows economic operators to understand what is requested and specify solutions for its achievement.
This activity is performed either “in-house” by the Contracting Authority (and its consultants) or with the participation of the candidate economic operators (through a “consultation” process during which they offer their views). This consultation process is used primarily when the tender procedure applied is the restricted procedure, and the economic operators from which tenders shall be invited have been selected.
Checking input and output requirements (derived in the previous step) in terms of:
The completeness of their description.
Their synergy and cohesion with the other requirements (other technical specifications) of the contract.
The clarity of their formulation.
The possibility and method of controlling their achievement (during or after the implementation of the contract).
The possibility of incorporating them in the method/procedure for evaluation of the tenders submitted by candidate economic operators for the award of the contract/.

The checklist given below can help confirm the correct development of a new Technical Specification:

 

Are the requirements complete and accurate?
Have:
oThe needs of the users of outputs, and
ofuture developments

been taken into account?

Can the requirements be met (i.e. does a “market” for their achievement exist or can it be developed)?
Are the requirements compatible with the purpose of the contract?
Have the concerns and risks, identified during the requirements specification activity, been addressed?
Have any requirements-related business complications been identified and addressed?
Are the requirements consistent with:
othe broader objectives pursued by the project owner?
othe requirements of the contract implementation environment?
othe national and Community legislation?
othe public procurement strategy?
othe strategy for the evaluation of tenders for awarding the contract?

Table 3-14: Checklist for confirming the correct development of a new Technical Specification

 


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