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Health and Consumer Protection

Call for tenders

Consumer Policy - Call for expressions of interests (JO/OJ S102 - 28/05/99)

1. European Commission, Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General – Unit C1, Coordination and Resources, Office 5/74, rue Belliard 232, B - 1049 Brussels. Tel. (32-2) 296.70.21 Fax (32-2) 296.59.78.

2. This invitation is a call for expressions of interest.

Persons who wish to apply for entry in one or more of the sub-lists are invited to do so in compliance with the provisions of this invitation.

The authorising department will enter all applications that meet the criteria set out in point 8 below in one or more sub-lists.

When Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General wants to draw on services corresponding to one of the sub-lists drawn up in the context of the fields described in point 3.a), it will transmit the invitation to tender and the specifications to all or some of the candidates on the sub-list concerned, depending on the nature of the specific tasks to be accomplished.

The sub-lists prepared on the basis of this invitation will be used exclusively for contracts whose estimated value is below the thresholds indicated in the "public procurement" directives concerned.

Candidates may apply for one or more of the sub-lists considered.

3. a) Exhaustive description of the matters covered by the call for expressions of interest:

The Commission recently adopted a Consumer Policy Action Plan for 1999-2001 (COM(98) 696 final). This document lays down three priority objectives for Commission activities in this sector:

I. A more powerful voice for the consumer throughout the EU

  • education and information of consumers as to their rights and as to how they are protected in the single market when they buy goods and services, particularly as regards cross-borders purchases;
  • the promotion and representation of consumers' interests in order to guarantee that their voice and interests are taken into account in preparing and implementing Community policies and to represent their interests more forcefully.

II. A high level of health and safety for EU consumers

  • Consumer health and safety in respect of consumer goods and services marketed in the Union thanks to free movement in the single market, require preventive measures and measures to evaluate risks, as well as monitoring and inspection measures.

III. Full respect for the economic interests of EU consumers

  • Protection of consumers' economic interests, in view of the growing number of international transactions, with regard to advertising and also with regard to contracts and the prevention and settlement of disputes.

Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General is responsible for designing, implementing and managing different actions and may need external assistance in the following fields, each of which will have its own sub-list.

I. A more powerful voice for the consumer throughout the EU

Development of consumer information, education and representation

Code UC3-1 - means, instruments and strategies of communication and publication; sensitising the public to consumer problems;

Code UC3-2 - relations between national and Community organisations that represent consumers, their development, support, etc.;

Code UC3-3 - development of short-term training modules for the staff of consumer organisations in the fields of communication, administration and management;

Code UC3-4 - actions to support and develop consumer policy;

Code UC3-5 - actions designed to promote consumer education (all categories and age groups) in the Member States.

II. A high level of health and safety for EU consumers

Risk assessment

Code UEDR-1 - microbiological safety of food products: assessment of the microbiological risk, study methods, mathematical modelling, creation of databases;

Code UEDR-2 - safety of genetically modified organisms (OGM): risk assessment, study methods;

Code UEDR-3 - risk of propagation of animal diseases: methodology for assessing the risks of propagation of animal diseases, in particular zoonoses; mathematical modelling; creation of databases.

Code UEDR-4 – toxicological safety of food products: assessment of the toxicological risk, study methods, mathematical modelling, creation of databases;

Agriculture, food products and health; fishery and fishery products

Agricultural policy and consumers

Code UA3-1 – experts, economists and jurists with a good knowledge of the mechanisms of European legislation governing the Common Agricultural Policy, with a view to developing the taking into account of consumer concerns in this area;

Food products and health

Code UA3-2 – actions in the field of nutrition;

Code UA3-3 – actions in the field of information, communication and nutrition education;

Code UA3-4 – actions linked to public health;

Code UA3-5 – foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses;

Code UA3-6 – actions in the field of food manufacturing hygiene;

Code UA3-7 – processing of agricultural products, applications of agrifood technologies, novel foods;

Code UA3-8 – methods of manufacturing agricultural products and foodstuffs, residues of contaminants, pesticides, antibiotics;

Code UA3-9 – food additives, materials and objects coming in contact with food, manufacturing and processing procedures;

Fisheries policy and consumers

Code UA3-10 – experts, economists and jurists with a good knowledge of the mechanisms of European legislation in the field of fishery and fishery products, with a view to developing the taking into account of consumer concerns in this area;

Consumer safety and the environment

Code UA4-1 - products: general product safety, questions concerning standardisation, certification and labelling in relation to consumer health and safety; analysis of the risks associated with certain products, including risks linked to chemical substances and preparations; cost-benefit analysis of measures to reduce these risks;

Code UA4-2 - services: analyses of the consumer health and safety risks associated with certain services; cost-benefit analysis of measures to reduce these risks; legal analysis of the possibilities of Community measures regulating the safety of services, economic analysis of certain service sectors; standardisation and certification in the field of the safety of services;

Code UA4-3 - sustainable consumption: quality policy in the food and non-food sectors, sustainable consumption models, biotechnology, respect for the environment; environmental information for consumers; ecological claims; ethical claims; criteria and certification for ecological and ethical claims.

Scientific opinions concerning health

Scientific support for the secretariats of the following Scientific Committees:

Code DB-1 - Scientific Steering Committee;

Code DB-2 - Scientific Committee on Food;

Code DB-3 - Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition;

Code DB-4 - Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare;

Code DB-5 - Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health;

Code DB-6 - Scientific Committee on Plants;

Code DB-7 - Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and non-Food Products Intended for Consumers;

Code DB-8 - Scientific Committee on Medicinal Products and Medical Devices;

Code DB-9 - Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment.

For all Committees; the following expertise is required: risk evaluation, statistics and epidemiology, human medicine including paediatrics.

Work to be carried out: Scientific and technical assistance to prepare and carry out scientific opinions and in particular to examine the writing in relation with the question submitted to the Committee, analysing the files, the preparation of drafting the opinions, collection and management of data including via computer and on-line.

Concerning the areas of responsibility of the Scientific Committees, see the following internet site: http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/index_en.html

Improvement in scientific cooperation

Code DB-10 – actions to improve scientific cooperation

III. Full respect for the economic interests of EU consumers

The Information Society

Code CA - work concerning aspects of the information society of relevance to consumers.

Consumers' economic interests

Code UA2-1 - commercial communications and practices: advertising in general and advertising targeted at a particular group (children), price indications, weights, measures and volumes, marketing techniques and commercial strategy, good faith and fair dealing, legal and commercial guarantees, dispute resolution;

Code UA2-2 - tourism and preventative health: package travel, health and nutrition claims, supplementary and alternative therapies;

Code UA2-3 - consumers' economic interests in the fields of transport, protection of privacy, distance learning and the information society (electronic commerce, telematic transactions);

Financial services

Code UA5-1 - expertise on the modus operandi of retail banks (notably structure of costs/pricing) and payment/transfer systems, the granting of credit, in particular credit scoring, life assurance and pension schemes, investment services, including individual and collective investments in securities, information concerning the issues of Community and international private law concerned (applicable law / competent jurisdiction, "general interest", mutual recognition, etc.);

Code UA5-2 - electronic commerce: perspectives/technical and practical problems linked to the commercialisation of financial services via electronic commerce, information concerning the issues of Community and international private law concerned (applicable law / competent jurisdiction, "general interest", mutual recognition, etc.);

Code UA5–3 - euro: examination of the application of the Agreement between consumers and retailers on the euro: the Commission (Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General) will have to monitor use of the euro logo and compliance with the Agreement in 1999 and 2000. If the Agreement is not respected, the Commission should propose a regulation at the end of the year 2000.

Code UA5-4 - examination of bank commissions in euros as compared with those expressed in national currencies. In the context of the euro, bank commissions are consumers' main concern. According to various studies carried out in 1997, it will be necessary to examine the situation as regards the main services offered by banks to consumers.

IV. Other areas

Policy development  

Code UA1-1 - non-legislative instruments: self-regulation, codes of good practices and other ‘soft laws’;

Code UA1-2 - integration: the consumer dimension in the context of services of general interest, legal questions, questions pertaining to health and safety, the information society and financial services.

Legal questions

Code UC2-1 - legal assistance for all the Directorate-General's activities and fields of competence; verification of the transposition and application of Community law under the responsibility of Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General; follow-up of the enforcement of Community law in favour of consumers;

Code UC2-2 - development of pilot projects and new initiatives designed to improve consumer access to justice;

Code UC2-3 - implementation of the Commission's Communication and Recommendation on the out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes.

International relations

Code UC5-1 - support and monitoring of the development of consumer policy in the applicant countries, developing countries and other third countries;

Code UC5-2 - promotion of consumer health and safety and of consumers’ economic interests both in third countries and in the context of international organisations;

Code UC5-3 – protection of consumers' economic interests in third countries and in the context of international organisations;

Training

Code UC1-1 - training the staff of Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General

  • for certification as ISO 9000 quality control experts;
  • in the field of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points);
  • in the field of epidemiology;

Code UC1-2 - Training of Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General’s staff in other technical fields such as animal health, animal welfare, the phytosanitary sector and food hygiene.

Evaluation

Code UC0 – for all areas of activity covered by Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General (as described in points 3.I, 3.II and 3.III), ex ante, ex post and intermediate (external and internal) evaluations of the impact of the projects, policies and programmes implemented, cost-benefit analysis and other appropriate evaluation techniques, performance indicators, evaluation of the impact of regulatory measures, etc.

b) Type of contracts: the contracts put out to tender on the basis of the sub-lists will concern:

  • specific consultation work to take place in the Commission’s offices ( code Intra),
  • specific studies, including studies of a scientific nature and the provision of intellectual services, preparatory work such as analysis of the scientific literature or interrogation of Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General databases ( code Extra).

4. The sub-lists based on this call for expressions of interests will be valid until 31 December 2001.

5. Consortia of firms or service providers, universities and research institutes may apply.

6. Applications must be sent to the following address: European Commission, Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General, Unit C1 – Coordination and Resources, Office 5/74, rue Belliard 232, B- 1049 Brussels.

7. Presentation of application file: the file should be inserted in a sealed envelope and transmitted by registered mail.

If candidates wish to apply for several sub-lists, they must provide a separate file for each sub-list. Likewise, if applicants wish to apply for more than one type of contract, they must supply a separate file for each type of contract, even in the context of the same sub-list.

The envelopes should be marked: " Appel à manifestation d’intérêt – Etudes et consultation Direction Générale Santé et Protection des consommateurs".

Each envelope should bear the name of the candidate, the code of the sub-list as indicated in point 3.a) and the code of the type of contract as indicated in point 3.b).

Thus, for example, candidates applying for specific consultation work in the field of sustainable consumption should mark the envelope with the codes " UA4-3" and " Intra", in addition to the other particulars indicated above.

Applications may be submitted at any time between the date of publication of this call for expressions of interest and 31 December 2001, the sub-lists remaining "open".

8. Selection criteria: Applicants interested in replying to this call for expressions of interest should possess proven competence in the sectors to which their bid relates. The Commission will proceed to prepare the sub-lists of candidates, sector by sector, on the basis of the following criteria:

8.1. Administrative information

Documents to be furnished:

  • name, address, telephone number, fax number, etc.
  • legal status,
  • VAT number,
  • social security number,
  • for legal persons: copy of the Articles of Association and documents indicating the names and functions of the members of the management board

8.2. Technical capacity: services performed and references

Documents to be furnished:

  • detailed CV for independent applicants and the CVs of the experts proposed for the various measures by legal persons,
  • references and contracts pertaining to services performed during the last three years that concern the field(s) of competence to which the application relates.

For the codes DB-1 to 9: inter alia, expertise in the following areas: veterinary science, agronomics, medicine, pharmacy, biotechnology, cosmetology, toxicology and ecotoxicology, environment, foodstuffs, animal nutrition, epidemiology, risk assessment.

8.3. Financial capacity (only for legal persons)

Documents to be furnished:

  • a document attesting to the applicant's financial capacity: nominal capital, turnover and number of employees.

8.4. Other information to be provided

  • order of magnitude of invoiced costs, pricing, indicating where appropriate a person/month range including all costs, except for travel and subsistence allowances outside the main place of performance of the contract. Costs should be denominated in euros, net of all taxes and duties, the Commission of the European Communities being exempt from all taxes and dues in accordance with the provisions of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities annexed to the Treaty of 8 April 1965 establishing a single Council and a single Commission of the European Communities,
  • information on the applicant's working languages and the languages in which he can present his reports.

Vague or incomplete expressions of interest will be rejected.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their expressions of interest. Applicants selected for entry in the sub-lists with a view to their being later invited to respond to a specific call for tenders will not have to furnish the documents indicated in this call for expressions of interest, since these documents will have already been supplied, provided their particulars remain unchanged.

9. Other information:

The sub-lists will be valid from the date of publication in the OJ until 31 December 2001.

10. Date of dispatch of the invitation by Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General:

11. Date of receipt of the invitation by the OPOCE:

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