2.4.5. Framework contracts

A framework contract is an agreement between one or more contracting authorities and one or more economic operators, the purpose of which is to establish the terms governing specific contracts which may be awarded during a given period, particularly as regards the duration, subject, price, maximum value, implementation rules and the quantities envisaged.

Framework contracts with several economic operators are called 'multiple' framework contracts; they take the form of separate contracts but they are all concluded on identical terms. The specifications must state both the minimum and the maximum number of operators with which the contracting authority intends to conclude contracts. The minimum may not be less than three.

The duration of such contracts may not exceed four years, save in exceptional cases justified in particular by the subject of the framework contract. Contracting authorities may not make undue use of framework contracts or use them in such a way that the purpose or effect is to prevent, restrict or distort competition.

Specific contracts based on framework contracts are awarded under the terms of the framework contract and must obey the principles of transparency, proportionality, equal treatment, non-discrimination and fair competition.