3.3.13. Provision and replacement of experts

Where the tender procedure involves the provision of experts, the contractor is expected to provide the experts specified in the tender. This specification may take various forms.

Whatever the form, the key experts to be provided by the contractor must be identified and named in the contract.

The evaluation committee may recommend that a tenderer be excluded from the tender procedure if this company and/or proposed experts deliberately conceal the fact that all or some of the team proposed in their tender are unavailable from the date specified in the tender dossier for the start of the assignment, or if it can be established that this company has proposed names of experts which in fact had not given their consent to participate. Note that in such case, the tenderer may also be subject to administrative and financial penalties imposed by the European Commission (see point 2.3.4.) and this may furthermore lead to their exclusion from other contracts funded by the European Union.

DIRECT MANAGEMENT AND INDIRECT MANAGEMENT WITH EX-POST CONTROLS:

Should the contracting authority learn that a tenderer has confirmed the availability of a key expert and signed the contract although the tenderer has deliberately concealed the fact that the expert is unavailable from the date specified in the tender dossier for the start of the assignment, the contracting authority may decide to terminate the contract using article 36.3 (m) of the General Conditions.

INDIRECT MANAGEMENT WITH EX-ANTE CONTROLS:

In addition to the above, prior approval by the European Commission is required before cancelling the contract.

However, the contract must not only identify the key staff to be provided but specify the qualifications and experience required of them. This is important if the contractor has to replace staff during the implementation of the tasks.

DIRECT MANAGEMENT AND INDIRECT MANAGEMENT WITH EX-POST CONTROLS:

The contractor must first obtain the Contracting Authority's written approval by substantiating its request for replacement. The contracting authority has 30 days from the date of receipt of the request to reply.

INDIRECT MANAGEMENT WITH EX-ANTE CONTROLS:

In addition to the above, the prior approval of the European Commission is required.

The contractor must, on its own initiative, propose a replacement where:

- a member of staff dies, falls seriously ill or suffers an accident;

- it becomes necessary to replace a member of staff for any other reasons beyond the contractor's control (e.g. resignation etc).

DIRECT MANAGEMENT, AND INDIRECT MANAGEMENT WITH EX POST CONTROLS:

In the course of implementation, the contracting authority may also submit a substantiated written request for a replacement where it considers a member of staff incompetent or unsuitable for the purposes of the contract. The contractor must be asked to provide his own and the staff member's observations to such request.

INDIRECT MANAGEMENT WITH EX-ANTE CONTROLS:

In addition to the above, the prior approval of the European Commission is required before submitting the request for replacement.

During the implementation of a service contract, where a member of staff has to be replaced, the replacement must possess at least equivalent qualifications and experience and the fee/rate may in no circumstances exceed that of the expert replaced. Where the contractor is unable to provide a replacement possessing equivalent qualifications and/or experience, the contracting authority may either terminate the contract, if it considers that its performance is jeopardised, or, if it considers that this is not the case, accept the replacement, in which case the latter's fees are to be negotiated downwards to reflect the proper level of remuneration. Any additional expenses resulting from the replacement of staff are borne by the contractor except in the case of replacement resulting from death or where the contracting authority requests a replacement not provided for by the contract. Where an expert is not replaced immediately and some time elapses before the new expert takes up his functions, the contracting authority may ask the contractor to assign a temporary expert to the project pending the new expert's arrival or to take other steps to bridge the gap. Whatever the case may be, the contracting authority will make no payment for the period of absence of the expert or his replacement (whether temporary or permanent).