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Frequently asked questions - Works


The FAQ will shortly be updated
to cater for the modifications
introduced in March 2013



Are public opening sessions always held for works and supply contracts?

The public opening session makes only sense for international or local tenders which are published. For the other procedures the opening will not be public.


Can a tenderer make an offer different from the one mentioned in the technical specifications of a tender for works or supplies, provided it is better?

Generally, the tenders are based upon the principle that the tenderers submit an offer which complies with the technical specifications of the tender dossier which has been given to them. Any offer which does not comply with these provisions shall therefore be rejected and the contractors do not have the possibility to submit any projects different from those which are subject to the procedure in question, even if they consider it « equivalent » or « better ».

To allow for the opposite would be contrary to the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (notably judgment Storebaelt of 22 June 1993, Case 243/89, p. I/3353 « In this regard, it must be stated first of all that observance of the principle of equal treatment of tenderers requires that all the tenders comply with the tender conditions so as to ensure an objective comparison of the tenders submitted by the various tenderers. ») The Contracting Authority defines its needs trough the technical specifications of the tender dossier by relying in most cases on a technical assistance financed by the EU. It is worthwhile mentioning that the most expensive and most sophisticated technology is not necessarily the one which is best suited for the beneficiary countries of Community aid. Experience shows that Contracting Authorities prefer to buy the solution on the base which they have defined in the tender documents rather then alternative solutions that do not correspond to their needs. The international tender procedures for supplies and works contracts are generally based on the principle that the contract is attributed to the company which has presented the cheapest tender in conformity with the tender documents. This type of tender is highly transparent and guarantees an optimal usage of European taxpayers' money.

In some specific cases, the award criteria may be the best value for money but this is exceptional and is always specified in the tender documents.


Are discounts always announced at the opening for works and supplies? This can be cumbersome and very complicated.

The discounts (value + conditions of the rebate) need to be clearly indicated orally during the opening and later in writing in the minutes. The Instructions to tenderers  stipulates  [A Tenderer may include in its tender the overall discount it would grant in the event of some or all of the lots for which it has submitted a tender being awarded. The discount should be clearly indicated for each lot in such a way that it can be announced during the public tender opening session]. The tenderers should use the standard supply tender submission form of the the Practical guide to contract procedures for European Union external actions (PRAG), which clearly incidates possible discounts.

Last update: 09/04/2013 | Top