eCertis is an online database listing the eligibility criteria and documentary evidence needed in each EEA country to take part in public procurement.
Public procurement – the purchase by public bodies of works, goods or services – is regulated to ensure compliance with the principles of transparency, equal treatment and non-discrimination.
To be able to bid for a public contract, firms need to know what rules apply and what criteria they have to meet. The EU has set out these criteria in the Public procurement Directive and the European Single Procurement Document Regulation.
The grounds on which companies and individuals may be excluded from public procurement procedures include criminal convictions and non-payment of taxes. To be asked to participate, they must also show that they have the financial and technical resources needed to perform the contract correctly.
To prove they meet the eligibility criteria (a term used for both the exclusion criteria and what the Directives call the selection criteria) and that they should not be excluded, they must provide documentary evidence: an
extract from the criminal records register, for instance, or a tax payment certificate. They also have to provide evidence such as their annual accounts, or a list of the main contracts performed.
The Commission manages eCertis and the EU countries are obliged under Article 61 of the directive to make sure the information is accurate and up to date.
All 28 EU countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway participate in eCertis. The database may later expand to include, for instance, candidate countries that may ultimately join the EU.
- companies (bidders) to identify which documents and certificates they need to submit when bidding for a contract in a European country
- contracting authorities (buyers) in European countries to establish which documents they can accept or need to ask bidders for
- both parties to identify which certificates have the same value in different countries.
eCertis is to be used for reference purposes only. It shows the documents/certificates required in each country. While eCertis may suggest that a document from country A is comparable to another document from country B, this information is not legally binding.
1. by indicator
For eCertis to be reliable, the countries concerned must upload all the relevant information.
There are 2 indicators:
- criteria completeness (what proportion of the criteria defined in Directive 2014/24/EU are met?)
- evidence recorded (number of items of evidence associated with the criterion type)
Data are collected in 3 categories of grounds for exclusion:
- criminal convictions (EG-CC)
- non-payment of taxes and social security contributions (EG-PT)
- insolvency, conflict of interests or professional misconduct (EG Ins).
(the 2 indicators combined)
Combining indicator 1 and indicator 2 gives the overall classification.
It follows the rule:
||if both indicators are red
||if both indicators are yellow or one is green and the other is red or one is red and the other is yellow
||if both indicators are green, or one is yellow and the other is green
Indicator  – Criteria Completeness
The ratio is calculated on the basis of the number of criteria recorded in the system, divided by the total number of criteria set out at EU level. It is presented as a percentage to make it easier to read. Colours are assigned as follows:
||> 0% ≤50%
- Higher scores show that countries have entered data in the eCertis database. No country has an average classification of 0%.
- 6 countries have an average classification of 30% or less: Germany, Spain, Croatia, Island, Luxembourg and Portugal.
- 16 countries have an average classification of over 70%: Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Slovenia and the UK.
Indicator  – Evidence recorded
This indicator classifies the countries concerned on the basis of the number of items of evidence recorded in the system for each type of criterion. If the country has not entered any evidence data, the indicator is red; if it has entered more than one item of evidence, the indicator is green.
The final classification is calculated as follows:
||all criteria are red
||a mixture of red and green values
||all criteria are green
If the indicator is zero, it means the country concerned has not entered any data in the system regarding evidence on the main grounds for exclusion. This applies to Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Romania. Countries with higher indicator values have entered such data.
Facts and figures
Types of evidence
This graph shows the number of items of evidence, broken down into 3 types (certificates, declaration on oath and self-declaration), that may be used and possibly required in a public procurement contract in the EEA countries. It shows differences in the regulatory regimes used in the countries concerned.
The total number of these types of evidence varies significantly, from 2 in Norway to 39 in France. Self-declarations are prevalent in some countries, such as Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, France, Latvia, Poland and the UK. In others, certificates are the only items of evidence to be provided. This is the case for Austria, Belgium, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania.
Percentage of items of evidence available online, by EEA country
This graph shows the countries' scores in terms of the ratio of those items of evidence for which they have provided a link in eCertis to the total number of items of evidence recorded in the database. The link enables eCertis users to access the database online and look at the evidence.
Broadly speaking, the graph gives an indication of databases' level of digitalisation. However, the ratio could be zero for other reasons. For instance, the relevant links may not have been added in eCertis, or the information concerned may not be publicly accessible online. (This is the case, for instance, if there is no database and suppliers use self-declaration to confirm compliance with a given requirement).
In some countries (Estonia and Norway, for example), over half the total number of items of evidence are accessible online to buyers or bidders. Hungary also has a high score.
Items of evidence with samples
This graph shows the countries' figures expressed as the ratio of the number of items of evidence recorded in the system with a sample of the means of proof in PDF format to the total number of items of evidence entered. In some cases, there may be no items of evidence. Some countries, for instance, do not have a specific form for self-declaration.
Those countries that have higher ratios have attached a large number of samples in relation to the items of evidence recorded in eCertis. This is the case with Spain, Malta and Romania.
Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Portugal and the UK score zero on this indicator.
- 981 criteria (a 46% increase on last year) and 462 items of evidence (an 87% increase on last year) had been added to eCertis by 20 February 2018.
- The system now contains information on 250 bodies that issue certificates.
- 10 600 unique visitors in the last quarter of 2017.
- 24% of certificates can be viewed online.
- A sample is available for 22% of the items of evidence described in the system.
- Countries interested in connecting their e-procurement systems to eCertis should apply for Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grants.
New functionalities were added to eCertis in 2016, resulting in significant improvements.
A new version has been launched recently, offering new features such as:
- improvements in the system's look and feel and general user-friendliness
- search by issuing bodies
- filters with multiple types of choice
- extended comparison functionality
- extended multilingual text in the content and the interface
- a users’ manual
The total number of records in the system has grown substantially to 1682 (criteria, items of evidence, and issuing bodies).
The system is now being used much more. The number of unique visitors in the last quarter of 2017 rose by 253% in comparison with the same quarter of 2016.
Connecting European Facility (CEF) grants enabled services in 8 countries to be automatically linked with eCertis in 2016. By end-2018, we expect 16 countries to be automatically linked with eCertis.