Phase 3: Procurement procedures

Choosing the adequate contract award procedure is a key step in every procurement process.

The boxes below highlight different procedures and procurement instruments with their relevance to the procurement of bio-based products and services.

Allow for variants

Brief explanation:

The contracting authority may allow the submission of offers which deviate from the contract specifications but can still be regarded as fulfilling the subject matter of the contract. The contracting authority must declare in the invitation to tender whether bidders may submit variant offers or alternative specifications.

Variants allow for value engineering and recognise the importance of innovation in public procurement.

Pre-commercial procurement

Brief explanation:

If you need something that doesn’t yet exist, you can engage businesses to develop a prototype by awarding contracts for research & development (R&D) services. This gives you greater freedom than in the case of a usual tender.

Pre-commercial procurement (PCP, developed by the European Commission) is a method to take advantage of such freedom, the basis for each of which is the same: you award several parties a contract to develop an innovative solution in competition with each other. There are various rounds which each involve the elimination of parties. After the final phase at least two prototypes are developed and tested.

PCP is relevant if a bio-based solution you want to purchase is not yet available on the market.

More information:

PCP

Competitive dialogue

Brief explanation:

A competitive dialogue is a way of tendering whereby you enter into a dialogue with a number of selected market parties. You work together with these parties towards finding the best solution for your organisation. Competition-sensitive information will remain confidential. After a structured process that usually requires significant investment from the participating parties, you will award the contract to one of the tenderers.

Competitive dialogue is relevant if a bio-based solution you want to purchase needs some adjustment to your specific needs.

More information:

Competitive dialogue

Competitive procedure with negotiation (CPN)

Brief explanation:

The CPN has been introduced into the New Directives 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU to replace the previous instrument of negotiated procedure with the publication of the prior information notice. CPN allows the contracting authorities to refine their requirements and purchase that products, services, works that are tailored to their needs and budget as well.

CPN is relevant if a bio-based solution you want to purchase needs some adjustment to your specific needs.

Innovation Partnership

Brief explanation:

New procedure introduced by the New Public Procurement Directives (2014). It is aiming at the development and purchase of new and innovative products, services and works provided that such innovative product or service or innovative works can be delivered to agreed performance levels and costs. The procedure applies elements of the competitive procedure with negotiation with the aim to establish a partnership with one or more suppliers. This instrument enables the contracting authority to procure from the beginning of R&D activities as well as it allows the acquisition of commercial scale.

Innovation Partnership offers the public buyers the chance to take advantage of new technologies and to apply the benefits of research and development activities. However the instrument in its early days having been adopted only recently.

Design contest

Brief explanation:

A design contest is a way of bringing new ideas or concepts onto the market. You formulate a challenge and award a prize to the parties that submit the best solutions. The ideas are assessed by an independent jury. A design contest is a form of tendering that offers wide scope for creativity.

The submitted designs can actually be implemented or can serve as inspiration (even if they are not actually implemented). A design contest is also a good way of generating a relatively large amount of publicity about a theme with modest expense.

Although design contests are most used for architectural purposes the New Public Procurement Directives (2014) make it possible to use them to engineering and data processing purposes as well.

More information:

Design contest

One-on-one contracting

Brief explanation:

A one-on-one contract is the award of a contract to a supplier that does not have to compete with other suppliers for the contract. You can enter into such a contract if you know exactly what innovative product or service you wish to purchase and you know for certain that only one party can provide this. For one-on-one contracts you use a single private tendering process. There are various ways to do this. Which way you choose depends on the cost of the purchase.

More information:

One-on-one contracting

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