Prior information notices
Contracting authorities may make known their intentions of planned procurements through the publication of a prior information notice. Those notices shall contain the prescribed information. They shall be published either by the Publications Office of the European Union or by the contracting authorities on their buyer profiles. Where the prior information notice is published by the contracting authorities on their buyer profile, they shall send a notice of the publication on their buyer profile to the Publications Office of the European Union.
For restricted procedures and competitive procedures with negotiation, sub-central contracting authorities may use a prior information notice as a call for competition pursuant provided that the notice fulfils all of the following conditions:
* it refers specifically to the supplies, works or services that will be the subject of the contract to be awarded;
* it indicates that the contract will be awarded by restricted procedure or competitive procedure with negotiation without further publication of a call for competition and invites interested economic operators to express their interest;
* it contains, the prescribed informaiton;
* it has been sent for publication between 35 days and 12 months prior to the date on which the invitation is sent.
Such notices shall not be published on a buyer profile. However, the additional publication at national level, if any, may be made on a buyer profile.
The period covered by the prior information notice shall be a maximum of 12 months from the date the notice is transmitted for publication. However, in the case of public contracts for social and other specific services, the prior information notice may cover a period which is longer than 12 months.
Contract notices shall be used as a means of calling for competition in respect of all procedures, Contract notices shall contain the prescribed information.
Contract award notices
Not later than 30 days after the conclusion of a contract or of a framework agreement, following the decision to award or conclude it, contracting authorities shall send a contract award notice on the results of the procurement procedure.
Where the call for competition for the contract concerned has been made in the form of a prior information notice and the contracting authority has decided that it will not award further contracts during the period covered by the prior information notice, the contract award notice shall contain a specific indication to that effect.
In the case of framework agreements, contracting authorities shall not be bound to send a notice of the results of the procurement procedure for each contract based on that agreement. Member States may provide that contracting authorities shall group notices of the results of the procurement procedure for contracts based on the framework agreement on a quarterly basis. In that case, contracting authorities shall send the grouped notices within 30 days of the end of each quarter.
Contracting authorities shall send a contract award notice within 30 days after the award of each contract based on a dynamic purchasing system. They may, however, group such notices on a quarterly basis. In that case, they shall send the grouped notices within 30 days of the end of each quarter.
Certain information on the contract award or the conclusion of the framework agreement may be withheld from publication where its release would impede law enforcement or otherwise be contrary to the public interest, would harm the legitimate commercial interests of a particular economic operator, public or private, or might prejudice fair competition between economic operators.
Form and manner of publication of notices
Notices shall include the information set out in the legislation in the format of standard forms, including standard forms for corrigenda. The Commission shall establish those standard forms by means of implementing acts. Notices shall be drawn up, transmitted by electronic means to the Publications Office of the European Union and published. Notices shall be published not later than five days after they are sent. The costs of publication of the notices by the Publications Office of the European Union shall be borne by the Union.
Notices shall be published in full in the official language(s) of the institutions of the Union chosen by the contracting authority. That language version or those language versions shall constitute the sole authentic text(s). A summary of the important elements of each notice shall be published in the other official languages of the institutions of the Union.
The Publications Office of the European Union shall ensure that the full text and the summary of prior information notices and calls for competition setting up a dynamic purchasing system, continue to be published:
* in the case of prior information notices, for 12 months or until receipt of a contract award notice indicating that no further contracts will be awarded during the 12-month period covered by the call for competition. However, in the case of public contracts for social and other specific services, the prior information notice shall continue to be published until the end of its originally indicated period of validity or until receipt of a contract award notice indicating that no further contracts will be awarded during the period covered by the call for competition;
* in the case of calls for competition setting up a dynamic purchasing system, for the period of validity of the dynamic purchasing system.
Contracting authorities shall be able to supply proof of the dates on which notices are dispatched.
The Publications Office of the European Union shall give the contracting authority confirmation of the receipt of the notice and of the publication of the information sent, indicating the date of that publication. Such confirmation shall constitute proof of publication.
Contracting authorities may publish notices for public contracts that are not subject to the publication requirement laid down in this Directive provided that those notices are sent to the Publications Office of the European Union by electronic means in accordance with the format and procedures for transmission provided.
Publication at national level
Notices above and the information contained therein shall not be published at national level before the EU publication above. However, publication may in any event take place at the national level where contracting authorities have not been notified of the publication within 48 hours after confirmation of the receipt of the notice.
Notices published at national level shall not contain information other than that contained in the notices dispatched to the Publications Office of the European Union or published on a buyer profile, but shall indicate the date of dispatch of the notice to the Publications Office of the European Union or its publication on the buyer profile.
Prior information notices shall not be published on a buyer profile before the dispatch to the Publications Office of the European Union of the notice of their publication in that form. They shall indicate the date of that dispatch.
Electronic availability of procurement documents
Contracting authorities shall by electronic means offer unrestricted and full direct access free of charge to the procurement documents from the date of publication of a notice or the date on which an invitation to confirm interest was sent. The text of the notice or the invitation to confirm interest shall specify the internet address at which the procurement documents are accessible.
Where unrestricted and full direct access free of charge by electronic means to certain procurement documents cannot be offered for one of the reasons provided for, contracting authorities may indicate in the notice or the invitation to confirm interest that the procurement documents concerned will be transmitted by other means than electronic means below. In such a case, the time limit for the submission of tenders shall be prolonged by five days, except in the cases of duly substantiated urgency.
Where unrestricted and full direct access free of charge by electronic means to certain procurement documents cannot be offered because contracting authorities intend to apply an exception, they shall indicate in the notice or the invitation to confirm interest which measures aimed at protecting the confidential nature of the information they require and how access can be obtained to the documents concerned. In such case, the time limit for the submission of tenders shall be prolonged by five days, except in the cases of duly substantiated urgency.
Provided that it has been requested in good time, the contracting authorities shall supply to all tenderers taking part in the procurement procedure additional information relating to the specifications and any supporting documents not later than six days before the time limit fixed for the receipt of tenders. In the event of an accelerated procedure that period shall be four days.
Invitations to candidates
In restricted procedures, competitive dialogue procedures, innovation partnerships and competitive procedures with negotiation, contracting authorities shall simultaneously and in writing invite the selected candidates to submit their tenders or, in the case of a competitive dialogue, to take part in the dialogue.
Where a prior information notice is used as a call for competition contracting authorities shall simultaneously and in writing invite the economic operators which have expressed their interest to confirm their continuing interest. The invitations shall include a reference to the electronic address on which the procurement documents have been made directly available by electronic means. The invitations shall be accompanied by the procurement documents, where those documents have not been the subject of unrestricted and full direct access, free of charge, for the reasons set out below and have not already been made otherwise available. In addition, the invitations referred to in shall include the prescribed information.
Informing candidates and tenderers
Contracting authorities shall as soon as possible inform each candidate and tenderer of decisions reached concerning the conclusion of a framework agreement, the award of the contract or admittance to a dynamic purchasing system, including the grounds for any decision not to conclude a framework agreement, not to award a contract for which there has been a call for competition, to recommence the procedure or not to implement a dynamic purchasing system.
On request from the candidate or tenderer concerned, the contracting authority shall as quickly as possible, and in any event within 15 days from receipt of a written request, inform:
* any unsuccessful candidate of the reasons for the rejection of its request to participate,
* any unsuccessful tenderer of the reasons for the rejection of its tender, including, for the cases provide, the reasons for its decision of non-equivalence or its decision that the works, supplies or services do not meet the performance or functional requirements,
* any tenderer that has made an admissible tender of the characteristics and relative advantages of the tender selected as well as the name of the successful tenderer or the parties to the framework agreement,
* any tenderer that has made an admissible tender of the conduct and progress of negotiations and dialogue with tenderers.
Contracting authorities may decide to withhold certain information above, regarding the contract award, the conclusion of framework agreements or admittance to a dynamic purchasing system, where the release of such information would impede law enforcement or would otherwise be contrary to the public interest, would prejudice the legitimate commercial interests of a particular economic operator, whether public or private, or might prejudice fair competition between economic operators.