Time Lines

The time limit for receipt of request to participate and for receipt of tenders in open procedures.

The minimum timeline for receipt of tenders is 52 days from the date the contract notice is sent to the Commission.  It may be reduced in the case of notices drawn up and transmitted electronically in accordance with prescribed forms.

In open procedures, the time limits for receipt of tenders may be reduced by a further five days where the agency concerned offers unrestricted and direct access to the contract documents and supplementary documents electronically from the date of notice, in the method allowed by the Directive.

If contracting bodies have published a periodic indicative note, a time limit of 36 days may apply.  The period may be reduced to 22 days where the Periodic Indicative Notices include certain prescribed information.  The reductions may not be less than 15 days from the date on which the contract notice is sent (being 22 less 7 days, for use of electronic means).

In open procedures where there is not full unrestricted access by electronic means to the specifications and supporting documents, they must be sent to the parties within six days of receipt of a request timely made.  Additional information must be supplied not later than six days before the tender deadline.

In the restrictive procedure, where there has been a prior call for competition, there must be at least 37 days from the date of publication of notice. In negotiated procedures with a prior call for competition, the period must be no less than 37 days from the invitation.

Where notices are sent by means other than electronic means or fax, the time limit may be no less than 22 days and reduced to 15 days in the case of electronic means or fax.  The above time limits refer to a receipt of requests to negotiate.

The time limit for receipt of tenders in the restricted or negotiated procedures may be agreed between the awarding authority and the selected tenderers, provided they all have the same time to submit their tenders.  In the absence of agreement, the contracting authority should set a time limit of at least 24 days, with no less than 10 days from the date of the invitation to tender.   reduction of five days may be allowed for full electronic means and access.  The period cannot be reduced to less than 10 days.

The time for receipt of tenders may be extended in certain circumstances where documents and information is not furnished within the time limits provided or where a site visit or other on the spot inspection is required.

Invitation to Submit Tenders

In restricted and negotiated procedures, the awarding authority must invite the candidates in writing to submit tenders or to enter negotiations.  It must include copies of the relevant documents and specifications or references to where they can be accessed electronically. Where they are held by a third party, itmust be indicated where they may be requested from and the closing date for time limit on which they may be requested.  Any additional information must be given at least six days before the date for final receipt.

The invitation must give

  • time limits for additional documentation, as well as any payments that may arise for same,
  • the final date for tender, the address where they are to be sent, the language, indication of any supporting documents required,
  • criteria for the award where not indicated in the notice and the existence of a qualification system,
  • means of requesting competition,
  • relative weighting of contract award criteria and if appropriate, the incidence of such criteria.

In the case of requests for competitions through public indicative notices where candidates have been invited to confirm their interest on the basis of detailed information on the relevant contract before the negotiations or selection of tenderer the information to be provided must include the

  • nature, quantity and estimated publication date for future notices of competitions;
  • type of procedure to be used;
  • date on which specific supplies and works services are likely to commence;
  • closing date and address for submission of tenders;
  • address of awarding authority;
  • economic, technical conditions; guarantees and information required;
  • amounts payable for tendering documents;
  • form of contracts whether by sale, hire purchase, lease etc.;
  • contract award criteria and their weighting and relative importance.

Requirements I

Technical specifications must be set out in the contract documentation.  They should insofar as possible, take account of the needs of persons with special needs and disabilities in the design.  The specifications must not create unjustifiable obstacles to procurement competition.

The technical requirements must be compatible with EU law.  They must be formulated by reference to appropriate EU standards or national standards when there are no EU standards.  The equivalent must be permitted in all cases.

The requirements may be in terms of function or performance.  The specification must be sufficiently precise.  The tender must be in terms of performance or functional requirements with the reference to specifications,. The means of achieving conformity with standards and requirements may be by way of a combination of reference to European standards, performance and functional characteristics.

Where the contract prescribes performance and functional requirements, the awarding authority may not reject a tender, which complies with a  national standard transposing an EU standard, with  EU technical approval, common technical specification, international standard or technical reference system provided for by a European standardisation body, if the specifications address the performance and functional requirements which it has laid down.

The tenderer must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the awarding authority by appropriate means that the tender complies with the standards, performance and functional requirements.

Environmental characteristics may be provided for. They may be prescribed with reference to eco-labels, provided they are appropriate to the services and objects of the contract and provided the labels are prepared on s scientific basis, using a procedure in which all stakeholders can participate.

Requirements II

Technical specifications must not refer to a particular make source process, trademarks, patents of a specific origin unless strictly necessary.

Tenderers may submit variants where the award is based on the most economically advantageous tender.  Contracting authorities must specify whether they will accept variants.  If so, they must state the minimum requirements to be met.

Awarding authorities may invite  tenderers to indicate to what extent they intend to subcontract performance to third parties and proposed sub contractors.

Awarding authorities may provide special conditions in relation to the performance that is compatible with the EU law, which deals in particular with social and environmental considerations.

Awarding authorities may provide the information on obligations relating to tax, environmental protection, employment protection provisions and working conditions applicable to the works.  They may require  that candidates  take account of employment protection provisions and working conditions where the works are to be undertaken or service provided.


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