Achilles Selection & Award Presentation

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Selection & Award Criteria
Glenn Fletcher Achilles Information
The EU rules – room for some discretion
• Regulations do not set out in detail the purchasing process
• No explicit methodology for the assessment of suppliers, either at the
selection or the award stage
• Some scope for commercial discretion, within the provisions and
principles of the EU rules
• The courts have distinguished between selection criteria and award
Selection and award stages differ
• In principle any EU/EEA/GPA must be allowed to take express interest
in the contract
• Outside regulated procurement the buyer would select suppliers using
knowledge of the market
• The aim of selection rules under the EU rules is to ensure principles
of equal treatment and non-discrimination are followed (necessitating
adequate transparency): who can play?
• The aim of the award rules is to determine the ‘best’ offer: who is
the fastest?
Selection criteria principles
• Selection criteria
• To assess supplier capacity to perform the contract (legal
• Contract notice has fields for setting out required selection
• Information usually obtained in PQQ
• Objective and non-discriminatory criteria for selecting bid list must
be disclosed (EBS case)
Limitations on selection criteria
• Choice of the evidence sought and selection criteria level required are
for purchaser to establish but must be
• Relevant
• Proportionate
• Non discriminatory
• Allow adequate competition
Not the same as award criteria (Transporoute case and Lianakis case)
• More about this later
Selection issues
•Setting criteria that are relevant to the contract
•How many suppliers?
•Implications of criteria for SMEs’ access to contracts
•How much discretion can be applied in judging suppliers’ selection
• ‘Adequate’ financial capacity?
•Scope for supplier challenge to criteria
•Use of references/past experience and supplier visits
Collecting selection information
• Contract notice has fields for setting out required selection information
• Information usually obtained using a PQQ
• Could be used to disclose selection criteria?
Less scope for this in public sector (role of approved lists and
Compiling the shortlist
• Bid-list selected using objective and non-discriminatory criteria in
respect of supplier capacity & capability
• Exhaustive list of information permitted under Regulations 23 - 26:
• Mandatory exclusions
• Legal status
• Financial capacity
• Technical capacity
• Ability (works and services)
Compiling the shortlist
• Treatment of health & safety (Greenwich case)
• Relevance of past performance (Luck case)
• Minimum bid-list numbers
• 5 in Restricted Procedure
• 3 in Competitive Dialogue & Negotiated Procedures
Selection and award under open procedure
• Open procedure
• Reject bids that fail criteria for exclusion
• Reject bids that fail to meet any minimum levels of capacity
• Evaluate all remaining tenders using award criteria
Selection and award under restricted
• Restricted procedure
• Reject expressions of interest that fail criteria for exclusion
• Reject expressions of interest that fail to meet any minimum levels
of capacity
• Shortlist for invitation to tender using objective criteria
• Evaluate tenders using award criteria
Selection and award under negotiated and
competitive dialogue procedures
• Negotiated/competitive dialogue procedure
• Reject expressions of interest that fail criteria for exclusion
• Reject expressions of interest that fail to meet any minimum levels
of capacity
• Shortlist for invitation to tender using objective criteria
• Evaluate tenders (and subsequent negotiations) using award
Disclosure of selection criteria
• Must disclose in the notice (or PQQ)
• Minimum capacity required of supplier (if any)
• (If further selection intended) the objective criteria for selection
• Need not be weighted/ranked (unlike award criteria)
• A minimum criterion cannot be applied if not disclosed (Aquatron)
• Scoring system must be disclosed if formulated in advance (EBS)
Duty to disclose selection criteria
• 2009 Amending Regulations require that a supplier that is not selected
is notified of failure
• Include reasons in letter
• How much detail must be disclosed?
• Link with standstill letter requirement for award stage
Case study 1
Award criteria - principles
• Most economically advantageous tender or lowest price
• Provided these are
• Relevant to the contract (EVN)
• Measurable (Concordia Bus)
• Assessed professionally (SIAC)
• Disclosed to suppliers before they tender (Concordia Bus)
• Regulation 30 contains a non-exclusive list of examples of criteria
Disclosure of award criteria
• Criteria for award must be disclosed in OJ notice or contract
• Where ‘most economically advantageous tender’ used, the criteria
making up that assessment must be disclosed
• Note that a criterion cannot be applied if it has not been disclosed
• Relative weighting of each criterion, (or range of weighting) is the
normal approach
• In some cases relative importance (ranking) may be used (justifiable
case, e.g. complexity)
Disclosure of award criteria
A major reason for challenges in the UK courts
European Court case ATI sets out the key principles
UK courts have applied these
McLaughlin and Harvey (sub-criteria)
Lettings International (marking schemes)
Mears (model answers)
Discussions with suppliers – post tender
• Where open and restricted procedures are used the scope for
discussing tenders is limited
• Once tender submitted, clarification permitted e.g.
• Correcting errors in tenders noted by the purchaser
• Must clarify the offer made, not try to improve it (Adia Interim)
• Discussions on contract conditions?
• Competitive dialogue procedure provides explicitly for post tender
• Where negotiated procedure is used then discussions can be very
broad, provided that within scope and on equal treatment basis
Staged evaluations
• Often used where presentations, site visits and interviews are required
• Can we invite only some suppliers based on initial evaluation?
• Specific provision for staged evaluation in competitive dialogue and
negotiated procedures – have to indicate in contract notice
• Not permitted in open/restricted procedures?
Scope for discretion in assessing bids
• Courts will not re-mark the bid evaluation (J Varney)
• How do you deal with a tied result?
Amending Criteria
• Criteria disclosed may influence a supplier’s decision to express
interest in the contract
• Courts have concluded that a change could lead to unequal treatment
where all suppliers were not asked to tender against the amended
criteria (EVN)
• If award criteria disclosed in contract documentation rather than
notice, suppliers could be asked to re-tender?
• Amending criteria after tenders received (Irish Translation Services)
Disclosure of results of assessments notification and standstill
• Suppliers must be notified, with reasons, if they fail to be selected for
a contract tender list
• When a contract award decision has been made tenderers must be
informed as soon as possible (contract decision notice)
• This notification commences a standstill period between award
decision and conclusion of contract
• Cannot conclude contract earlier than this
• If electronic or fax notification used the standstill period is 10 calendar
days from notification
• Otherwise it is 15 days from dispatch (e.g. by post) or 10 days
from receipt
Contract decision notice
• Notification must include
• The award criteria
• The name of winner, winning supplier’s score and the recipient’s
own score
• Precise details of when the standstill period ends
• The reasons for the decision, including the characteristics and
relative advantages of the successful tender
• Regulations also cover notification in case of abandonment
Contract decision notice
• Derogations from standstill
• No contract notice required (e.g. Part B)
• Only one tenderer and no ‘concerned’ candidates or tenderers
• Award under a framework or dynamic purchasing system
The distinction between selection and award
• Supplier’s capacity v supplier’s offer
• Why it matters
Selection v Award – interpreting Lianakis
• European Court found the following criteria used by the authority to
award the contract were unlawful:
• Proven experience of the expert on projects over last 3 years
• Firm’s manpower and equipment
• Firm’s ability to complete the project by the deadline, together with
the firm’s commitments and professional potential
Court found these relate “principally to the experience, qualifications
and means of ensuring proper performance”
• to suitability to perform the contract – i.e. selection, not award
Possible interpretations of ‘experience’
• Can never refer to experience
• Can only look at experience of individuals involved in the project
• Can refer to experience as evidence of quality when considering tenders
• No legal consensus on ‘right’ interpretation
• OGC favoured the third interpretation (Action note 04/09 of 29/4/09)
•European Commission favours the second interpretation (2011 proposal
for new directives)
Case study 2
Summary – selection v award
• Selection
• to assess supplier capacity and capability
• focuses on supplier’s characteristics & suitability to perform the
• Some limitations on use of criteria in public sector
• Award
• to assess which tender is most economically advantageous
• Considerable discretion to set the criteria
• may only use criteria linked to subject matter of contract
• Relevant case law: Lianakis, Lightways
Achilles EU Team
• Glenn Fletcher
Director, EU Procurement
Gail Wilson
Liz Wilson-Lamb
Emily Strange
Anna Bourne
Services Manager
Procurement Advisor and Trainer
Procurement Advisor and Trainer
procurement Advisor and Trainer
• Laura Taylor
• Holly Cooney
• Jayne Wellman
Account Manager
Account Manager
• Contact Number
• Associates
01235 838115
– Professor Sue Arrowsmith
Legal Expert
– Susie Smith
Senior Consultant and Lawyer

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