Contracting Authorities shall establish standard written procedures on procurement and guidelines for tender documents. These standard procedures and guidelines shall comply with the Mandatory Principles and, as required, with the Special Rules.
Procurement procedures shall comply with the following rules:
Contracting Authorities shall reject any proposal put forward by tenderers or candidates, or, where applicable, terminate their contract, if it is determined that they have engaged in corrupt, fraudulent, collusive or coercive practices.
The Contracting Authority shall draft tender documents and guidelines in accordance with the best international practice. Tender Guidelines shall provide unequivocal Technical Specifications or Terms of Reference describing the object of the contract. When feasible, Technical Specifications have to be established in accordance with international recognised standards and contracts shall be established accordingly.
The respective rights and obligations of the Contracting Authority and the contractors are governed by the tender documents and the contracts signed by the parties. The Contracting Authority has the sole responsibility for complying with any contractual obligation incumbent on it.
The European Commission is not bound by contracts concluded by the Contracting Authority and recognises no contractual link between itself and the Contracting Authority’s contractors.
Procurement is mainly based on contracts. A contract is an agreement between two or more persons intended to create a legal obligation between them and to be legally enforceable. A contract may be concluded in writing or orally however in commercial contracts like procurement contracts it is always advisable to ensure that some written evidence of the contract in case a dispute subsequently arises.
In order for any contract to be valid it must be based on a voluntary agreement between the parties on a binding promise. A procurement contract records the agreement of the parties in a commercial transaction in order to obtain against the payment of a given price the supply of products, the execution of works, the provision of services or the renting of properties.
Contracting Authorities considering launching a procurement procedure have to determine in the first place the object of the contract, i.e. its subject, duration and value. These characteristics will determine the type of contract and procurement procedure to be chosen.
The estimated value of a contract may not be determined with a view to evading the requirements laid down in the following rules, nor may a procurement procedure be split up for that purpose. Where the subject of a contract is subdivided into several lots, even if each one will be subject of an individual contract, the value of all lots together must be taken into account for the overall evaluation of the applicable threshold.
A valid contract may take several different forms and should include some basic contents.
References and useful links