Introduction to 'Best Practices for the selection of subcontractors'

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In the frame of its major procurements, ESA has persistently been driven by the objective of ensuring fairness of competition at all levels and in particular between prime contractors and subcontractors.

This resulted in a number of different procurement schemes put in place by ESA in order to adapt to the various constraints put on it by each individual programme and its specific environment.

More recently the reorganisation of space industry in Europe brought the attainment of this objective as one of the top priorities to be achieved by ESA's Executive and this was recognised by ESA's Council at Ministerial Level.

It was therefore decided to merge under a unique document the existing rules applied up to now to various procurement activities and concerning the fairness of the selection of subcontractors in ESA's Major Procurement. This document establishes a unique set of rules to be known as the Best Practices for the Selection of Subcontractors by Prime Contractors in the frame of ESA's Major Procurements.

The purpose of this document is therefore to ensure that prime contractors together with their major subcontractors when required to perform the selection of subcontractors in the frame of an ESA Programme, be it prior or subsequent to their selection by the Agency, conduct their procurement in line with the principles of fairness and equity outlined herein.

The objective of this document is to establish the minimum best practices requirements to be implemented by a contractor in order to achieve a fair and equitable treatment of non primes.

Such requirements which have been established under the responsibility of the ESA Procurement Department within the Directorate for Procurement, Financial Operations and Legal Affairs (D/PFL)  cannot not be modified without the formal approval of the said Department. Any modification or adaptation required in order to take into account individual programme constraints can only be done by the Procurement Department in co-operation with the responsible programme directorate.

Such requirements form an integral part of the contractual and management requirements of the ESA's ITT's/RFQ's for the selection of the Prime Contractor and therefore require from the Tenderers compliance with section 10 of the 'General Conditions of Tender for ESA Contracts' (ESA/REG 001 rev 3). Any modification to the requirements in the course of the contract shall be dealt through the established contractual Change Procedure.

Although specifically targeted at major procurements such as space and/or ground segment, these requirements are not to be construed as being restricted to such procurements and may be applied in the frame of any competition, independent of its nature or magnitude, should ESA feel it adequate in order to achieve the fairness of competition.

The documents Best Practices for the Selection of Subcontractors by Prime Contractors in the frame of ESA 's Major Procurements can be downloaded as pdf file from Related links.


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