ESA Procurement Regulations have been in force since 18 July 2011.
Requests for Ombudsman intervention on the basis of a formal process as laid down in ESA Procurement Regulations and/or Best Practices are extremely rare (on average one/3 years)
The majority of requests to the Ombudsman are informal requests via letter or e-mail asking for mediation/intervention from the Ombudsman to find an amicable settlement on best effort and within a reasonable time-frame (on average ten/year)
Most prominent topics:
Late payments & disputes on level of payments
Treatment of licenses and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
De-briefing of tender evaluation results
Issues regarding General and Specific Clauses & Conditions
Fairness in contract award
“Informal” Requests are dealt with as either:
Case Studies for specific well-identified complaints These are Ombudsman confidential dossiers and require approval of the originator(s) to allow the Ombudsman to mediate/intervene on their behalf with the opposite party.
Generic Queries covering generic complaints These are Ombudsman open dossiers of generic interest, the originator(s) are not disclosed unless prior permission has been given. The Ombudsman intervenes/negotiates on behalf of interest groups at Customer level, i.e., within Eurospace or with ESA.
Recommendations These are Ombudsman recommendations for consideration to the Head of the ESA Procurement proposing changes to ESA procurement & contract regulations to alleviate/remedy industrial concerns/issues.
The role of the Ombudsman is foremost to ensure fairness in ESA procurement and where possible to facilitate amicable settlements for Industry-to-Industry and ESA-to-Industry disputes
His mediation is free of charge and his independence & confidentiality avoid public exposure
The majority of issues are settled within a period of 3–6 months
Companies are invited to contact the Ombudsman even if in doubt of whether the issue falls under his area of competence.