The ESA procurement process is designed to achieve the best possible trade-off between the objectives of technical excellence, economy and industrial policy as defined in the Convention and in the Procurement Regulations.
It is also implemented so as to give tenderers the guarantee that the competitive procedure will be conducted in complete fairness and that their offers will be evaluated with the greatest care and total impartiality.
The implementation of the procurement procedure is a joint task of technical initiating services and the Procurement Department. A major task of representatives of the Procurement Department is to ensure that the rules and procedures, established in order to achieve the objectives stated above, are strictly observed.
The procurement process consists of the following sequential phases:
(1) The Planning and Preparatory Phase
(2) The Initiation Phase
(3) Preparation of the Invitation to Tender / Request for Quotation (ITT/RFQ)
(4) Distribution of ITT/RFQ
(5) The Tendering Phase: Preparation and Submission of an Offer
(6) Admission and Evaluation of Offers
(7) Award and Placing of Contracts
(8) Debriefing of unsuccessful Tenderers
(9) Control of the execution of the contract
(10) Closure of the contract
From the Tender Evaluation Manual (Annex III of the Procurement Regulations) one can gain detailed information with regard to phases 1 to 8 of the procurement process at ESA.
The phase (1), (2) and (3) describe internal ESA activities in the procurement procedure, and although some of its features are of no direct concern to potential tenderers or contractors, understanding these procedures may be useful.
The phases are covered in detail in the documents “The procurement process” provided as pdf-file in Related Links.