Understanding the principle of Tender Compliance

If the Tenderer makes mistakes in the presentation of compliance aspects it can have very negative effects, even render the tender non-admissible for evaluation. It is therefore essential to understand how to deal with compliance issues in the tender.

Particular attention shall be given to the  Cover Letter of the ITT. The Key Acceptance Factors (KAF) will be contained in the Cover Letter and listed in a document (Form A) attached as an Annex to it. 
These factors shall be carefully reviewed and the box next to each KAF shall be ticked as an explicit confirmation that each factor is fulfilled.

Examples of KAFs can be:

  • compliance with Article 18 of the Procurement Regulations (formal warranties and certifications)
  • validity period
  • compliance with price conditions (price type, budget etc)
  • specific programme requirements (e.g. support from delegation of participating states for GSTP and Artes).

There may also be KAFs that are specific for the individual ITT. 

In this context it is important to stress that admissibility of a tender for evaluation is assessed by the Tender Opening Board only on the basis of the tenderer’s Cover Letter. It is therefore of utmost importance that the Cover Letter is completed exactly as specified in the General- and Special Conditions of Tender. Please note that no alterations of the definitions given for the statements to be provided may be made.

Attached to the ITT’s Cover Letter is also Form B; “Declaration on Compliances”. The tenderer is asked here to indicate compliance/partial compliance or non-compliance with respect to all requirements in the ITT. Failure to submit this form, or if it turns out that the tender is not in line with any of the declarations given in the form, may lead to the tender being excluded by the Tender Evaluation Board from further evaluation.

An area of compliance which differs somewhat from the others is the one related to the contract conditions. The tenderer shall explicitly state that the contract conditions have been read, are understood and accepted and that any sales conditions of his own do not apply. It must be clear from the tender that any suggested modification to the draft contract (which should only be made exceptionally)  is truly a suggestion and not a condition from the tenderer.  It is also important to bear in mind that any proposed modification or amendment to the contract conditions will be taken into account in the evaluation.

In summary, the Cover Letter shall contain:

  • clear and unambiguous statement of compliance with the Agency’s technical and management requirements
  • acceptance of the contract conditions and a confirmation that the Tenderer’s own sales conditions do not apply
  • response to any and all Key Acceptance Factors

The compliance statements of the Cover Letter shall be elaborated in the relevant parts of the proposal and summarised in a compliance matrix as specified in the ITT. Please note that discrepancies between compliance statements and the actual proposal will be considered by the Tender Evaluation Board and may lead to considerable down marking of the proposal or even an exclusion of the proposal from further evaluation.

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