Adaptation of ESA rules and tools

Progressive improvements to streamline ESA’s procurement process, particularly for small contracts, have been taken since the second quarter of 2006.

The vast majority of contracts under the aegis of the SME Initiative, such as those awarded under the LET-SME programme, fall within the scope of the simplification and streamlining process. Therefore, SMEs can expect to be among the prime beneficiaries of such improvements.

Upgrading of procurement tools

ESA regularly upgrades its Electronic Mail Invitation to Tender System (EMITS), which it uses to publish and automatically send out all invitations to tender (ITT). This is not only to make it more user friendly but also to provide more transparency and allow networking between industrial partners.

Among the latest functions and improvements added to EMITS are the following:

  • potential bidders can now notify their interest in announced invitations to tender, choose to be visible to other companies and indicate the expertise of their company and the contribution they can offer for a specific ITT in a consortium; this function is especially valuable to SMEs as it allows them to find partners more easily
  • most of the major space companies (EADS, Alcatel Alenia Space, GALILEO Industries, etc.) can now publish their invitations to tenders via EMITS, thereby increasing the opportunities offered to SMEs
  • electronic submission of proposals
  • publication of all reference documents related to contract procedures

For further information visit EMITS, ESA’s invitation to tender system.

Simplification and streamlining of procedures for small contracts

In 2005 ESA placed 778 contracts, 353 work orders and issued 497 ITTs, therefore, the Agency is well aware of the administrative workload placed not only on its own procurement staff but also on those of its prospective suppliers. It has also been noted that contracts with a value of less than €250 000 represent an ever-increasing part of ESA's procurement portfolio.

As a direct result of a review, analysis and consultation exercise carried out during 2005, ESA has embarked on a number of steps to render the overall procurement process more effective and efficient. These encompass:

  • streamlining small simple procurements (below €250 000)
  • reducing the duration of the procurement process
  • establishing the conditions to underpin successful achievement of the above objective.

Last update: 20 December 2006

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