The basic principles of ESA's procurement approach
The rules governing ESA procurements are laid down in ARTICLE VII and ANNEX V of the ESA Convention (mainly industrial policy aspects) and are implemented through the following ESA Council regulatory Instruments:
- ESA's Council Contracts Regulations
- Industrial Policy Committee (IPC) Terms of reference
- General Clauses and Conditions for ESA Contracts
The above documents are further translated into a series of internal administrative regulations elaborated by the Procurement Department and established within the terms of reference of the Director General, namely
- The Procurement Regulations and related Implementation Instructions
- The Tender Evaluation Manual
- The General Conditions of Tender for ESA Contracts
- Organisation and role of the Adjudication Committee.
Two of the principal provisions of the ESA's Council Contracts Regulations establishing the basic rules read as follows:
ARTICLE 4 establishes that ‘Provisions in these Regulations and in any other instructions concerning the placing of contracts shall always be interpreted so as to ensure the most economic and effective employment of the Agency’s resources, to implement the defined industrial policy and to guarantee a distribution, of work among Member States provided in Article VII and Annex V of the Convention.'
ARTICLE 5 (Chapter II) establishes that: 'Open competitive tender shall be the normal procedure for the placing of contracts', and par. 2. of the same article and article 6 indicate those cases where 'restricted competitive tender' or 'non competitive tender' may be applied.
Most of the cases for limiting competition are generally recognised in procurement practice, namely if only one source exists for the supplies or the services, if the procurement is the continuation of a previous activity, where there is particular operational urgency, or if protected intellectual property (patent) is held by only one firm.
In addition, limitation may be justified by reasons relating to special measures of industrial policy/geographical distribution.
Among the internal instruction referred to above, the most important of these is the Tender Evaluation Manual which establishes in great detail all the rules and procedures to be observed for the preparation, internal approval, and distribution of invitations to tender/requests for quotation, the conduct of the competitive phase, the receipt and opening of offers, and the evaluation of offers culminating in a recommendation for the selection of a contractor by an independent 'Tender Evaluation Board'.
The topic 'The Procurement Process' describes in detail how these various principles, rules and regulations are implemented.
Last update: 6 March 2012