K.2.1 Project partners who are subject to public procurement legislation
The procurement procedure depends on the estimate of the contract value and the general needs of the partner. The value of the contract determines the range of the publicity required for the respective procurement – an EU wide tender or a national level tender.
The European Commission defines in Article 4 of Directive 2014/24/EU and Article 15 of Directive 2014/25/EU the specific value thresholds for EU wide tenders. The following directives include thresholds in currencies other than euro: Communication from the Commission C/2019/7697 on Corresponding values of the thresholds of Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU, 2014/25/EU and 2009/81/EC.
Partners must apply a corresponding national (regional, local or institutional) procedure or Programme rules for contracts with an estimated value below these thresholds.
Nevertheless, the national legislation might also include procedures for tenders above the EU thresholds, which the respective EU country must follow. These national rules stem from the EU directives for tenders above the EU thresholds.
The procurement process requires thorough documentation for audit trail purposes and transparency of the decision-making process, as well as equal treatment of all potential contractors.
The chart below shows the main questions that need to be answered in order to select the proper procedure of procurement:
Figure 5 Decision-making scheme regarding public procurement rules
If the contract value is below the EU or national thresholds but is at or above EUR 10,000 (excl. VAT) the ‘bid-at-three’ rule of the Programme is applicable (see chapter K.4.1).
There is no special procedure in the Programme for contracts below the ‘bid at three’ rule. Partners are encouraged to carefully check and follow internal regulations.
- Partners should cross check which procurement procedure is applicable to them.
- Project Partners should always apply the strictest procedure of those specified in the Programme rules, EU directives or the national legislation.
- More information about EU Commission rules concerning public procurements can be found on the following service website: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/public-procurement_en
K.2.2 Project partners who are not subject to public procurement legislation
Project partners who are not subject to public procurement legislation observe the basic principles of transparency, non-discrimination and equal treatment when conducting the procurement procedure.
As a first step, such partners have to carefully check whether there are any national rules or guidelines that regulate the spending of public funds. If these exist, partners should follow them. In cases where there are no such rules or guidelines, project partners, when procuring works, supplies or services, must follow the bid-at-three rule outlined in chapter K.4.1. The procurement process requires thorough documentation for audit trail purposes and transparency of the decision-making process. The process should also ensure equal treatment of all potential suppliers.
For private partners the Programme offers a set of recommendations for the procurement procedure. These are available on the Programme portal. This set of recommendations help project partners to avoid errors, fulfil the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and equal treatment when dealing with procurement.