Procurement in a nutshell – European Single Procurement Document
15th January, 2016
In this Procurement in a Nutshell, we will be looking at the new European Single Procurement Document.
Please click here to view the standard form.
The European Commission has announced that it has adopted the new European Single Procurement Document (ESPD). The ESPD is a standardised document that will provide a means for tenderers to prove the absence of grounds for exclusion from a tender.
Article 59 of Directive 2014/24 compels contracting authorities to accept the ESPD as preliminary evidence that the tenderer will not fall under exclusion conditions and meets the relevant selection criteria for the contract.
The ESPD will allow all businesses to electronically self-declare that they meet the necessary regulatory criteria or commercial capability requirements, and only the winning company will need to submit all the documentation proving that it qualifies for the contract. A free, web-based system is being developed for Member States and businesses to use in conjunction with the ESPD.
The ESPD may only be used electronically. Member states can postpone the obligation to exclusively use electronic means of communication until 18 October 2018; the ESPD may be printed, filled in manually, scanned and sent electronically until that time.
It is believed by the European Commission that the ESPD will considerably reduce the administrative burden for companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.
Why is it important?
The ESPD is intended to simplify the process of qualification for tendering by permitting businesses to self-declare that they meet the necessary regulatory criteria or commercial capability requirements of the contracting authority, without needing to submit proof unless subsequently selected as the appointed contractor. Only the company that wins the contract will need to submit all the documentation proving that it qualifies for the contract.
The ESPD will allow all businesses to electronically self-declare that they meet the necessary regulatory criteria or commercial capability requirements.
Contracting authorities may benefit from a wider range of offers which may lead to better quality and value for money through the additional competition.
In the UK, the ESPD is transposed into law in section 59 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Under section 59, contracting authorities are obliged to accept the ESPD at the time of the submission of requests to participate or of tenders.
Now the EU has released a standard form and intends to develop a web-based system for the use of the ESPD, we expect that the use and dissemination of the document to increase in the future.
How can I find out more?
If you have any questions on the ESPD and its use or on any aspect of procurement, please contact us via our procurement hotline on 0191 204 4464.
Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.
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