26th January 2016
The European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) is now a standard form for part of the Public Sector tendering selection process. The Public Contracts Regulations requires a contracting authority to accept an ESPD from bidders as part of the selection process to reduce the administrative burden on bidders and the authority by simplifying the manner in which information and evidence is provided at the selection stage.
The ESPD is, essentially. a form of self-certification that the bidder does not fall within any of the listed grounds for exclusion and has the necessary financial resilience and technical and professional ability to perform the contract. The intention is to reduce the amount of documentation required from bidders at an early stage in the competition by avoiding the need for bidders to submit evidence and documentation in support of the ESPD statements.
Of course the door is still open for the contracting authority to see his evidence at any point where it is necessary to ensure the proper conduct of the process. However, it is likely that the contracting authority will not need this, except for the evidence from the bidder who has been nominated to be awarded the contract. The winning bidder will have to produce the documents.
The European Commission recently published the standard form for the ESPD. From today, 26th January 2016, in England and Wales contracting authorities must accept the ESPD from bidders as evidence, instead of certificates issued by public bodies or third parties (e.g. banks) to confirm that the bidder:
- Is not in breach of one of the mandatory or discretionary exclusion criteria.
- Meets the selection criteria set out at Regulation 58 (suitability to perform the contract, economic and financial standing and technical and professional ability).
- Where applicable, meets the criteria that the contracting authority is intending to apply to reduce the numbers who are invited to bid (e.g. for the Restricted procedure).
The Implementing Regulation states that procurement documents must reference what information the ESPD requires and that the ESPDs must be submitted with the tender in an Open procedures and with the Request to Participate in others. If you receive an Invitation to Tender for a Public Sector contract which is worded in such a way as to prevent the appropriate information being submitted as an ESPD, please call us on 01227 860375 and we should be able to advise you on what you need to do to get the requirements altered.