Addleshaw Goddard

UK 200 2014 position: 22

Restricted procurement procedure — missing documents and incomplete information

What can an authority do if a bidder does not submit all required documents by the deadline? The Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education conducted a restricted procurement procedure for the operation of seven guidance centres. The procedure included a preliminary screening (or pre-qualification) stage. Two bidders failed to include copies of their balance sheets in their applications but provided copies following a request from the ministry (after the deadline for applications had expired). When those two bidders were subsequently awarded contracts, Manova A/S argued that the ministry had acted in breach of the principle of equal treatment.

The Court of Justice confirmed that under the restricted procedure, the principles of equal treatment and transparency preclude any negotiation between an authority and a bidder so a bid cannot be amended after it has been submitted, even if it is unclear or imprecise. However, authorities can allow amplification or correction of obvious material errors.

The decision also sets out the rules for how authorities may request clarification…

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