Expertise: public tenders

A match made in heaven

Do contracting authorities always need to divide a larger contract into several smaller lots?

To give smaller and midsize companies a chance to participate in public tenders, the Dutch Procurement Act of 2012 stipulates that a contracting authority is not allowed to unnecessarily combine smaller contracts into one large contract. A larger contract may need to be split in smaller contracts; this can either be done by separate tender procedures or by several lots in one tender. However, there can be good reasons for a contracting authority to award only one, larger, contract to one supplier. Ask us to explain why.

Do public procurement rules apply to private companies too?

It might appear strange, but yes, some of the basic rules for public procurement can also apply to tenders from private companies – if the private company does not explicitly state those conditions do not apply. If you want to avoid problems, we recommend that you make it clear that your tender is not governed by public procurement principles.

How can you get to know a potential vendor under public procurement rules?

In a transparent tender all participants must be treated equally. However, there are still opportunities to get to know candidates beyond their technical skills: for example, by including an interview or presentation round as part of the tender. And if the tender involves complex technological solutions, competitive dialogues can be used to get further insights into candidates’ character, way of working and possible solutions.