What are award criteria in public procurement?

Award criteria are the criteria a contracting authority uses to evaluate and rank bidders' offers. They are based on quality, price or cost, or a combination of both. The award criteria must be related to the subject matter of the contract and must be published in advance in the notice or specifications.

How does the client determine the award criteria?

The principal has a certain freedom to choose the award criteria most appropriate to the contract. However, he must keep in mind the following principles:

  • The award criteria must comply with European and national legislation, the general principles of procurement law and the objectives of the contract.
  • The award criteria must be objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and proportional. They should not impede competition or SME access to public contracts.
  • Award criteria must be measurable and verifiable. They must allow bids to be compared and evaluated in an unambiguous and impartial manner.

The principal must also determine and communicate to bidders the relative weights or importance of the award criteria. He can do this by assigning a percentage, a point scale, or a descending order of importance to each criterion.

How can the company that wants to compete to win the contract use the award criteria?

The company that wants to compete to win the contract must carefully study and analyze the award criteria. It must try to match its bid as closely as possible to the client's expectations and needs. It must also demonstrate how it meets each criterion or how it stands out from the competition.

The company should keep the following tips in mind:

  • Read the notice or specifications carefully and follow the client's instructions carefully. Respect the deadlines, form requirements and documentation requested.
  • Be clear, complete and convincing in your quotation. Use concrete examples, references, certificates or guarantees to prove your quality, experience and capability.
  • Be realistic, competitive and innovative in your price or cost. Consider the market situation, the value of the contract and the potential savings or capital gains you can offer.
  • Check your quotation for errors, ambiguities or inconsistencies. If necessary, request clarifications or information from the client.

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