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The European Single Procurement Document (ESPD)

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The European Single Procurement Document Service (ESPD) is being introduced later this month as a self-declaration document for bidders in an attempt to reduce the amount of documentation involved in a bid.

Suppliers and contracting authorities alike are supportive of the directives for a simple method of procurement when it comes to bidding for public sector contracts.

The ESPD is an electronic document that a bidder will use to self-declare that none of the exclusion grounds apply to it and that it meets the relevant selection criteria when bidding for a contract. Only the successful tenderer will then need to provide and submit the underlying certificates. This eliminates the requirement for multiple certificates and documents, which many bidders (especially SMEs) may see as an obstacle in the tendering process, whilst also relieving the contracting authority of an administrative burden when evaluating a company.

How does this affect bidders?

Ultimately, this should make life easier for bidders, who will only need to fill in the ESPD document once, rather than producing documentation to prove their eligibility each time they bid. Many procurement directives point towards encouraging SMEs to bid, as does the introduction of the ESPD document. This in turn should provide a wider range of offers for contracting authorities, resulting in higher quality and better value for money goods and services.

It will also be beneficial for the ‘bid/no bid’ decision stage, as an organisation needs to self-certify itself against the contract in question and indicate that they comply. This reduces the risk of bidding for a contract for which you are not fully eligible, saving both time and money in the long run.

The ESPD may be printed, filled in manually, or scanned and sent electronically until the exclusive use of electronic communication, due to be introduced in 2018.

When will the ESPD come into effect?

The ESPD document, as part of the European Commission Regulation 2016/17, will come into force on 26 January 2016. Companies who regularly bid for contracts should make sure they are aware of the ESPD service and review current procurement documents in line with the new procedure.

For further information on the directive and ESPD document, see: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32016R0007&from=EN

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