The general procurement process
Procurement processes and selection procedures vary according to the contract owner, the contract subject and its expected costs. Assignment of the contract entails an obligation to disclose the information at publicly accessible locations, such as the Procurement Bulletin portal, or possibly the Official Journal of the EU. The procurement process, generally, can be split into the following several steps:
1. Defining the type of tender
The first step is to select the type of assignment procedure. The contract owner can choose from several types of assignment procedures: an open procedure, a restricted procedure, a negotiated procedure with publication, a negotiated procedure without publication, a procedure with competitive dialogue, a procedure on innovative partnerships, a procedure of license approval, a procedure in a simplified regime, and a simplified sub-threshold procedure. The selection of the appropriate forms of procurement is mainly affected by the public contract, its estimated price and client characteristics (business entity, municipality, subsidized contracting, etc.).
2. Submission of calls for tenders
Once the contract owner selects the type of assignment procedure, the start of the procedure is followed by a published announcement concerning the initiation of an assignment procedure or an invitation for tender (more commonly referred to as "a call for tender"). The contract owner specifies in detail the subject of procurement and the selection procedures.
Very often the call for tender has an appendix that includes procurement documentation. The subject of the procurement is specified in detail in the documentation.
3. Determination of the bidding method
Bids are submitted in written or electronic form. The envelope must bear the name of the tender and the address of the applicant. Any applications received after the deadline of the tender are returned to the sender. Bids received after the submission deadline are not considered. Each candidate is limited to submitting only one bid. An altered solution is considered for one bid.
4. The requirements for qualifications
The fulfillment of required qualifications is essential for the proper participation in the tender. The contract owner must require proof of qualifications in all types of procurement procedures with the partial exception of the negotiated procedure without publication if an extremely urgent situation arises or if the negotiated procedure without publication concerns a public design competition.
The requirements for candidates' qualifications are defined in detail in § 53 to § 56 of the Act no. 137/2006 Coll. on Public Procurement (hereinafter the "the Act on Public Procurement").
5. The deadline for submission of bids
The Act on Public Procurement requires that all deadlines specified by the contract owner must be determined according to the subject of procurement. Below there are the deadlines, which must be strictly adhered to by the contract owner and the subsidized owner during the period of tender.
Deadlines always begin on the day following the initiation of the assignment process. The rules for deadlines as set in the Act on Public Procurement include a minimum time but the contract owner can extend the time of the procurement process depending on the nature of the particular procurement.
6. Methods of bid evaluation
The contract owner has the right to choose between two main evaluation criteria: an economically advantageous tender and a tender with the lowest price. After the decision, he should particularly consider the following factors:
- the character of public procurement,
- the type of public procurement,
- the complexity of public procurement (including the particularity of the procurement)
7. Organization of the procurement procedure
After the announcement of the assignment procedure, several steps are taken during the process. The basic method involves the following steps:
- acceptance of bids,
- appointment of the evaluation committee (arranged by the contract owner),
- opening of envelopes and forming a protocol for opening of envelopes (provided by the committee for the opening of envelopes),
- meeting of the evaluation committee (chaired by the Chairman),
- evaluation of bids by the committee (conducted by the committee and headed by the appointed chairman),
- compilation of a report on evaluation of bids (provided by the evaluation committee),
- decision on selecting the best bid (by contract owner),
- making a contract (arranged by the contract owner with chosen supplier).
8. Issuing of the best bid decision
Immediately after selecting the best bid of the tender, the contract owner issues a decision on the best bid. The contract owner must send a notice of the winning bid to all participating bidders within the period stipulated by the Act on Public Procurement. The notice must include information on the contract owner, the name of the tender, the full name of the winner of the tender and the reasons, according to the applicable conditions specified in the tender documents, that justify the choice.
The law expressly states a candidate's right to make a copy of the report on the assessment and on the evaluation of the tender, not just a statement or description, which should eliminate the authorities’ objections against the contract owner’s procurement procedure.