Research Handbook on EU Public Procurement Law
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Research Handbook on EU Public Procurement Law

Edited by Christopher Bovis

The Research Handbook on EU Public Procurement Law makes a major contribution to our understanding of the EU public procurement regime, at a time when it is being implemented by the EU Member States, and of the pivotal role that this will play for the delivery of the European 2020 Growth Strategy. The internal market relies on a simplified regime in the European Union, which will result from procedural efficiencies and from streamlining the application of the substantive rules. The Research Handbook has comprehensive thematic coverage which includes: public procurement regulation, strategic procurement, justiciability in public procurement, public procurement and competition and public procurement and public service.
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Chapter 5: Public procurement and award criteria

Roberto Caranta


A procurement procedure is very much like a hurdle race or maybe, even better, like a board game (or a video game, for those even marginally younger than me). The competitors – called economic operators in EU English – must clear a number of obstacles such as meeting technical specifications and passing the qualification phase. Those fit enough to survive these stages may move to the final level of the game, that is the award phase. At this level one and only one economic operator will be chosen to be the contractor (unless of course the contract is awarded into lots or the procedure is either for the conclusion of framework agreements or to set up a dynamic purchasing system). The usual flow of the procedure is captured by Article 44 of Directive 2004/18/EC (‘Verification of the suitability and choice of participants and award of contracts’) according to which contracts shall be awarded on the basis of the criteria provided in the directive, after the suitability of the economic operators not excluded has been checked by contracting authorities in accordance with the criteria of economic and financial standing, of professional and technical knowledge or ability. Very shortly put, award criteria are those indicators allowing the contracting authorities to chose the contractor among the economic operators having made it to the final level of the game: and the winner is … In domestic law award procedures (and award criteria) have been designed to maximise the benefit contracting authorities can derive from any given contract.

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