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The Public Contracts Regulations 2015

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Contract award criteria
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67.—(1) Contracting authorities shall base the award of public contracts on the most economically advantageous tender assessed from the point of view of the contracting authority.

(2) That tender shall be identified on the basis of the price or cost, using a cost-effectiveness approach, such as life-cycle costing in accordance with regulation 68, and may include the best price-quality ratio, which shall be assessed on the basis of criteria, such as qualitative, environmental and/or social aspects, linked to the subject-matter of the public contract in question.

(3) Such criteria may comprise, for example—

(a)quality, including technical merit, aesthetic and functional characteristics, accessibility, design for all users, social, environmental and innovative characteristics and trading and its conditions;

(b)organisation, qualification and experience of staff assigned to performing the contract, where the quality of the staff assigned can have a significant impact on the level of performance of the contract; or

(c)after-sales service and technical assistance, delivery conditions such as delivery date, delivery process and delivery period or period of completion.

(4) The cost element may also take the form of a fixed price or cost on the basis of which economic operators will compete on quality criteria only.

(5) Award criteria shall be considered to be linked to the subject-matter of the public contract where they relate to the works, supplies or services to be provided under that contract in any respect and at any stage of their life cycle, including factors involved in—

(a)the specific process of production, provision or trading of those works, supplies or services, or

(b)a specific process for another stage of their life cycle,

even where those factors do not form part of their material substance.

(6) Award criteria shall not have the effect of conferring an unrestricted freedom of choice on the contracting authority.

(7) Award criteria shall—

(a)ensure the possibility of effective competition; and

(b)be accompanied by specifications that allow the information provided by the tenderers to be effectively verified in order to assess how well the tenders meet the award criteria.

(8) In case of doubt, contracting authorities shall verify effectively the accuracy of the information and proof provided by the tenderers.

Weighting

(9) The contracting authority shall specify, in the procurement documents, the relative weighting which it gives to each of the criteria chosen to determine the most economically advantageous tender, except where this is identified on the basis of price alone.

(10) Those weightings may be expressed by providing for a range with an appropriate maximum spread.

(11) Where weighting is not possible for objective reasons, the contracting authority shall indicate the criteria in decreasing order of importance.

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