Yes. Criteria involving social considerations may be used to determine the most economically advantageous tender where they provide an economic advantage for the contracting body which is linked to the product or service which is the subject-matter of the contract. For example, a criterion that makes it possible to evaluate the quality of a service intended for a given category of disadvantaged persons may be used. In addition, it may also be possible to use a condition related to the combating of unemployment as an additional criterion in respect of two or more economically equivalent tenders, provided it complies with the fundamental principles of Community law.
Tenderers who have not complied with social legislation can be excluded from public procurement procedures, where this is deemed to constitute grave professional misconduct or an offence having a bearing on their professional conduct. In addition, elements relating to non-compliance with rules on safety or employment can, under the current public procurement Directives, be taken into consideration to reject an abnormally low tender.
Yes. Contracting bodies can require successful tenderers to implement, during the execution of the contract, measures that are designed to promote equality between men and women or ethnic or racial diversity.
Yes. Contracting bodies can require successful tenderers to recruit unemployed persons, and in particular long-term unemployed persons, or to set up training programmes for the unemployed or for young people during the performance of the contract.
Yes. In deciding what you want to purchase, contracting bodies can specify their requirements regarding access for the disabled to certain buildings or public transport (for example, accessibility standards on the width of corridors and doors, adapted toilets, access ramps), or access to certain products or services (for example, in the field of information technology for the visually impaired). In addition, contracting bodies can impose an obligation on a successful tenderer to recruit, for the execution of the contract, a number of disabled persons over and above the minimum number laid down by national legislation.
It is especially during the execution of the contract, that is, once the contract has been awarded, that public procurement can be used by contracting bodies as a means of encouraging the pursuit of social objectives. Contracting bodies can require the successful tenderer to comply with contractual clauses relating to the manner in which the contract is to be performed, which may include clauses in favour of certain categories of persons and positive actions in the field of employment.
Yes – there are numerous possibilities for taking account of social considerations in public procurement under the Directives, provided that the principles of non-discrimination and transparency are respected.
Guidance is available on the SPCE website focusing on where in the tender process social considerations should be taken into account.
Yes – in the contract clauses for the execution of the contract, the means of delivery of the goods can be specified, as long as this does not lead to discrimination. Other possible ways of reducing the environmental impact of transport activities linked to the provision of goods or services, could include requesting that deliveries of goods be made in bulk, or that cleaning products are transported in concentrated form, and diluted at the place of use.
Although green products will often save the public purchaser money in the longer term, they may have a higher upfront cost. If contracting bodies want to make a balance between environmental choices and budgetary restraints, they may define one or more variant options in addition to their “basic” option. In the variants they can define a higher environmental performance. At the end of the tender procedure, contracting bodies can decide which variant best meets their needs.
Only those criteria that have a link to the subject matter of the contract and give the contracting body a direct economic benefit. This could include giving a bonus to products that are more energy efficient, that will last longer, or that will cost less to dispose of. In case the environmental aspects do not bring an economic benefit to the contracting body, these aspects can only be taken into account at the beginning of the tender procedure, where the contracting body defines the technical requirements of the contract.