The basics of procurement
Depending on the value of the contract and the thresholds, public contracts are awarded in an open, selective, invitation to tender or negotiated procedure.
In the open tender procedure, the contract is put out to public tender and all interested providers can submit a bid.
The same applies to the selective procedure. In the first stage of the procedure, providers must submit a request to participate. The procurement entity selects bidders according to predefined suitability criteria. These are then permitted to submit an offer in the second stage of the procedure.
Public invitations to tender in the open or selective procedure are published on www.simap.ch.
No public invitations to tender are issued in the case of the invitation to tender procedure. The procurement entity invites at least three suitable suppliers (where possible) to submit an offer. If possible and reasonable, at least one company should be invited from a different language area (possibly another economic area) in Switzerland.
With the direct procedure, the procurement entity awards the services to a supplier directly, with a reason for an exception being required for this if the threshold for an invitation to tender procedure has been reached.
In exceptional cases, the contract may be awarded directly despite an obligation in principle to issue a public invitation to tender or to conduct an invitation to tender procedure for the contract, e.g.
- in the event of involuntary and unforeseeable urgency for the procurement (e.g. force majeure such as fire, earthquake, safety risk, etc.);
- if it is not possible to switch the provider of services to replace, supplement or extend services already provided for economic or technical reasons, or if it would create considerable difficulties or be accompanied by substantial additional costs;
- as a result of the specific technical or artistic features of the contract, or for reasons to do with the protection of intellectual property (e.g. patents), only one provider is being considered and there is no suitable alternative;
- for liquidation sales, etc.
Contracts awarded directly on the basis of an exception must be publicly announced if the procurement would otherwise have been subject to tender according to PPA without the exception. This decision may be challenged.