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Selection and award – get the criteria right

20 December 2011

A new European case has highlighted once again the importance of distinguishing between selection and award criteria in a procurement exercise. Evropaiki Dinamiki (European Dynamics) challenged the Commission’s awarding of a contract based on “experience”. This was held to be an infringement of the rules governing the awarding of contracts financed by EU budgets which require the award to be based on either lowest cost or best value for money.

This decision is equally applicable for contracting authorities in the UK where best value for money equates to most economically advantageous tender under the 2006 regulations.

If awarding on the best value for money basis the award criteria must relate to the work to be carried out under contract itself and the management of the contract and not previous work by the tenderer. The wording of the award criteria is extremely important as the court will see that as being what the tenders were submitted and evaluated against.

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