France, a glossary for government procurement

Below we outline some of the most commonly used terms for procurement in France. #

Procedures #

  • Appel d’offres ouvert: An Open Tender: A procurement procedure where any interested supplier may submit a bid. This process is fully open to all potential suppliers to encourage wide competition.
  • Appel d’offres restreint: A Restricted Procedure: A two-stage process where suppliers first submit applications demonstrating their capacity. Only selected suppliers are then invited to submit tenders.
  • Dialogue compétitif: Competitive Dialogue: A procedure used for complex contracts where the contracting authority discusses all aspects of the contract with suppliers before final bids are submitted.
  • Procédure négociée: Negotiated Procedure: Used in special circumstances, this procedure involves direct negotiation with one or more suppliers without a fully open competition.
  • Accord-cadre: A Framework Agreement: An agreement with one or more suppliers that sets out terms and conditions under which specific purchases (call-offs) can be made throughout the term of the agreement. Frameworks do not guarantee any volume of orders.
  • Système d’acquisition dynamique (SAD): Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS): An electronic procurement process for commonly used goods, works, or services. It remains open throughout its duration for new suppliers to join if they meet the specified criteria.

Key Documents #

  • Avis de marché: Contract Notice: A public announcement inviting suppliers to express interest and bid for a contract. It includes essential details about the procurement, such as scope, eligibility criteria, deadlines, and submission procedures.
  • Avis d’attribution de marché: Contract Award Notice: A public announcement informing stakeholders of the successful supplier(s) chosen following a procurement process, along with key details of the awarded contract.
  • Dossier de consultation des entreprises (DCE): Tender Documents: A set of documents provided to potential suppliers detailing the specifications, requirements, and conditions of the contract.
  • Appel à manifestation d’intérêt (AMI): Call for Expressions of Interest: A preliminary step inviting suppliers to express interest in a potential procurement project, often used to gauge market interest and capability.
  • Demande de propositions (DP): Request for Proposal (RFP): A document requesting suppliers to propose solutions and prices for specific goods or services, typically used in negotiated procedures or competitive dialogues.
  • Questionnaire de candidature (QC): Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ): A document used to shortlist suppliers based on their capacity, financial standing, and experience before inviting them to tender.

Key Roles #

  • Acheteur: Buyer: The contracting authority or entity responsible for procuring goods, services, or works. This term can refer to individuals or departments within public sector organizations.
  • Fournisseur: Supplier: Any individual or organization that provides goods, services, or works in response to procurement opportunities.
  • Pouvoir adjudicateur: Contracting Authority: Any public sector organization that has the legal authority to enter into contracts for goods, services, or works.
  • Responsable de la commande publique: Procurement Officer: An individual responsible for managing the procurement process, from planning and sourcing to contract management.
  • Commission d’évaluation: Evaluation Panel: A group of individuals responsible for assessing and scoring tender submissions against the evaluation criteria set out in the tender documents.

Evaluation Procedures #

  • MEAT (Méthode de l’offre économiquement la plus avantageuse): Most Economically Advantageous Tender: An evaluation method used to determine the best value for money by considering various criteria such as price, quality, technical merit, and sustainability.
  • Critères d’attribution: Award Criteria: The specific factors and metrics against which tender submissions are assessed. These can include price, quality, delivery time, and after-sales service.
  • Grille d’évaluation: Evaluation Matrix: A tool used to systematically score and compare tender submissions against the award criteria.
  • Méthodologie de notation: Scoring Methodology: The approach and numerical system used to assign scores to tender submissions based on how well they meet the evaluation criteria.
  • Questions de clarification: Clarification Questions: Questions posed by the procurement team to suppliers during the evaluation process to clarify aspects of their tender submissions.
  • Période de standstill: Standstill Period: A mandatory pause period between the notification of the contract award decision and the signing of the contract, allowing unsuccessful suppliers to challenge the decision if necessary.

References #

  1. Code de la commande publique: The legal framework governing public procurement in France.
  2. Direction des Affaires Juridiques (DAJ): Provides guidance and policies on public procurement.
  3. Union des Groupements d’Achats Publics (UGAP): The central purchasing body for the public sector in France.

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