Establishing the exclusion, selection and award criteria

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After having clearly defined its needs in the specifications and drawn up the reply form, the entity is in a position to establish the criteria that will enable to determine:

  • the type of service provider that will be excluded from the tender process (exclusion criteria);
  • the type of service provider allowed of presenting an offer (selection criteria);
  • and, lastly, the criteria that the entity will use to decide who is awarded the contract (award criteria).

A. Exclusion criteria

In this context, Article 29 of Council Directive 92/50/EEC of 18 June 1992 relating to the coordination of procedures for the award of public service contracts (Official Journal L 209 of 24/07/1992) provides an exhaustive list of these exclusion criteria:

  • bankruptcy or legal winding up of the service provider,
  • proceedings for a declaration of bankruptcy,
  • conviction for an offence concerning professional conduct,
  • grave professional misconduct,  
  • non-fulfilment of obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions in the countries concerned, 
  • non-fulfilment of obligations relating to the payment of taxes,
  • non-enrolment in the professional register as prescribed by national legislation,  
  • misrepresentation with regard to information (in particular, financial) that may relate to quantitative selection criteria,
  • non-compliance with obligations to protect workers and their representatives. The public procurement agent must ensure that service providers submitting a tender offer do not disrupt the existing employment arrangements with regard to:
    • maximum work periods and minimum rest periods,
    • minimum duration of annual paid leave,
    • minimum salaries,
    • conditions relating to supply of staff, in particular by temporary employment agencies,
    • health, hygiene and safety at work,
    • protective measures applicable to the working and employment conditions of pregnant women and women who have recently given birth, children and young people,
    • equal treatment of men and women as well as other provisions relating to non-discrimination.

In order to ensure that a tenderer complies with these requirements, the authorities may ask for evidence in the form of an extract from the judicial record or equivalent documentation.

Moreover, the exclusion criteria for service providers should also include non-compliance with European and national regulatory provisions in areas such as tax law, employment law, collective agreements, current regulations on food hygiene and safety, the principles….

B. Selection criteria

These are objective criteria defining which service providers can make an offer. Each entity should choose its own selection criteria, as appropriate to the size and complexity (technical, financial) of the contract and related labour issues.

FERCO and EFFAT recommend that, when making their selection, entities ensure there is a suitable match between the size and complexity of the contract and the capabilities of the service provider, particularly when an investment is necessary.

These selection criteria may relate to:

1. Geographical presence/size of company

This information provides a concrete indication of the type of company concerned: global, European, national, regional or local ….

2. CCC’s references in the sector in question

These should be verifiable and therefore specify contact details for each of the references quoted by the tenderer. This information will enable the entity to judge a company’s ability to meet its requirements in a specific sector.

3. Capital structure and main indicators of financial performance

While this information will be general in nature, it provides information about the financial stability of the tenderer. Financial data covering the last three accounting years should be requested.

4. Management-labour practices

This relates particularly to the structure and nature of industrial relations between the catering company and those organisations representing staff interests, as well as the relevant collective agreement.

5. Other selection criteria

If an entity has introduced a quality initiative (ISO certification or service certification), it may wish to impose the same requirements on its service providers. The same goes for social responsibility and sustainable development.

C. Award criteria

Once selected the tenderers, the entity should analyse and compare the offers in order to award the contract. According to the European Directive on service contracts, the award criteria may be as follows:

« Without prejudice to national laws, regulations or administrative provisions on the remuneration of certain services, the criteria on which the contracting authority shall base the award of contracts may be:

  • where the award is made to the economically most advantageous tender, various criteria relating to the contract: for example, quality, technical merit, aesthetic and functional characteristics, technical assistance and after-sales service, delivery date, delivery period or period of completion, price; or
  • the lowest price only.

Where the contract is to be awarded to the economically most advantageous tender, the contracting authority shall state in the contract documents or in the tender notice the award criteria which it intends to apply, where possible in descending order of importance. »


Table 12: Exclusion, selection and award principles
Stage 1 : Exclusion criteria
Automatic exclusion from tender process Bankruptcy or legal winding up
Procedure for a declaration of bankruptcy
Conviction for an offence concerning professional conduct
Grave professional misconduct
Non-fulfilment of obligations relating to the payment of social security or other contributions according to the country concerned
Non-fulfilment of obligations relating to the payment of taxes
Non-enrolment in the professional register Misrepresentation with regard to information (in particular, financial) that may relate to quantitative selection criteria
Non-compliance with obligations to protect the rights of workers
Stage 2 : Criteria for selection of service providers
Selection of type of company invited to participate in tender process
A. Geographical presence /size of company
B. CCC’s references in the sector related to the tender
C. Capital structure and main indicators of financial performance
D. Industrial relations policy of the CCC
E. Other selection criteria
Stage 3 : Award criteria
Selection of service provider

Evaluation of each offer based on the award criteria and requirements laid down in the specifications.

Award of the contract may be based on:

a - The offer declared to be the most economically advantageous based on its technical or qualitative merit and on its economic merit, Or
b - The lowest price

Content of this guide

With the financial support of the EU
Grant Agreement
VS/2004/0655 SI2.39852