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C 203 E/46 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 18.7.

2000

(2000/C 203 E/055) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1785/99


by Ingo Friedrich (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(11 October 1999)

Subject: Award of PHARE projects

1. Under the guidelines for PHARE projects, must institutions from EU Member States be taken into
consideration when project contracts are awarded?

2. What is done to ensure that tenderers from the CEECs do not quote ‘dumping prices’ so that
tenderers from EU Member States are excluded?

3. What is done to check whether, when tenders are invited for PHARE projects, the anticipated project
value is calculated so that tenderers from EU Member States also have a chance to participate and submit
an appropriately costed bid?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(22 November 1999)

1. It is laid down in Article 7 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3906/89 of 18 December 1989 on


economic aid to certain countries of Central and Eastern Europe that participation in invitations to tender
and contracts is open on equal terms to all natural and legal persons of the Member States and of the
countries covered by the PHARE programme (1). The Member States’ institutions may present a tender,
which will be taken into consideration under the same conditions as all the others and must therefore have
a commercial basis.

2. When tenders are scrutinised the quality/price ratio is taken into account as follows: for service
contracts, a 70/30 ratio is applied to technical and financial tenders respectively; for works contracts, only
tenders which score more than 65 % at the technical evaluation stage undergo a financial evaluation and
the contract is awarded to the lowest bidder; for supply contracts, only tenders which the evaluation
committee has found technically acceptable undergo financial evaluation, and the award is systematically
made to the lowest bid among the tenders which are technically in accordance with the specifications.

Under this system of evaluation, only technically valid tenders are taken into consideration, irrespective of
whether they are for services, works or supplies.

3. The budget for each project is calculated on the basis of the resources considered necessary to attain
the objective set. To that end, project managers use estimates based on European market prices.

(1) OJ L 375, 23.12.1989.

(2000/C 203 E/056) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1786/99


by Ingo Friedrich (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(11 October 1999)

Subject: Procedure for reaching decisions on the award of TACIS-funded projects

1. Are current TACIS formalities (written tender, interview, financial offer) adequate for deciding which
tenderer should be awarded a contract, e.g. for a project valued at € 12,8 million?

2. What is done to ensure that the information supplied to the evaluation panel in the written tender
and at the interview is accurate and also that obligations are fulfilled once a contract has been signed?
18.7.2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 203 E/47

3. What is done to check the accuracy of the CVs of long- and medium-term experts (experience,
qualifications, etc.) that are attached to tenders submitted in response to invitations to tender for TACIS
projects?

4. What would happen if, in the case of the MTP tender, it was found, after the contract had been
signed or during project implementation, that the successful candidate had supplied incorrect details with
his tender or was not fulfilling the undertakings he had given? What precautions are taken, or are built in,
at the contract-signing stage to limit the material and political damage that could be done in such a case
(MTP tender, contract value € 12,8 million)?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(2 December 1999)

1. Under current TACIS rules the tendering procedures differ according to the sum involved in the
project.

Programmes involving sums in excess of € 10 million are publicised via what is known as the ‘open tender’
procedure. A description of the project is published in the Official journal and on the internet so as to
reach as large an audience as possible. A preliminary list of suitable tenderers is very carefully selected by a
committee of at least three people who work to published criteria. Generally, the jury taking the final
decision includes two in-house and two external members as well as representatives of the beneficiary
country. Extremely thorough and detailed checks are carried out at every stage of a tender (written tender,
interview, financial offer) to ensure that the offer provides what is called for in the tender. The contract is
awarded to the tender with the best combination of quality and value for money.

2. There are monitoring offices in each of the New Independent States. Projects and the services
provided by firms that have been awarded contracts are subject to continuous joint monitoring by the staff
of the respective delegations and task managers in Brussels.

3. The first check on any curriculum vitae submitted takes place during a preliminary interview. Where
long-term experts with an important role in a project do not attend this interview, their credentials are
checked by staff from the delegations and the task managers. This is particularly important in the case of
projects mainly involving expertise, transfer of know-how or training.

4. If, between the conclusion of a contract and the start of work, it transpired that the company
concerned had provided incorrect information or had not fulfilled its undertakings, the first step would be
to investigate the immediate circumstances. If suspicions were confirmed and action was required, the
cancellation clauses in the contract could be applied. Should it come to this, a new tender would be
published and the contract awarded to another company to ensure that the project could go ahead and to
limit damages. If cancellation resulted in financial damage, the Commission would pursue claims for
damages.

(2000/C 203 E/057) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1789/99


by Lucio Manisco (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(11 October 1999)

Subject: Mr Kinnock’s undertaking

Replying to written question No 26 with a view to his hearing before the Committee on Budgetary
Control, Commissioner Kinnock confirmed that, in connection with the Bertholot affair, the Anti-Fraud
Office (OLAF) is conducting an inquiry ‘into the questions raised in the report of the Committee of
Independent Experts’. On 30 August 1999  following several articles in the European press indicating
that the reports, supplied by DG XII and submitted by Mrs Cresson to Parliament in order to justify
Mr Bertholot’s salary and activities, had apparently been produced in 1998 and given dates earlier than the
real dates  a Commission spokesperson confirmed that OLAF is conducting an inquiry into the contracts
obtained by Mr Bertholot between 1995 and 1997 (cf. AFP 301508 AOU 99).