A framework agreement will generally allow a buyer to be more flexible with respect to the goods or services agreed under the contract, both in terms of volume and detail of the goods and services involved. A multi-supplier framework allows a contracting authority to choose from a number of suppliers to meet its requirements, which helps ensure that each purchase represents the best value. It is important that CAs are clear about the necessary content of the non-compliance indications and the application of deadlines, as these are essential elements of compliance. If in doubt, CAs should be advised to avoid the rules being ignored. This update recalls what the status quo period entails and provides CAs with guidance on how to avoid the trap of this potential supply trap. The legislation specifies that the appeal contract must be awarded to the supplier following a mini-competition which presents the best offer on the basis of the award criteria defined in the contract documents on the basis of the framework agreement. The position on the proposed appeal criteria should therefore be clarified in the market documents made available to suppliers at the time of the awarding of the framework agreement. To the extent that the mark-up is remediated, it is possible to distinguish the relative priorities of the appeal premium criteria from those used for the allocation of the framework. The proposed appeal criteria and the corresponding weights must be clearly stated in the documents submitted to suppliers as part of the mini-competition. The following deadlines are the minimum (at least 10 days) provided by the mandatory “Alcatel” status quo period and indicate the days up to the date to which the specific measures of the bidder are part (i.e. a request for additional information within the status quo period) and – the contracting authority (i.e. all bidders on the award decision and the conclusion of additional information requested) to meet the minimum deadline before a contract is concluded (subject to No legal challenges be notified). Regardless of the legal situation, ICAOs should consider the provision of debriefing (like the information contained in the appeal to the status quo) to all unsuccessful applicants as a good practice.
If the contract is challenged during the status quo period, the certification body can only enter into the contract after the court has ruled. – the “traditional” debriefing requirement (within 15 days of receiving a written application) is maintained if a bidder does not request additional information within the first two business days after the expiry of the status quo period.