(A) Standard procedure
At the earliest possible moment, which may be before the request for authorization to commit funds is submitted, the host nation must issue a Notification of Intent to Invite Bids. This notification must be received in writing within at least 28 days, and in cases where security clearances are required 35 days, before the final date by which firms must make known their desire to be invited to bid. The notification must be submitted to the diplomatic representative of the participating countries in the capital of the host nation, with copies to NATO delegations of participating countries and to the International Staff and will contain the following information :
(a) a summary description and rough cost estimate of the project and, when available, an indication of the reference number of NATO document (s) containing the request to commit funds or the prefinancing statement, and the reference number of the International Staff’s screening report, if any, together with an indication as to how the project might be divided into different contracts and lots, and, if known, the anticipated time to complete the contract;
(b) the final date by which firms must have formally expressed their desire to be invited to bid;
(c) the date by which the host nation intends to distribute the “cahier des charges”;
(d) the intended closing date for bids;
(e) the bid validity date and procedures applicable after that date;5
(f) the type of classified information, if any, which must be passed on to firms to enable them to bid, and its security classifications;
(g) the address of the relevant bureau or section of the agency responsible for handling the call for bids, including telephone number, telex number and name of individual concerned;
(h) the reference which will be used subsequently to identify the project;
(i) the envisaged method of bidding (the One, Two or Three Step Procedure);
(j) life cycle consideration, if applicable;
(k) whether a host nation intends to use a questionnaire to carry out a general financial and technical screening of firms.
(B) Accelerated procedure
(i) If the Committee agrees, following a request from the host nation, that instead of the standard procedure under 6(A) above, an accelerated notification procedure should be adopted, NATO delegations must, within 21 days of the day after the Committee’s decision, inform the host nation’s delegation of the names of the firms interested in bidding for the project, together with a statement of eligibility as provided for under 5(ii).
(ii) Under this accelerated procedure, the host nation’s request to the Committee should include the information described in 6(A) above.
(iii) Extensions of the 21 days’ time limit are discouraged. If an extension of more than 7 days is proposed by the host nation then it shall revert to the normal procedure. On expiry of the time limit referred to in 6(b)(i) above, the normal rules will apply.
(i) With respect to section 6(A) and (B) above, if after twelve months following the final date by which firms must make known their desire to be invited to bid, the host nation has not invited bids, then the eligibility list of prospective bidders should be re-opened for a period of not less than 21 days for the addition of any other eligible bidders and/or deletion of existing bidders.
(ii) The regulations applicable to dissemination of information are attached at Annex IV.
(i) If a firm has not been the subject of a declaration of eligibility (see sub-paragraph 5(ii)) and asks, before the date specified in paragraph 6(A) (b) above, to be invited to participate in a call fro bids officially notified by the host nation in accordance with paragraph 6 above, the host nation must refer the firm to its embassy. The host nation shall not be required to delay issuing the “cahier des charges” under such circumstances.
A host nation may allow late nominations but is not required to do so. Should the late nominations of a firm be accepted, of course any other late nominations received up until the receipt of the accepted late nomination, must also be accepted. Acceptance of late nominations will not be considered as a valid reason for any request for extension to the bidding period.
(a) provided that the principle of non-discrimination as described in paragraph 4 above is strictly observed, the host nation is free to carry out a general financial and technical screening of any firm; but before doing so, it must advise the diplomatic representative of the country of origin of its intent;
(b) where the host nation decides to use a questionnaire for this purpose, it must allow 28 days for replies from firms to be received as from the date on which the host nation notifies the diplomatic representative of the country of origin in the capital of the host nation that the questionnaire has been sent; copy of this notification must be sent to the delegation of those countries of origin;
(c) the questionnaire must clearly state that no response by a firm to the questionnaire will result in automatic elimination of that firm from the bidding and that failure to answer any question or insufficient answers could lead to elimination. Should a firm respond that it does not wish to be considered as a prime contractor then it will not be sent the “cahier des charges”.
(a) should the host nation intend to eliminate a firm on the basis of the procedure laid down in sub-paragraph 7(ii) above, it must give notice to this effect to that firm and to that firm’s country of origin through the diplomatic representative of the country of origin in the capital of the host nation, and will also notify the NATO delegation of the country of origin;
(b) where the elimination results from a screening, as provided under paragraph 7(ii) above, the “cahier des charges” must not be distributed to any firm earlier than 21 days after the date of the notice indicated in sub-paragraph 7(iii) (a) above, unless the country of origin has accepted elimination before the end of that period, in which case the “cahier des charges” may be issued immediately.
If the number of firms included in the Declarations of Eligibility is so large as to be incompatible with an efficient handling of contract bidding and the host nation desires to reduce the number, it should propose a method of making such a reduction. This proposal should be submitted to the Committee as soon as possible after the date on which the firms have formally expressed their desire to be invited to bid and request the guidance of the Committee. The reduction method approved by the Committee and its implementation must not in any case violate the basic principle of non-discrimination as described in paragraph 4 above.
(a) Unless otherwise agreed by the Committee, fixed price contracts are to be used, i.e. with or without price variation. The determination as to whether price variation will be included or not shall be made by the host nation as specified in the “cahier des charges” and shall apply to all bidders. Host nations are encouraged to utilize the standard price variation clause at Annex VI.
(b) Any such clause shall not restrict price variation only to work performed in the host nation but shall allow price variation in accordance with the appropriate government indices of the countries where costs are incurred.
(a) Time allowed for submitting tenders
(i) The closing date for bids must normally be not less than 84 days for large-scale or complicated projects and not less than 42 days for other works and supplies, reckoned from the date on which the cahier des charges has been distributed. The decision on whether a project should be considered large-scale or complicated is a host-nation responsibility and not subject to dispute.
(ii) The host nation is encouraged to use the most expeditious means of transmission, i.e., airmail, and must provide notification of the issuance of the “cahier des charges: to the diplomatic representative of the country of origin in the capital of the host nation.
(b) Requests for extensions of time limits
(i) Requests for extensions of the time limits in sub-paragraph (a) (i) above may be submitted to the host nation only by the delegation of the country of origin of a firm which has been invited to tender or by that country’s Embassy in the host nation.
(ii) Requests for extension of the time limit should be submitted to the address in sub-paragraph 6(A) (g) above no later than 14 days prior to the bid closing date.
(iii) Requests for an additional 21 days or less, following the initial bid closing date, must be granted automatically. Requests for more than 21 days may be granted at the discretion of the host nation.
(iv) Where additional time is required for bidding firms to make a translation of the “cahier des charges” or a translation of their bid, the time limit must be extended by up to a further 21 days, according to the requests submitted to the host nation.
(v) When extensions are granted the host nation must immediately advise the diplomatic representatives of the countries of origin in the capital of the host nation, the NATO delegations, and all of the firms concerned, by the most expeditious means of transmission (e.g. fax).
(c) Bidders Conference
(i) A bidders conference may be held, not later than 28 days before the closing date of the bid, to provide clarifications whenever the host nation feels this is necessary or useful. The Host Nation must extend the bid closing date, if necessary, to enable this 28 days period to be met;
(ii) The results of the bidders conference must be provided, in writing, to all bidders, either at the conference or immediately thereafter. In the latter case, the most expeditious means of transmission available must be used, i.e., fax or telex, if possible. In case clarifications or changes to the “Cahier des Charges” are notified after the bidders conference, not less than 28 days from the notification must be allowed before the closing date of the bid.
(d) Requests for clarification
(i) Whether there is a bidders’ conference or not, bidders must seek clarification as soon as possible. Such requests for clarification must be received by the host nation no later than 28 days before the bid closing date.
(ii) Should a host nation receive a request for clarification later than 28 days before the bid close date, the host nation shall decide whether or not to action the request. This decision shall not be the subject for a dispute.
(iii) On receipt of a request for clarification, and unless the information is provided at a bidders’ conference in accordance with paragraph 10(c) above, the host nation must:
(1) notify all bidders of any clarification or change to the “cahier des charges” not less than 28 days before the closing date of the bid. If necessary, the host nation must extend the bid closing date to enable the 28 day period to be met;
(2) send the information to all bidders by the most expeditious means of transmission, i.e. fax or telex, if possible;
(3) inform the diplomatic representative of the countries of origin in the capital of the host nation accordingly.
(e) Queries regarding the consequences of clarifications or changes to the “cahier des charges”
(i) Any further requests for clarifications resulting from the clarifications or changes made by the host nation under sub-paragraph 10(d)(iii) above should be submitted no later than 14 days prior to the closing date for the bid.
(ii) Should a host nation receive a request later than 14 days before the bid close date, the host nation shall decide whether or not to action the request. This decision shall not be a subject for dispute.
(iii) Actions by the host nation as a result of a request under sub-paragraph 10(e) (i) shall be in accordance with the provisions of sub-paragraph 10(d) (iii) above.
5 The host nation should endeavor to ensure that the validity procedure is clearly stated in the “cahier des charges”, but should there be no provision for a procedure after a bid validity date, and should it appear likely that the bid validity period would expire prior to any possible contract award, then the host nation shall, before the validity date expiration, request the advice of the Infrastructure Committee as to what measures should be taken in regard to extending bids.
Unless the Infrastructure Committee should agree to a re-bid, or a re-pricing of bids, the choice of the lowest bidder shall be based on prices submitted at the bid closing date and any agreed adjustments applied only to the lowest bid.