Services - 127249-2018

23/03/2018    S58    External aid programmes - Services - Contract notice - Restricted procedure 

Belgium-Brussels: ENI - EU4Digital: supporting digital economy and society in the Eastern Partnership

2018/S 058-127249

Eastern Neighbourhood partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine)

SERVICE CONTRACT NOTICE


1.Publication reference
EuropeAid/139403/DH/SER/MULTI
2.Procedure
Restricted
3.Programme title
“Support to the implementation of the EU4Digital initiative in the Eastern Partnership region”
4.Financing
European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) — Regional East Action Programme 2017 Part 2 (Budget line 22.040202)
5.Contracting Authority

European Union, represented by the European Commission on behalf of and for the account of the partner countries, Brussels, BELGIUM.


CONTRACT SPECIFICATION

6.Nature of contract
Fee-based
7.Contract description
Building on the work done under the Eastern Partnership Harmonization of Digital Markets Panel and the EU4Digital Networks, the project will implement concrete recommendations and action plans agreed in the key areas identified of the digital economy and society in the Eastern Partnership region. With a specific focus on Telecom rules, digital Trust and Security, eTrade, ICT innovation, eHealth and eSkills, the project will address the necessary legislative and regulatory framework conditions for the development of the digital economy and society, the key enablers for electronic services and the development of cross-border eServices for businesses and citizens, including communication activities.
8.Number and titles of lots
1 lot only
9.Maximum budget
11 000 000 EUR
10.Scope for additional services
The Contracting Authority may, at its own discretion, extend the project in duration and/or scope subject to the availability of funding up to the estimated amount of approximately 11 000 000 EUR. Any extension of the contract would be subject to satisfactory performance by the Contractor.


CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION

11.Eligibility
Participation is open to all natural persons who are nationals of, and legal persons (participating either individually or in a grouping — consortium — of tenderers) which are effectively established in a Member State of the European Union or in an eligible country or territory as defined under Regulation (EU) nº 236/2014 establishing common rules and procedures for the implementation of the Union's instruments for external action (CIR) for the applicable Instrument under which the contract is financed (see also Heading 29 below). Participation is also open to international organisations.
Please be aware that after the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU, the rules of access to EU procurement procedures of economic operators established in third countries will apply to candidates or tenderers from the United Kingdom depending on the outcome of negotiations. In case such access is not provided by legal provisions in the force at the time of the contract award, candidates or tenderers from the United Kingdom could be rejected from the procurement procedure.
12.Candidature
All eligible natural and legal persons (as per Item 11 above) or groupings of such persons (consortia) may apply.
A consortium may be a permanent, legally-established grouping or a grouping which has been constituted informally for a specific tender procedure. All members of a consortium (i.e., the leader and all other members) are jointly and severally liable to the Contracting Authority.
The participation of an ineligible natural or legal person (as per Item 11) will result in the automatic exclusion of that person. In particular, if that ineligible person belongs to a consortium, the whole consortium will be excluded.
13.Number of applications
No more than one application can be submitted by a natural or legal person whatever the form of participation (as an individual legal entity or as leader or member of a consortium submitting an application). In the event that a natural or legal person submits more than one application, all applications in which that person has participated will be excluded.
14.Shortlist alliances prohibited
Any tenders received from tenderers comprising firms other than those mentioned in the shortlisted application forms will be excluded from this restricted tender procedure unless prior approval from the Contracting Authority has been obtained (see Practical Guide — PRAG — 2.4.3.). Short-listed candidates may not form alliances or subcontract to each other for the contract in question.
15.Grounds for exclusion
As part of the application form, candidates must submit a signed declaration, included in the standard application form, to the effect that they are not in any of the exclusion situations listed in Section 2.3.3 of the PRAG.
16.Sub-contracting
Subcontracting is allowed.
17.Number of candidates to be short-listed
On the basis of the applications received, between 4 and 8 candidates will be invited to submit detailed tenders for this contract. If the number of eligible candidates meeting the selection criteria is less than the minimum of 4, the Contracting Authority may invite the candidates who satisfy the criteria to submit a tender.


PROVISIONAL TIMETABLE

18.Provisional date of invitation to tender
2nd quarter 2018
19.Provisional commencement date of the contract
September 2018
20.Initial period of implementation of tasks
36 months


SELECTION AND AWARD CRITERIA

21.Selection criteria
The following selection criteria will be applied to candidates. In the case of applications submitted by a consortium, these selection criteria will be applied to the consortium as a whole unless specified otherwise. The selection criteria will not be applied to natural persons and singlemember companies when they are subcontractors.
1) Economic and financial capacity of candidate (based on Item 3 of the application form). In case of candidate being a public body, equivalent information should be provided. The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last 3 years for which accounts have been closed.
Criteria for legal and natural persons:
1. the average annual turnover of the candidate during the 3 last completed accounting years (2015 — column “2 years before last year”, 2016 — column “year before last year”, 2017 — column “last year”) must exceed 3 700 000 EUR; and
2. current ratio (current assets / current liabilities) in the last year for which accounts have been closed must be at least 1. In case of a consortium this criterion must be fulfilled by each member.
2) Professional capacity of candidate (based on Items 4 and 5 of the application form). The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last 3 years from submission deadline.
Criteria for legal and natural persons:
1. The Candidate has proven experience in implementing projects and actions related to the design and development of national legal and regulatory frameworks inside or outside EU, either as specialised public body itself or through working with specialised public bodies, in at least 2 of the following areas targeted by the EU4Digital initiative:
— telecom rules, covering inter alia benchmarking of markets, spectrum coordination, roaming issues and broadband development,
— digital trust and security, covering inter alia electronic identification systems, digital trust services, network and information security and cybersecurity, interoperable cross border eGovernment services,
— eTrade, covering inter alia interoperable electronic trade services and processes comprising eCommerce, eCustoms and eLogistics / Digital Transport Corridors.
2. The candidate has proven experience in implementing projects and actions related to the design and development of national legal and regulatory frameworks inside or outside EU, either as specialised public body itself or through working with specialised public bodies, in at least 1 of the following areas targeted by EU4Digital initiative:
— ICT innovation, covering inter alia ICT research, start-up and innovation ecosystems, sharing of research excellence and cross border investments,
— eHealth and active and healthy ageing (AHA),
— eSkills covering inter alia national digital skills strategies and national coalitions for digital jobs.
3) Technical capacity of candidate (based on Items 5 and 6 of the application form). The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last 5 years from submission deadline.
Criteria for legal and natural persons:
1. The candidate has implemented at least 2 technical assistance projects in the sectors of telecom rules, digital trust and security, eTrade, ICT innovation, eHealth and/or eSkills. To be eligible:
— each of the projects mentioned above must have a value of at least 1 000 000 EUR,
— at least 50% of each project's expenditure must have been implemented in ENI countries, IPA countries or EU Member States.
2. The candidate has carried out at least 2 projects that had as a core activity the implementation of communication and visibility tasks (for example, website creation and maintenance, organisation of promotion and/or awareness raising campaigns, organisation of media and/or communication campaigns) in at least 2 of the Eastern Partnership countries.
Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. In the first case the project will be considered in its whole if proper evidence of performance is provided (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of final payment). In the case of projects still ongoing, only projects where the majority of the activities falling under the responsibility of the candidate have been completed will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (similarly to projects completed) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided if the selection criteria relating to the pertinence of the experience have been used. The evidence will be provided at the tender submission stage as indicated in the letter of invitation to tender.
Previous experience which caused breach of contract and termination by a Contracting Authority shall not be used as reference.
An economic operator may, where appropriate and for a particular contract, rely on the capacities of other entities, regardless of the legal nature of the links which it has with them. It must in that case prove to the Contracting Authority that it will have at its disposal the resources necessary for performance of the contract, for example by producing a commitment on the part of those entities to place those resources at its disposal. Such entities, for instance the parent company of the economic operator, must respect the same rules of eligibility — notably that of nationality — and must fulfil the same relevant selection criteria as the economic operator. With regard to technical and professional criteria, an economic operator may only rely on the capacities of other entities where the latter will perform the works or services for which these capacities are required. With regard to economic and financial criteria, the entities upon whose capacity the tenderer relies, become jointly and severally liable for the performance of the contract.
If more than 8 eligible candidates meet the above selection criteria, the relative strengths and weaknesses of the applications of these candidates must be reexamined to identify the eight best candidates. The only factors which will be taken into consideration during this reexamination are:
1. the highest number of projects meeting Criterion 2.1;
2. the highest number of projects meeting Criterion 3.1;
3. the highest number of projects meeting the Criterion 3.2.
22.Award criteria
Best price-quality ratio.


APPLICATION

23.Deadline for receipt of applications
16:00 Central European Time on 11.5.2018.
Any application received by the Contracting Authority after this deadline will not be considered.
24.Application format and details to be provided
Applications must be submitted using the standard application form, the format and instructions of which must be strictly observed. The application form is available from the following Internet address:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/annexes.do?chapterTitleCode=B

The application must be accompanied by a declaration of honour on exclusion and selection criteria using the template available from the following Internet address:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/annexes.do?chapterTitleCode=A

Any additional documentation (brochure, letter, etc.) sent with an application will not be taken into consideration.
25.How applications may be submitted
Applications must be submitted in English exclusively to the Contracting Authority in a sealed envelope:
— Either by recorded delivery (official postal service) to:
European Commission, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, EuropeAid, Office J-54 04/247, avenue du Bourget 1, 1049 Brussels, Belgium.
In this case, the delivery record makes proof of compliance with the time-limit for receipt.
— Or hand delivered (including courier services) directly to the Contracting Authority in return for a signed and dated receipt to:
European Commission, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, EuropeAid, Office J-54 04/247, avenue du Bourget 1, 1049 Brussels, Belgium.
Opening hours: 9:00-17:00 CET (Monday — Thursday); 9:00-16:00 CET (Friday).
In this case, the acknowledgment of receipt makes proof of compliance with the time-limit for receipt.
The Contract title and the Publication reference (see Item 1 above) must be clearly marked on the envelope containing the application and must always be mentioned in all subsequent correspondence with the Contracting Authority.
Applications submitted by any other means will not be considered.
By submitting an application candidates accept to receive notification of the outcome of the procedure by electronic means. Such notification shall be deemed to have been received on the date upon which the contracting authority sends it to the electronic address referred to in the application.
26.Alteration or withdrawal of applications
Candidates may alter or withdraw their applications by written notification prior to the deadline for submission of applications. No application may be altered after this deadline.
Any such notification of alteration or withdrawal shall be prepared and submitted in accordance with Item 25. The outer envelope (and the relevant inner envelope if used) must be marked “Alteration” or “Withdrawal” as appropriate.
27.Operational language
All written communications for this tender procedure and contract must be in English.
28.Date of publication of prior information notice
28.12.2017
29.Legal basis
Regulation (EU) nº 236/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11.3.2014 laying down common rules and procedures for the implementation of the Union's instruments for financing external action and Regulation (EU) nº 232/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11.3.2014 establishing a European Neighbourhood Instrument.
30.Additional information
Requests for clarification can be sent to the following mailbox:

near-eni-east-tenders@ec.europa.eu