The European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) is a document that allows tenderers to self-declare certain information in public procurement procedures in the EU. Companies and businesses now only have to submit this single form to prove:

  • they fulflil the required selection criteria
  • they do not fall within any exclusions

The buyers will create or use an ESPD template, establishing their selection and exclusion criteria, including all details such as minimum standards and methods. An ESPD is then published and made available to tenderers interested in bidding for the tender. All parts of the form, excluding Part I (Information on the procedures and contracting entity), should be filled in by the economic operator.  

Since this is a generic document used across all EU Member States, the questions cannot be amended. The document covers information concerning the bidder, the exclusion criteria, the selection criteria and the reduction of the number of qualified candidates. The operator must also give consent to the contracting authority to access documents supporting the information provided in the ESPD.

Malta

Under the Public Procurement Regulations 2016 (SL 174.04), Contracting Authorities must accept the ESPD when the estimated value is equal to or greater than the €135,000 threshold, net of VAT. 

Contracting authorities are to insert the selection criteria and exclusion grounds, including any minimum standards, in the procurement documents according to Part VI of the Public Procurement Regulations. Economic operators are then to submit this completed ESPD with their tender submission.  

The document may be accessed through the Government e-Procurement website, under the ‘Resources’ section.  The ESPD is only marginally different to the standard version of the European Commission, namely consisting of changes to reflect the common terms of usage in Malta and to cater for local provisions on blacklisting and exclusions.

 

ESPD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • When does an ESPD need to be filled in?

An ESPD is required every time the business or company bids for a different tender. However, information provided in a previous ESPD may be reused, as long as the information is still correct and relevant.

  • What happens if the background information has already been provided by the operator in the EPPS?

Where the bidder has already provided information such as address, VAT or ID number, contact persons, email, legal status, size of organisation, through the EPPS, the relevant section of the form may be left blank.

  • Will a bidder be asked for proof that his self-declaration is true?

Proof to support the self-declaration is required before awarding every contract. Generally, the recommended evidence and certificates are to be provided if one is the recommended economic operator, prior to awarding the contract. Where such evidence is accessible online, the web address is to be provided. Bidders should not provide any certificates or documents with the ESPD response unless requested during the procurement process or as detailed in the procurement documents.

  • What happens if a bidder has misrepresented himself?

If a bidder has misrepresented himself, there are mainly 3 things that may occur:

  • Where the bidder has breached one of the mandatory grounds for exclusion or does not satisfy one of the minimum selection criteria, the bidder must be excluded. This may mean either that the procedure continues without that bidder or that the procedure should be re-evaluated without the bidder’s tender, depending on the nature and stage of the process. 
  • In the case of a breach of a discretionary ground for exclusion, it is up to the contracting authority whether to exclude the bidder or not. 
  • For administrative mistakes such as errors in the documentation provided, the contracting authority may allow the bidder to make amendments or clarify the documents provided.

  

  • What about sub-contractors and consortium members?

Where the bidder relies entirely on a sub-contract to fulfil the selection criteria, a separate ESPD is required from the sub-contractor.  This includes also technicians and technical bodies not belonging directly to the operator’s undertaking. The same applies for consortium members and other entities on which the bidder relies on to meet the selection criteria.

The contracting authority may still request a separate ESPD from any other sub-contractor, upon whom the operator does not rely on to fulfil the selection criteria, in order to check whether there are grounds for exclusion. Where grounds for excluding the sub-contractor are present, the bidder must replace the sub-contractor. 

  • What if a contract is divided into lots?

The ESPD requires the economic operator to indicate whether the contract is divided into lots. In such a case, a separate ESPD response for each lot is required where the selection criteria vary between lots, or for group of lots with the same selection criteria.

 

Last updated 17 July 2017