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Danida Procurement Procedures

Each year Danida carries out approximately 25 procurement processes according to the EU Directive on Procurement. Contracts under Danish development aid cover activities from technical assistance to fund management and small works.

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Joint Procurement policy

Together with other donor countries Denmark has formed a joint policy for procurement, which purpose is to ensure that procurement activities contribute to the Millennium Declaration, the Millennium Development Goals and poverty reduction – by converting the statements in the Rome declaration and other joint statements into a policy on procurement.

Four key principles underpin the Joint Procurement Policy:
• Public procurement activities should ensure economy and efficiency while upholding the principles of equal treatment, transparency, non-discrimination and zero tolerance towards corruption;
• Whenever a partner has the appropriate procurement capacity, and the partner and donor have agreed to use donor funds for procurement, procurement should be aligned to partner systems, i.e., the partner will undertake procurement activities;
• When procurement capacity is assessed as insufficient, donors will jointly support the partner’s procurement capacity development in order to enable them to undertake procurement.
• The party that undertakes procurement activities should be fully accountable for its procurement actions and decisions.

Clear accountability for procurement activities is a key principle of the joint policy. Seven different procurement options have been defined from Option A, where the partner undertakes and is accountable for all programme procurement activities according to their own regulations and procedures, through Option F, where procurement is undertaken directly by the donor, according to the donor’s own regulations and procedures. The Guide for Program Directors, Managers and Officers set the context for joint donor work; present the main principles, best practices and commitments made to promote effective procurement. The Guide provides a step-by-step process for the implementation of effective procurement under the Joint Procurement Policy. The Guide also provides examples and references to relevant resources.

DANIDA Procurement Policy

Procurement, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (DANIDA) or a Unit is the contracting authority, is subject to the rules and regulations of the Danish Competition Act and since 2004 to the EU-Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts.

According to Danish law EC’s Public Procurement Directive is directly applicable. The text of the Directive constitutes the current legislation in the field of public procurement in Denmark.

Good Governance

The winning tenderer is to perform the services in compliance with the Danidas anti-corruption policy and the principles of the UN Global Compact, hereunder present an outline of the Tenderer's Business Integrity Management Plan including definitions of roles, responsibilities and authority in relation to the assignment, business integrity procedures for acquiring, bidding, negotiations and execution of the assignment.

Types of public procurement contracts

The public procurement rules apply to purchases undertaken by contracting authorities in the field of supplies, services and works. The different types of contracts are defined in the Directive’s Article 1, b, c, and d.


When a contract exceeds the EU threshold value, the contracting authority must observe the rules in the Directive.

According to the Directive contracts may not be subdivided to prevent them from coming within the scope of the Directive (Article 9, 3). Where a proposed contract provides for options, the basis for calculating the contract value shall be the maximum total possible assuming that all the options will be exercised.

However, the Contracting Authority may divide the contract into lots, for example to give smaller companies an opportunity to participate in the tender.

When the estimated value of a contract is below the indicated EU-threshold, competition under the detailed provisions of the procurement Directives is not required, and thus publication in the TED is not mandatory. However, DANIDA abides by the EC-Treaty principles and ensures sufficient competition.

Forms of advertising

When the Directive covers an individual contract, DANIDA submits a contract notice to the Publications Office. The Publications Office publishes the notice in the Official Journal of the EU, i.e. the Tenders Electronic Daily (TED).

When published through TED the contract notice is published as a contract opportunity on the DANIDA Business website. It is the responsibility of the applicants/tenderers to check the Contract Notice on TED for additional information regarding ongoing Tenders.

Procedures for awarding contracts

The Directive applies directly for contracts above the EU threshold values. This entails that such contracts must be awarded in compliance with the procedures in the Directive.
DANIDA uses one of the following types of procedures:

• The open procedure is a formal tendering procedure under which the call for tender is publicly advertised in the TED and all interested parties are allowed to participate.
• The restricted procedure is also a formal tendering procedure, whereby a notice is publicly advertised in the TED inviting potential suppliers to express their interest. Suppliers apply for prequalification, but only shortlisted suppliers are invited to participate. 

Time limits

To ensure that all potential tenderers get a fair opportunity to express their interest for the contract in question or to submit their tender, the Directive states minimum time limits for the receipt of tenders or expression of interests. The Directive’s Chapter VI (Article 35 to 43) regulates advertising and transparency, and stipulates the requirements for publication of Prior Information Notices, Contract Notices and Contract Award Notices.

The principal rule for the restricted procedure is a minimum of 37 days for requests to participate and 40-52 days for receipt of tender. The time limit for requests to participate may be reduced to 30 days when the contract notice has been transmitted “online”, and the time limit for receipt of tender may be reduced to 24 days if a prior information notice has been published. Time limits are calculated using calendar days, i.e. including holidays and weekends.

The Danish Complaints System in the field of Public Procurement

The Danish Competitions Authority (Konkurrencestyrelsen) is responsible for the implementation and administration of the EU Directives on public procurement in Denmark. The Authority handles complaints and gives guidance in principal cases.

The Competition Authority has issued extensive guidelines on the use of the recent rules. The guidelines can be used interactively via the website making it possible to link to rulings of the European Court of Justice, practice from the National Complaints Board, the actual legal texts or recommendations from the Competition Authority etc. The guidelines are available in Danish here.

If a company feels wrongfully treated in a public procurement procedure, the company has the choice to take a complaint either directly to the Complaints Board or to the ordinary courts ("legal proceedings"), or raise the matter in a less formal manner with the Danish Competition Authority ("informal problem solving").

The Complaints Board for Public Procurement (Klagenævnet for udbud) has been set up by law to act as a review body as required by the Directive. It functions as a quasi-judicial administrative body. Its function is to hear complaints and settle disputes arising from alleged violations of EU rules on public procurement.
Decisions made by the Complaints Board may be appealed to the ordinary courts.

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