Responding to the market: preparing the bid package

Verified 15 December 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

The response to a public contract is always accompanied by an application and an offer. The offer proposed for a public contract must meet the buyer's need. It includes a technical offer and a financial offer. In some cases, the candidate may present a different solution than that proposed by the buyer (or “variant”).

The offer is the candidate's response to the need expressed by the public purchaser in the General Technical Clauses (GTC) (specification).

She's compound of the following parts:

  • Technical Offer
  • Financial offer
  • Other documents. The public purchaser may ask the applicant company to produce other pieces: samples, mock-up or prototype, intervention planning, product catalog, etc. Failure to deliver one of these pieces when requested by the purchaser renders the offer irregular.


The company may choose to associate with other companies, within the of a temporary grouping of companies (GME) to respond to a larger market. It may also entrust the performance of part of the contract to other companies in the subcontracting.

What is a technical offer?

It is a technical brief or a methodological note that responds precisely to the specification included in the consultation documents.

Indeed, the specification sets out the technical provisions necessary for the performance of the services of each contract. It provides information on the buyer's needs, delivery times, warranty conditions, maintenance, after-sales service. The applicant company must therefore answer each point the specifications, specifying all the powers and means employed.

It must reassure the public purchaser and give him confidence by indicating the qualifications, qualifications and references of the applicant company.


In practice, supply for markets below €40,000 HT usually consists of the transmission of a simple quote.

How to value the technical offer?

The offer or technical memorandum must be constructed as a business case. The applicant company must indicate that it meets all the criteria and that it hasassets.

It must first make a general presentation to demonstrate its expertise: activity, know-how, organization, human and material resources.

It must then detail its methodology to explain how the market will be realized, controlled, delivered. In particular, it may be based on the following:

  • Quality of the product manufacturing process (e.g. quality control procedure, skill level of the workforce)
  • Technical quality of the product (e.g. product durability)
  • Product-related services (e.g. quality of after-sales service, possibility of emergency response, including weekends and holidays, cybersecurity)

Public buyers can take into account the environmental characteristics the tender where they are directly linked to the subject of the contract. The applicant company can thus present a carbon balance relating to the service requested in the contract (for example, the analysis of greenhouse gas emissions linked to the production of the product requested by the buyer). It may mention the existence of a circuit for the reprocessing of waste produced under the contract. It may also indicate that it has certifications or labels recognized environmental. Examples are: Ecolabel, such as Ecolabel Type 1, NF Environment Certification, Organic Agriculture Label, Oeko-Tex Certificate for Textile Products.

The applicant company may also highlight the social implications of its offer where the buyer has provided for social criteria. These include:

  • Measures for the integration of members of the public in difficulty which may be carried out in connection with the performance of the contract.
  • Training and apprenticeship efforts in the context of the market (collaboration with a job center or local employment agency, hiring of apprentices, vocational training actions)
  • Respect for human rights in the context of the execution of the contract (fair remuneration of producers, location of suppliers and subcontractors)

The buyer may also require capacity levels (e.g. in terms of the number of employees or professional qualifications).

Information may also be requested, such as the turnover statement, the appropriate bank statement or balance sheets for example.

Is there a form for responding to the procurement?

There is no response framework or standard form for submitting the technical brief.

On the contrary, it is recommended to avoid any standardized response.

The technical offer must be suitable to each contract: each of the points requested in the consultation rules must be answered in a precise manner. The applicant company has an interest in personalize its offer to show that it has understood the buyer's need.

Tenders must also be submitted in a legible and clear. Layout is very important. You have to insert a table of contents, titles, pages. Styles and fonts should also be aligned.

The financial offer must be based on the documents provided in the consultation documents .

The candidate company must complete one of the following two documents:

  • Unit Price Schedule (BPU) : a document listing the unit prices of each product, service or service offered. Each price is then applied to the quantities delivered or executed. It is used in so-called ‘unit price’ markets. This is the case, for example, with works contracts, where the purchaser does not know in advance the quantities to be used.
  • Breakdown of the overall and flat-rate prices (FDP) : document breaking down the elements of the flat-rate price of the service to be performed, with the quantities and the elements to be quantified by the companies. In that case, the contract holder shall undertake to provide a service for the package offered, irrespective of the quantities delivered or executed. The fixed price is not adapted to services or works the realization of which involves significant technical risks

Please note

Care must be taken when setting the price as the buyer must discard abnormally low offers (OAB).

The consultation rules (CR)of the public contract may authorize the presentation of ‘variants’.

The applicant company shall take the initiative of offering an alternative to the public purchaser's basic offer. It covers certain technical, administrative or financial points.

These variants make it possible to highlight innovative solutions or to use means unknown to the public purchaser.


The purchaser may require the submission of variants. It shall indicate this in the contract notice, the invitation to confirm interest or in the consultation documents.

In adapted procedure contracts (Mapa), variants are permitted unless otherwise specified in the consultation documents.

In the formalized proceduresHowever, the situation depends on the public purchaser:

  • Where the contract is awarded by a contracting authorityIn principle, variants are prohibited. L 'contract notice or the consultation documents may, however, authorize them.
  • When the contract is awarded through a contracting entityHowever, variants are in principle permitted but the contract notice may prohibit them.

Example :

Examples of technical variants:

  • Materials different from those required in the base solution
  • Longevity of products or structures
  • Environmental characteristics (optimization of waste management)
  • Better conditions for maintenance, servicing or warranty

The period of validity of the tender shall be the period during which the applicant is required to maintain his tender. When this time limit is exceeded, the applicant shall be released from his appointment.

The regulations do not prescribe a period of validity for tenders. But the buyer can decide on such a delay within contract notice or consultation documents . It shall then apply to all candidates and to the purchaser, in accordance with the principle of equal treatment.

However, the public purchaser may, before the expiry of the period of validity of the tenders, ask all candidates to prolong this period. It must then obtain the agreement of all the candidates. If this is not the case, the procedure is declared to be ineffective.

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