The competitive bidding process is the sole responsibility of the contracting authority. It is conducted in accordance with local regulations and international good practices. There may be no legal relationship between AFD and any person other than the contracting authority which is the beneficiary of its financing.
However, in the context of the proper use of its financing, AFD is particularly vigilant as to compliance with the principles of transparency and opening up to competition. It demands that the various project stakeholders apply stringent requirements in terms of ethics and social and environmental responsibility.
Competition and transparency
AFD requires the contracting authority to apply the principle of the broadest possible competitive bidding in order to select the bid offering the best value for money. The information provided to potential service providers and their preselection, the content and publication of bidding documents (DAO), the assessments of bids and the award of contracts must be implemented in full transparency, in accordance with the relevant internationally recognized practices recommended by the OECD.
The open bid invitation procedure (with or without prequalification) is the most recommended practice for the procurement of a works and supplies contract. For contracts for intellectual services, the restricted bid invitation procedure is considered the most suitable.
In the general case, direct awards of contracts are not accepted by AFD. Derogation from the principle of competitive bidding may only be granted on an exceptional basis. It must be fully argued and provided for in national regulation.
Untying of aid
All the financing allocated by AFD has been untied since 1 January 2002. Consequently, AFD finances all goods and services, regardless of the country of origin of the supplier or service provider, or the contract amount. This decision not only applies to the least developed countries (LDCs), in line with the OECD recommendation of 20 April 2001, but also to all AFD’s partner countries. The commitments made by both AFD and its foreign counterparts are subject to continuous monitoring by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
It is the responsibility of the contracting authority to ensure at national level and, where relevant, at international level, that competitive bidding notices are widely publicized. In the case of an international procedure, in addition to the national media usually planned, publications must at the minimum include the AFD.dgMarket website. This tool was developed by AFD in partnership with the Development Gateway Foundation and benefits from an international reputation and dissemination. It allows contracting authorities to easily publish their notices online and, subsequently, potentially interested service providers to consult them free of charge.