Procurement in the Republic of Armenia and participation in them
The order of the purchases in the territory of the Republic of Armenia is regulated by the RA Law “On Procurements”. The merchant customer can be:
- Public administration and local government, State or local government agencies;
- The Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia;
- State or municipal non-profit organizations;
- Organizations that have more than fifty percent share of the State, or municipalities;
- Associations and/or organizations, formed by State or municipal, or non-profit public, or municipal organizations, or organizations that have more than fifty percent share of the State or municipalities;
- Legal persons who have received a donation of funds from the State, or municipality, or the Central Bank, or a non-profit state, or municipal agency, or organizations that have more than fifty percent share of the State, or municipalities, in terms of purchases made with funds received as a donation;
- Non-governmental and/or public organizations.
Responding to a question about the requirements for the participants of procurement, please note that any person, regardless of whether it is a foreign natural person, foreign organization, or a person without citizenship, has an equal right to participate in the procurement process. Restrictions on the nationality of the persons or entities shall be imposed only by the decision of the Republic of Armenia government when there is a threat to national security.
In the invitation, the customer specifies the number of persons who can participate in the procurement process.
Banned on participation in the procurement are the following categories of persons:
- Persons declared judicially insolvent (bankruptcy);
- Persons having arrears on tax payments and mandatory payments of Social Security;
- Companies whose executive bodies (CEO, Executive Director) within three years prior to the time of submission of the application, have been convicted of offenses against economic activities, or against public service, with the exception of cases where the conviction is removed or extinguished;
- Persons who are included in the list of participants are not eligible to participate in the procurement.
This list includes the persons who are within one year prior to the application:
- repeatedly violated a contractual agreement, or violated agreed points in the course of the purchase obligation, which led to the unilateral termination of the contract with the customer, or termination of further participation of the participant in the procurement process;
- The procurement process provided false information;
- Refusal to sign the agreement more than once, as a selected participant;
- Persons in respect of whom a decision of the antimonopoly body of the Republic of Armenia has been taken about violation of competition law and concluding anti-competitive agreements, and abuse of dominant position.
It should be noted that this list is subject to publication.
About the participants according to the eligibility criteria established by the invitation to the customer. The participant must:
- Comply with the professional activities contemplated by the contract;
- Have professional experience;
- Have the technical means;
- Have the financial resources;
- Have the manpower.
Invitations to the customer may adjust and supplement those criteria in sufficient detail. However, they cannot be set in a manner which is not covered in the above list, discriminate or restrict competition IE: unduly complicate or simplify for anyone the procurement procedure, or the criteria is not equal and appropriate.
Procurement in the Republic of Armenia is held by several kinds of procedures, such as:
- Open procedure;
- The procedure of competitive dialogue;
- Restricted procedure;
- Negotiating procedure.
Purchases made via each of these procedures have their own characteristics and differences. In accordance with the general procedure, the preferred procurement procedure is the open procedure. The remaining types of procedures are applied by the customer only in statutory cases.
Information about the tender(s) are published in the Republic of Armenia in the form of announcements on the official websites, and in case of an open procedure, it is published in Armenian language and the Russian and English languages. If the amount of the purchase exceeds 50 basis IE: 50.000.000 AMD (1 base = 1.000.000 AMD), the application other than in the Armenian language, may also be submitted in English and/or Russian languages.
It all starts with the order of the head of the customer to form an evaluation commission comprising of up to nine members. The commission’s mandate includes approval/disapproval of invitation(s); amendments to the invitation(s); to provide explanations for the procurement procedure; opening and evaluation of bids, as well as, the authority to determine the winner(s) of the purchase.
Further publications include an advertisement for the procurement and an invitation to purchase. During this period, individuals and legal entities may apply for participation in the procurement. Supply of the application period should be at least 40 (forty) calendar days from the date of publication of the application. The declaration shall include all the necessary data about the customer, name and address, the procedure code, the characteristic and the purchase contract, the terms of the invitation on paper including the amount charged for this payment, the order of payment, the language(s) in which the application must be submitted, a summary of the criteria for qualification of participants, the criteria for determining the winner, form, place and deadline for submission, and more as the commission sees fit.
The order of invitations for Russian and English languages, including the calculation of the size of the payment is charged, is set within those invitations. Failure to receive an invitation to the established order of this article does not limit the right of a participant to participate in the open procedure.
When issuing invitations one must be sure to indicate and/or instruct for preparing applications, qualification criteria for the right participation requirements, the procedure for their assessment, the characteristics of the procurement subject, the procedure of assessment and selection of the winner; the draft contract, conditions, and procedures for procurement. If the purchase is carried out by parties and participants who are allowed to submit bids for only part(s) of the purchased goods, works and services, then include the procedure for calculating the price to be submitted on the application and other data.
The application is submitted in the manner prescribed by invitation(s). It should contain the following information:
- Statement of compliance with the data requirements in an invitation;
- Price offer;
- Guarantee of the application;
- A non-price offer, such as a technical proposal, if provided by the invitation;
- Other documents and/or information, provided for in an invitation.
If the application is sent in hard copy, the offer of the documents relating to them is put in an envelope with a stamp of the sending organization. The envelope must include the original application and a specified number of copies. On each pack, one must put an appropriate entry of the words “original” and “copy” for designation. The envelope and the invitation documents drawn up by the party must be signed by the person submitting them, or signed by an authorized person of the latter IE: the agent/solicitor. If the application is made by an agent/solicitor, the application must include authorization to represent, stamped by a notary office of the area where the procurement is/will take(ing) place.
Participants can take part in the procurement process in the order of joint activities IE: consortium. In this case, the application also includes an agreement on joint activities. This is accounted for the single qualification of participants and they are jointly and completely liable.
On the envelope the application specifies the customer’s name and location, including the address of the place where the submission of the application is; code of the open procedure; must contain the words “Do not open before the meeting for opening of applications”; and name, location, and phone number of the participant(s).
Applications that do not meet the requirements of this article, shall be rejected at the meeting of the evaluation committee for opening applications and in the same form be returned to their original participants.
The application is valid until the conclusion of the contract IE: framework agreement. If one is required to review the application, requests to reject the application, or receives a declaration of the procurement procedure as failed, then the participant can modify the application before it expires. When one changes the documents drawn up in accordance with the above procedure, one must add the word “changed.”
Maintenance and guarantee of the application:
The established order is an invitation to request maintenance and guarantee of the application, to determine the amount of security that cannot be less than 2 (two) percent of the bid price. Provision is represented as a one-sided application of the approved participant called ‘penalties’.
This penalty falls on the customer if the participant is selected but he refuses to enter into a contract, or loses the right to sign it, or violates the obligations imposed on him/her as part of the purchase, or refuses further participation in the purchase after the opening of bids. At the conclusion of the framework agreements, the amount of security is a basic unit of procurement (1,000 000 AMD as above).
Opening the envelopes with the applications and evaluation of bids thereof:
When any tender is opened in the Republic of Armenia, it is opened at a specified time in the invitation, at a meeting on the opening of bids. After the envelopes have been opened, the commission shall draw up a protocol, which is attached to the minutes of the procurement procedure meeting. The protocol is signed by the attendees of the meeting of the evaluation commission and by the commission members.
Participants and their representatives may be present at the meeting of the evaluation committee. Participants and their representatives have the right to request copies of the minutes of the evaluation commission meetings, which are available within one day. The customer is obliged to ensure confidentiality of information shown by parties as confidential and shall be responsible for the harm caused to the participants as a result of their disclosure.
Applications are evaluated according to the procedure established by the invitation. Satisfactory assessment of applications is received when the applications meet the requirements of the invitation, otherwise, requests are rejected and declined. The assessment may be repelled by both financial factors and non-financial. As a result of the evaluation, commission selects member(s) of the procurement, who is/are required within five working days to make a provision of the contract, the amount of which may not be less than five percent of the contract value.
Concluding the procurement contract:
The selected party shall be notified by the customer within five calendar days following the announcement of the selected party, by presenting his/her proposal for the conclusion of the contract and the context of the contract.
Should the participant after receiving the notice of the contract and the context of the contract, within the specified deadline does not sign the contract and does not represent the customer to ensure the contract, and in the case of the conditions in the contract for a deposit and providing an advance, he/she will lose the right to sign the contract. The day after the conclusion of the contract, the commission will call a meeting, during which the results of the open procedure are announced.
Procurement procedure is declared invalid if:
- All applications do not meet the requirements of the invitation;
- The need to purchase is no longer valid;
- Have not received a single application;
- Failed to sign a contract.
After the announcement of failed opening, the procurement procedure is prohibited to open unopened applications; they must be returned to the participants. Negotiations between the evaluation commission, the customer and the participants are also prohibited. An exception is when only one party is involved and the application is submitted to them corresponds to the requirements of the invitation to the open procedure. Mediated negotiations under this paragraph may lead to a decrease in the offered price and/or change the terms of payment.
The calculation of the contract value:
The contract price calculation includes all fees and costs associated with ensuring that the contract for the purchase, including taxes, duties, freight, and insurance premium payments and profit costs are carried out.
The contract price may be conditional, meaning that it is changing under the influence of changing conditions and/or factors stipulated by the contract. Otherwise, the contract price is stable and fixed, and the parties are obliged to fulfill its contractual obligations in full as part of the contract price.