Public procurement: Answering a call for tenders

Two men in suits shake hands.

Public procurement represents a significant part of the Swiss economy. Here is a guide for SMEs interested in answering a call for tenders.

To stimulate competition and guarantee equal opportunities for all businesses, it is important for access to public procurement to be as transparent as possible. Even more so since public procurement carries considerable weight in the Swiss economy: the needs of the Confederation alone amounted, in 2018, to CHF 5.55 billion of construction work, goods and services.

Facilitated procedures

In this context, the possibilities for standardization offered by the Internet are considerable. The platform, used by the Confederation, cantons and communes, facilitates procedures, both for public authorities as well as private companies interested in answering a call for tenders.

Preventing corruption

The Federal Council does its utmost to prevent cases of corruption in the federal administration. Public procurement constitutes one of the most sensitive areas in preventing corruption. The new Ordinance on Public Procurement (effective 1 January 2021, document in German) provides for strict measures on conflicts of interest and corruption (art. 3). In addition, the contracting authority may set rules of conduct in its general terms and conditions or in the contract binding it to the bidder: integrity clauses, penalty clauses, measures to ensure lawful commercial processes, etc.

Source: Website of the Swiss Federal Procurement Conference (Beschaffungskonferenz des Bundes BKB), 15.10.2020


Last modification 18.03.2021

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