Are services negotiable

Negotiating allowed

The course of the negotiation process with a competition

Requests to participate

In a negotiated procedure with a competition, the contracting authority publicly requests an unlimited number of companies to submit requests to participate in a competition. The deadline for receiving requests to participate is 30 calendar days. This period can only be shortened to 15 calendar days if there is sufficient urgency. With the application to participate, the interested companies submit the documents required by the client to check their suitability.

Binding and non-binding (indicative) initial offers

Only those companies that are requested to do so by the contracting authority after checking the information provided can then submit initial offers.

The contracting authority can then set the deadline for the offer by mutual agreement with the applicants. However, the deadline for submitting tenders is the same for each applicant. If it is not possible to set the deadline for the offer by mutual agreement, the deadline to be set is at least 10 calendar days.

After submitting the offers, the contracting authority negotiates with the bidders about the binding or non-binding (indicative) initial offers they have submitted. Subsequent bids can then be submitted from the second round of negotiations. The round of negotiations ends with the so-called "best and final offer", which is submitted after the last call ("last call"). However, the minimum requirements and award criteria may not be negotiated.

"Last call" and "best and final offer" - final offers

If the contracting authority wishes to conclude the negotiations with an award, it must inform all bidders still involved. They are given a uniform deadline for submitting the revised tenders.

The contracting authority can also award the contract to an initial offer that has not yet been negotiated. However, this must already be specified in the contract notice. If this is the case, no negotiations may take place.

However, the contracting authority also has the option of conducting the negotiations in different successive phases. That too must have already been published in the notice. In this way, he reduces the number of offers based on the announced award criteria. In the final phase, however, it must be ensured that there are still enough offers for a competition in the running.


The negotiated procedure has the advantage of a flexible design of the service to be awarded. On the other hand, there are risks that arise from the fact that compliance with the principles of transparency and equal treatment is ensured throughout the entire negotiation process in all successive phases.