In the framework of the TACIS 1991 programme, the Commission agreed with the Russian authorities on technical assistance projects to be financed by the European Community in the field of nuclear safety.
Terms of reference for these projects were drawn up with the assistance of the TPEG, a consortium of the Community operators.
In order to select the companies from the Community which will carry out these technical assistance projects, the Commission launched 22 restricted invitations to tender. The invited companies were requested to put forward a team of qualified experts and to present their working methodology.
Selection criteria were given in the tender documents.
The Commission had to evaluate all offers received in order to select the most economically advantageous, taking into account both the technical proposals and the financial offers.
"Evaluation Committees" were to be set up for this purpose, whereby representatives of the Commission and external experts would evaluate the offers and rank them according to their technical merit (the evaluation of the financial offer would be made separately).
The work of the Evaluation Committees included the preparation of a "preliminary technical review" of the technical offers to be performed by a group of qualified experts.
The final selections of the companies which would ultimately carry out the projects had to be made by the Evaluation Committee, with the Commission endorsing and assuming responsibility for the final selections.
In order to constitute the Evaluation Committees for each tender evaluation with sufficiently qualified and experienced technical experts, the European Commission placed four contracts with different organisations:
- Contract 21941 with the organisation Detampel
- Contract 21942 with the organisation TPEG (Twinning Program Engineering Group)
- Contract 21943 with the organisation Grell
- Contract 21944 with the organisation TUV Energie Consult
For each of the projects two experts were provided from one or two of the Consultants of the four contracts in order to perform the "preliminary technical review" in collaboration with representatives of the recipient Russian institutions and other external experts.
For each of the projects, the experts of the Consultant spent an average of two days per project in evaluating the merit of offers and had to draw conclusions on main technical issues including:
- the adherence of the approach to the individual terms of reference of the project; and any necessary comments on possible variations proposed by the invited companies;
- the organisation proposed in order to properly fulfil the terms of reference in a timely fashion, including the quality assurance arrangements and the timetable proposed;
- the main salient points which differentiate the offers;
- as necessary, draft letters to be sent by the Commission to the invited companies in order to receive clarification on some technical issues.
The experts participating in each preliminary technical review produced for the Commission a strictly confidential report of a standard format (about 2 - 3 pages per offer) on the conclusions of the analysis.
The tender evaluations took place between February and May 1993.