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Last edited 12 Aug 2021
European Single Procurement Document ESPD
The European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) is a self-declaratory document used by both buyers and suppliers on public-sector contracts anywhere within the European Union. It is intended to remove some of the barriers faced by suppliers (particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)) when tendering for goods, services or works on public-sector contracts.
The ESPD is typically issued by public-sector bodies (buyers of goods and services) to get suppliers (bidders) to respond to, or register their interest in, bidding. ESPD helps to simplify the procurement process for both sides.
Introduced in April 2016 and created under the EU 2014 Directive on Procurement, ESPD is an alternative to the more complex selection questionnaire. The self-regulatory nature of the ESPD allows suppliers to self-declare that they meet the minimum regulatory criteria or commercial capability requirements, and so allows them to progress to the next stage of the process.
This means they do not have to provide up-front documentary evidence and the assorted paperwork previously required to show they meet the public authority’s required criteria; they only have to provide such evidence when or if they are selected as the appointed contractor.
 The process
The ESPD process can be summarised as follows:
- The buyer states their selection and exclusion criteria in their contract notice, including minimum standards and their policy on short-listing.
- The buyer issues the ESPD request to attract anyone interested in bidding for the contract.
- Bidders (suppliers) complete and submit their ESPD response to the buyer.
- The buyer evaluates the supplier responses for suitability against the stated criteria.
- Where bidders are found subsequently not to meet the minimum requirements, or are in breach of one of the requirements, they are excluded from the bidding process.
- ESPD is completed online, and is free.
- Although bidders have to complete an ESPD for every project, the standard ESPD form used across Europe means they can re-use a form submitted on a previous bid, as long as the information is still current.
See also: ESPD and the decline of the PQQ
See also: Single Procurement Document (Scotland).
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Best value.
- Common minimum standards.
- ESPD and the decline of the PQQ.
- Fair payment practices.
- Managing the procurement process.
- Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT).
- Procurement route.
- Public body.
- Public contract.
- Public project definition.
- Public sector.
- Publicly subsidised project.
- Single Procurement Document (Scotland).
- SMEs and government contracts.
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