5. Procurement procedures applied

5.1 Tendering procedures

Does your government apply any of the following procurement procedures: (i) open tendering procedures under which all interested parties may submit a tender; (ii) selective or restricted tender procedures under which participation is limited to a certain number of selected suppliers, and only these suppliers are invited to submit a tender; (iii) private contract or single tender in which the awarding authority contracts suppliers individually, and sometimes only a single supplier?


For the procurement of goods and services contracting, the general principle is that of the public bidding (Article 55 of the Law of Accounting). Private bidding is also accepted, if the amount of the operation does not exceed a given threshold value (Article 56.1 of the Law of Accounting, amended by the Decree 2,293/93). For the private bids at least six suppliers will be invited, provided they are registered in the Registry of Suppliers, including the former successful bidder in all cases (Article. 62, subsection. 8 and 9 of Decree 5,720/72). Direct purchases will be allowed for reduced amounts (Article 56,3 of the Law of Accounting and Decree 2,293/93), or when there is compliance with other specific requirements stated in such Article. This is the case of emergency situations, only one supplier, desert bidding, scientific, technical or artistic works, need of confidentiality, etc. In the case of direct purchases lower than $100,000 justified by emergency situations or a desert bidding, however, three suppliers will be invited to submit their offers. In case such procedures cannot be followed, the reasons for the failure to comply with them must be placed in records (Article 62, subsection 10 of Decree 5,720/72).

In addition, goods and services contracting of the National Administration are submitted to the supervision of the National General Auditing Office through precios testigo [witness price system - standard prices]. This is mandatory for public bids over $750,000, private bids over or equal to $500,000, and direct contracting over or equal to $75,000. However, SIGEN is empowered to control any contracting, including those carried out under the public works regime. (See SIGEN Resolution Number 55/96).

In the case of public works contracting, there is also a preference for public bidding but private bidding or direct contracting are accepted as well when contracts do not exceed a given threshold or when the works are absolutely necessary and had not been anticipated in the project estimations, and provided they do not exceed a defined threshold (Article 9 of Law 13,064). Other exceptions indicated in Article 9 of such Law are: emergency works, unforeseen circumstances, security of the State, certain technical or artistic capacities, patent or special privileges, desert bids or with unacceptable offers.

The Law of "Concession of Public Works" (Law 17,520) also establishes three alternative methods: the public bidding, direct contracting with public entities or state corporations and contracting with private or mixed corporations. With respect to mixed corporations, in the case of works of public interest, the options are public bidding or integral projects bidding. In this case, there will be a call for bidding for the submission of proposals (Law 23,696, Article 58 and Decree.1,105/89). If there is a more convenient offer than the one submitted by the first bidder, both will be able to improve their proposals within a term that will not exceed half of the original time limit for submission. The act of opening the proposals, the procedures that follow, the awarding and subsequent continuation of the contract shall be governed by the principles of the Regime of Public Works (Law 13,064).


Depending on the circumstances or materials required utilize: (i) open tendering; (ii) selective or restricted tender; (iii) private contact or single tender contracting.

For the central government, the ranges of approval for procurement fall into the following categories:

  1. Procurement up to a value of $50,000.
  2. Procurement in excess of $50,000 but not exceeding $250,000.
  3. Procurement in excess of $250,000.

For the Corporations, the range is as follows:

Open tendering procedure is required by most lending agencies, and when the dollar value and scope of works is significant. Selective Tendering Procedure is performed after a short list has been prepared from either contractors used previously or those that have expressed interest in bidding based upon a verbal or written inquiry. This procedure may be performed regardless of the scope or dollar value of works to be performed. Under "single supplier procedure", the criteria are based on similar scope of works, time constraints, and dollar value for substantially less than previous works; unit rates same as previous contracts, etc.


  1. open procedures (public bidding)
  2. restricted or selective procedures (private bidding)
  3. direct contracting


For public sector contracts, an alternative approach applies to two procedures: (a) the preselection procedures of companies (in two phases), and (b) the direct qualification procedures for proposals (in only one phase). These procedures are used in the methods of direct invitation and public bidding depending on the complexity of the goods and/or contract services or when a financial organization requests it.

With respect to the methods of the contract, we have the following table which outlines the correspondence between the different procedures in the FTAA document and those which exist in the Basic Norms of Bolivia.

FTAA Document

Basic Norms - SABS

1. Open or public bidding

+ Direct invitation

+ National or international public bidding

2. Selective or limited bidding*

3. Direct purchases by the public sector

+ contracts by exception

+ Minor purchases

*Note: In the Basic Norms already exist the methods of selective or limited bidding. It appears when the preselection procedures are used. For the second phase it is limited to the notice only to companies which had been preselected to present their technical and specific economic proposals for the contract in question.

The methods used in the contracts are:

  1. Direct invitation is the contract process which invites proposals meeting the conditions to provide goods and/or services, publication of a simultaneous notice to the delivery of the invitations in a manner which permits the presentation of proposals by other interested companies.
  2. National or international public bidding is the contracting process has the objective of permitting the participation in the notification process of an indeterminate number of parties.
  3. Exceptional contracts is the applicable process when there is no corresponding public bidding and no direct invitation.
  4. Minor purchases are the processes which are carried out in a routine form, flexible and functional, which are governed by the specific procedures of each entity, destined for the acquisition of goods and services necessary for the normal operation of the organization.


According to Article 22 of Law 8,666-93, the bidding modalities are the following:

Concorrência is the bidding modality between any interested party that, in the initial phase of preliminary authorization, can prove that it has the minimum qualification requirements for the execution of its object.

Tomada de preços is the bidding modality between interested parties that are duly registered or comply with all the conditions required until the third day prior to the date of the reception of offers and with all necessary requirements.

Convite is the bidding modality between interested parties of the business related to the good or service, either registered or not, at least three of who are selected and invited by the administrative agency that will establish, in the appropriate place, copy of the bidding instrument and will inform the other registered parties about the specialty corresponding so as to express their interest 24 hours prior to the submission of offers.

Concurso is the bidding modality between any party interested in technical, scientific, or artistic works, through awards or remuneration of the successful bidders, according to the criteria published in the call for bidding, in the official newspaper, with a minimum anticipation of 45 days.

Leilão is the bidding modality between any party interested in the sale of property not used by the Administration or legally seized property, or in the sale of real estate as provided in Art.19, to the one offering the best price, equal or higher than the valuation value.


The objective of federal government procurement contracting is to acquire goods and services and to carry out construction in a manner that enhances access, competition and fairness and results in best value or, if appropriate, the optimal balance of overall benefits to the Crown and the Canadian people. Inherent in procuring best value is the consideration of all relevant costs over the useful life of the acquisition, not solely the initial or basic contractual cost. The standard rule is to acquire goods and services through a competitive process. However, in specific circumstances, such as low value purchases (which are not covered by trade agreements), or when only one supplier is available, single or limited tendering is allowed.


In general, the procedures for goods and services procurement used by public services (entities of the central government) in Chile can be classified into four categories; to wit:

Direct quotation: The procurements division of each service issues a simple quotation document for three suppliers with the specifications of the required goods or services. Based on these three quotations, a decision is made as to what supplier will be contracted.

Private bidding: The institution calls for bids by sending an invitation to a reduced number of suppliers, specifying the required goods or services. The suppliers then submit a technical (quality) and an economic proposal (price), and the service makes a decision based on such proposals.

Public proposal: There is a call for bids through a publication in the press, inviting to submit offers for the procurement of goods or services. Such publication explains the general characteristics of the bidding, and the specifications are later delivered to the interested parties in a document called "Technical and Administrative Terms and Conditions". The following steps are similar to those of the private bidding process.

Direct contracting: A supplier is called directly and contracted for the supply of the good or service. It is not a common practice and it is mainly used in cases of emergency or unexpected events.


The general rule is the acquisition of goods and services through tendering procedures. The public bidding procedure under consideration by the Colombian legislature is equivalent to an open tendering procedure.

Direct contracting is only used in certain specific cases, such as cases anticipated by law, that is, small amounts, sole provider, emergency, scientific, technical or artistic works, void bids, and special circumstances.

The legislature does not anticipate a procedure specifically called selective or limited bidding; however, in certain cases, within certain determined limits, the law provides an equivalent proceeding, which is done through the request of various private proposals.


Yes, the three procedures are included but with different names. They are called: public tender, which corresponds to definition (i); tender by registration and restricted tender, which correspond to definition (ii) of the selective or limited tender, with the exception that in both, although a number of bidders are invited, others that have not been invited can also submit their bids if they learn about the tender, and; direct procurement, which corresponds to definition (iii). Direct procurement is only for the exception cases established in the legislation. It is not a normal procurement procedure.


The procedures applied in accordance with the Law of Public Contracting and its General Regulations are the following:

Public sector procurement for amounts below 1,000 minimum wages can be carried out directly, in accordance with the internal regulations of each institution and the Goods Procurement Regulations of the Public Sector.

The procedures applied in accordance with the Consulting Law and Regulations are:

When the amount of the contract is less than or equal to one hundred thousandth of the Initial Government Budget (currently, 184,424,520 sucres (approximately US$44,900), the entity or department can determine the direct procurement or consulting bid.

When the amount of the contract is higher than indicated above and less than four hundred thousandth of the Initial Government Budget (US$180,000), the contract can be done through direct bidding, which is limited to the consulting company or individual consultants registered the Consultancy Registry. All interested parties, be they natural, legal, national or foreign can register in said registry. These bids are carried out through written invitation to a maximum of six and a minimum of three consultants/participants.

When the amount of the contract is higher than four hundred thousandth of the Initial Government Budget (presently 737,698,000 sucres, approximately US$180,000) the contract will be awarded through public bid.

In the consultancy contracting process, prequalification will be done when it is deemed necessary in the rating, selection, negotiating and awarding of the contract.

The applicable procedures according to PETROECUADOR Law and its regulations are:


The offices of the central government, decentralized institutions and autonomous institutions are only able to complete three types of purchasing procedures, depending on the amounts that are bid, those are:

  1. open tendering,
  2. limited tendering, and
  3. direct contracting.


Of the three procedures indicated in this point, the law has regulated public or open tendering procedures and direct contracting. This last procedure is applied when the amount does not exceed of Q.10,000 or in the case of absence of bids without taking the mentioned limit into account.


The procurement procedures followed by the Government of Jamaica employ all three of the procedures mentioned, that is:

  1. open tendering;
  2. selective or restricted tendering; and
  3. private contract or single tendering.


  1. Public bids are applied;
  2. selective or limited bids are applied, taking into account the efficient operation of the procurement system and the amount established by law (minor purchases); and
  3. direct purchases are applied, due to emergency situations where unexpected circumstances do not leave time for the bidding process, with a previous authorization by the General Controller of the Republic.


Article 28 of the Law establishes two types of procurement procedures: public bidding and restricted invitation:

  1. Public bidding: All interested suppliers can participate. Public bidding procedures constitute the method generally applied for public procurement in Mexico.
  2. Restricted invitation: Under this procedure, an entity can contract suppliers individually, and this modality includes two options:


Our legislation establishes free and open competition for all bidders. There is no classification into open, selective, and restricted bidding.

1. Our classification is:

    1. Minor contracts: abbreviated procedures for goods and services, lease and works that do not exceed US$10.000.
    2. Prices request: selection of contractor when the official price is higher than US$10.000 and does not exceed US$250.000.
    3. Public bidding: selection of contractor when the official price exceeds US$250.000.
    4. Bidding procedures: selection procedure of contractor performed by the State, with a previous call for bids to contract consulting services, provision of technical services and personal specialist services, independent from the official price.
  1. Our legislation does not directly establish the call for a selection of a contractor, limiting the number of bidders, but there are a number of procedures to follow in the selection of a contractor, as the "preselection of bidders", governed by Article 23 of Law 56 of 1995 where the suppliers that will participate in this public event are selected. This is the criterion of the awarding entity and, therefore, prequalification does not apply to all purchases.


Public bidding: when the amount of the transaction exceeds 10.000 legal minimum wages for unspecified various activities in the capital of the republic.

Price bidding: when the amount of the operation does not exceed the amount estimated in the public bidding and is higher than 2.000 legal minimum wages for unspecified various activities in the capital of the republic. In addition, price bidding is applied in the case the sealed bid has taken place twice, when no offer is submitted, or if the offers submitted are expressly declared unacceptable through a decree from the Executive Branch.

Direct administrative contracting: when the amount does not exceed 2,000 legal minimum wages for unspecified various activities in the capital of the republic. (Ref: 1 minimum wage is equal to US$8.)


Goods and services procurement

The Government of Peru applies the following procedures for public sector procurement: public bidding; and selective bidding.

Public bidding

Acquisition modalities characterized by the free participation of bidders and acquisition of nonpersonal goods and services based on a given currency reference value fixed by the Annual Budget Law.

Selective bidding (direct awarding)

Special modality carried out through an invitation to suppliers and others compatible with the interest of the public sector agency.

Procurement for the construction (contracting) of public works

Depending on the amount, works execution can be contracted through:

Unit prices: System where the bidder submits a proposal presenting unit prices for lots preestablished by the bidding entity, valued according to the methods actually executed.

Lump sum: System in which the bidder submits a proposal to execute for a fixed amount and at a given date, a work defined by its plans and specifications, object of the main contract. The methods of the Base Budget are only used as a reference.

With financing of the contractor: System where the partial or total financing of the works is carried out by the contractor.

Turn Key: System where the bidder offers the construction, equipment and assembly until to the start up of the works, being able to include, furthermore, the project?s architecture and engineering studies, as well as its financing.

Controlled Administration: System where the bidder?s offer is limited only to the accounting administrative and technical direction of the works.

Bidding: System where the bidder participates through the submission of an offer: Technical documents, execution of the works, time limits and land, if necessary.

For the execution of the works, the bidder will be able to propose both conventional or nonconventional construction systems, as long as they provide for future works expansions with the conventional system.


All the procedures apply.


The general rule is full and open competition, although there may be specific circumstances in which selective tendering or single tendering may be permissible. See the response to Question 3.2 above.

Additionally, in complex procurements, procuring officials may develop a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) and send it out to interested suppliers for comment. This process is open to all interested suppliers. Depending on the comments received, the RFP may be altered. If a change is made after the solicitation is issued, the change is generally transmitted through an amendment to the solicitation.


Provisions in Article 33 of the TOCAF establish the procurement mechanisms and the corresponding exceptions, especially stating that the procedure for public tenders is the one affected by such exceptions.


Procedures applied by Venezuela for public sector procurement:

General bidding:

All real or legal people registered in the National System of Contractors will be able to participate, provided that they comply with the particular conditions of each bidding process.

Selective bidding:

All real or legal people will be able to participate provided that they comply with the particular conditions of the bidding process to be selected by the promoter entity of the Auxiliary Contractors Registry.

Direct awarding:

A direct awarding shall be applied in those cases in which the highest administrative authority of the contracting entity, through motivated internal action, adequately justifies the existence of certain situations provided for in Article 34 of the Bidding Law.


5.2 Additional procedures

Are there any additional types of procedures applied to procurements? If so, describe.


There are no other procedures besides the ones indicated hitherto.


Where financing by international funding agencies is required, the basic policies and procurement procedures are used. These are essentially the standard rules for international competitive bidding.


There are no other variations to the previously mentioned procedures.


When contracting for goods, services and construction work with external financing, the Basic Norms, in Article 15 permit the utilization of the recommended procedures or proposals typical of the financial entity. If the financing agreement does not specify particular procedures, then the Basic Norms will be applied.


The principles and requisites are described in the response to question 5.1.


No additional procedures are applied.


No additional procedures are applied.


There are no additional procedures.


There is a normal procedure for additional procurement, the auction. This procedure is not for purchase of goods, but for sale or leasing of the Administration?s goods. The Administration is also entitled to include under normal procedures the modalities for financed tender (Article 52, Law of Administrative Procurement); prequalified tender (Article 53, Law of Administrative Procurement), and the award through auction to the lowest bidder (Article 54, Law of Administrative Procurement).

The Law of Administrative Procurement establishes some special procedure provisions according to the contract. For example public works, the supply of goods, contracting of services, the sale or purchase of real estate, the concession of public facilities, and leasing of real estate and equipment.

It is worth emphasizing that there is a particular legal framework for the case of public works concession, and certain particular aspects in administrative contracting, when performed with labor corporation.

And finally, there are some matters excluded from the ordinary contracting procedures, which can be negotiated directly by the Administration. For example, the ordinary activity of the entity, agreements with international public law entities, contracts between public law entities of public rights, activities that due to their nature and circumstance are not subject to public bidding, contracting carried out by offices outside the country, petty cash contracting, those excluded by law or international instrument (as in the case of the national banking system), and the direct contracting authorization. It is important to remember that those matters related to employment relations, public loans and any other activity subject by law to a special contracting regime are excluded. And finally, there are procedures for emergency situations.


The Law of Public Contracting establishes special procedures for contracting related to the acquisition of real estate, rental of private and real property, leasing of merchandise, and those carried out with resources from loans granted by multilateral organizations where Ecuador is a member country; as to these, there should be compliance with the corresponding agreements and, for provisions not included in such agreements, with the provisions stated in the Law of Public Contracting or any other applicable in the matter.

The precontractual proceedings indicated in item (a) of 5.1 are excluded from the contracts that are necessary to overcome serious emergencies; those required for the execution of prioritize projects carried out in the application of agreements of foreign governments; those of national security that are in charge of the national police and the armed forces; those whose object is the execution of artistic or literary works; transportation of international mail; those for the acquisition of spare parts and accessories for the equipment maintenance; the acquisition of goods that are unique in the market and can only be acquired through a sole supplier or which imply the use of exclusive brands or patents and do not admit other substitutes;those contracts entered into by the state with other entities of the public sector or among themselves.

As well as in the Public Contracting Law, consulting servicing contracts financed with resources of public international organizations if the procedures established by those organizations are followed and not the national law. When consulting contracts are financed with national resources, some areas are set aside for national consultants.

In the case of PETROECUADOR, direct contracting is used only in situations of emergency or force majeure; when there is only one supplier available or for purposes of standardization of brands is necessary in order to be compatible with the existing assets; those contracts derived from agreements with foreign governments.


The three types of purchasing procedures mentioned above are the only existing procedures, with only a few exceptions. For example, in the case of emergency purchases, which surface when there is a natural disaster, or if the bidding has been twice declared void, then the sum is appropriated to the supplier determined by the degree of emergency of that purchase.


Quotation and open Contracting

Open Contracting: the amount is not important, it is only a tool for the Government of Guatemala to agree upon equal supply prices for all public sector entities.


In the case of goods and supplies, where the value of the procurement is between JA$178,050 (US$5,000) and JA$356,100 (US$10,000), quotations are invited from at least three reputable suppliers.


Yes. When specified in agreements subscribed with international organizations, international bidding procedures are used.


There is no other kind of procedure. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that there is a difference between:

National bids: where only people of Mexican nationality are allowed to participate, and the goods to be acquired have at least 50% national content; and

International bids: both people of Mexican nationality and foreigners are allowed to participate and the goods to be acquired are either foreign or national.

In compliance with Article 31 of the Law, participation of foreign suppliers or contractors in international bids can be denied if there is no international treaty, entered into with their countries, or in the case such countries do not grant reciprocal treatment for Mexican suppliers or contractors of goods and services.


Article 58 of such Law establishes the events for direct contracting a supplier through a procedure, in which the entity is exempted from holding a public act, depending on the quantity. When the amount does not exceed US$20,000, the exception is authorized by the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, and when the figure exceeds such amount, the authorization is the responsibility of the Cabinet Council.


Direct procurement can be made provided that there is no other contract from previous months made for the same good or service which, added to the other contract, exceeds the limit established herein.


There are no additional procedures to the aforementioned ones. However, it is necessary to indicate that Law 26,703 (Budget Law), establishes certain exceptions to the public bidding price competition or merit competition, when the processes are declared deserted, in emergency situations in any area in the Republic, when the expenditure is a military secret or when the expenditure is for the purchase of real estate by the offices abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Trinidad and Tobago applies special procedures as the methods "Design Finance Construct" and "Build Own Lease Transfer (BOLT)". With the "Design Finance Construct" method, the contractor is expected to design the structure and obtain the financing to complete the works. In the BOLT method, the contractor is responsible for obtaining financing to complete the structure, which is later leased to the government for a number of years, after which, the property is transferred to the government.


Two main procurement procedures are used based on the level of complexity of the goods or services being procured. Simplified acquisition procedures are used for procurements expected to be less than $100,000, and sealed bid or negotiation procedures are used when the procurements are expected to be above $100,000. Irrespective of the procedure used, the emphasis is on ensuring transparency throughout the process. Procedures are predictable. The Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) requires that criteria for award of a contract be set forth in the solicitation. If the agency changes the criteria without advising the offerers, the procurement may be protested. Bid deadlines are the same for all offerers. Where the procurement is conducted using price and other factors, the unsuccessful offerers may request, in writing, debriefings from the contracting officer. If the price is the only decision factor, the unsuccessful offerers will be notified in writing of the number of bidders, the number of proposals and the total contract price of the items in the award.

By law, technical specifications are generally to be free from any restrictive requirements so as to allow maximum competition among potential offerers. The order of preference for specifications is:

  1. voluntary standards;
  2. commercial item descriptions in the acquisition of commercial items;
  3. government product descriptions stated predominantly in terms of functions to be performed or performance required;
  4. government product descriptions stated predominantly in terms of material, finishing schematics, tolerances, operating characteristics, component parts and other design requirements.

    Solicitations generally contain detailed specifications (although the trend recently has been towards commercial item acquisition), as well as contact points for obtaining more detailed information. The Commerce Business Daily (CBD), in which most Federal solicitations are published, includes initial notifications of the intent to procure certain supplies and services. Specific requirements and specification information are contained in the solicitation document itself. The CBD will only contain a brief description, along with information regarding whether a particular procurement is using a performance or design-based specification.


    The Executive, having been authorized by the Tribunal de Cuentas [Accounts Tribunal], may authorize special contracting regimes and procedures, based on the principles of publicity and equality of the bidders, when the characteristics of the market or of the goods or services make it convenient for the Administration. The authorizations will be notified to the General Assembly and published in the Official Gazette and other newspapers of national circulation.

    Autonomous entities, decentralized services and departmental governments may apply the regimes and procedures formerly authorized.


    There are no additional procedures. The procedures are established in the aforementioned Law of Bids and its regulations.


    5.3 Circumstances in which procedures apply

    Under what circumstances are the above-noted procedures applied? For instance, if the method used depends on the value of the procurement, the thresholds should be given at each stage.


    Procurement procedures vary according to the different existing regimes. All cases admit public and private bidding, and direct contracting, preferring, however, the public open bidding procedure. The following is a summary of the procurement methods and their corresponding thresholds:


    Direct contracting

    Private bidding

    Public bidding

    Goods and services up to $100,000 up to $1,000,000 more than $1,000,000
    Public works up to $69,000 Ibid more than $69,000
      Complementary works of a work underway according to a scale (limit of $26,000, up to works for the amount of $129,500 or 5% to the 20% of the original cost for higher amounts). See Res.MEy OyS.P. 814/96.    
    Concession of public works no established threshold No No established threshold
    NOTE: exchange rate: $1= or US$1

    Points out that within the framework of the Ley de Concesión de Obras Públicas [Public Works Law] a special procedure is sought, which allows sole sourcing for contracts with public entities, state-owned enterprises, mixed enterprises, or private enterprises. In this respect, when the works are considered of "public interest" the entity has the discretion to chose between an open public procedure and a concurso de proyectos integrales [integrated projects competition] which involves a call for presentation of initiatives to those institutions.


    Depends on the value of the procurement, the type of goods or services and whether or not the supplier is single source (e.g. specialized parts). The limits for approval for procurement are the same as those detailed under Item 3.1 Legal Framework. However, the requirement to have all purchase orders in excess of $500 and up to a value of $50,000 approved by the Central Purchasing Unit before submission to Treasury by all Ministries and Departments is now being revised due to the introduction of the Treasury?s C.A. system and the modernization of procedures.


    Open tendering is the general procedure used for government tendering. The other procedures are mostly used when suppliers are few. These methods do not depend on the value of the procurement.


    States that the following thresholds are established for the purchase of goods, services and works for public sector entities:

  5. Minor purchases, under Bs 20.000 (approximately up to US$4,000)
  6. Direct invitation, from Bs 20.001 up to Bs 600.000 (approximately from $4,001 to US$120,000)
  7. Open national/international tendering, above Bs 600.001 (approximately above US$120,001)
  8. Purchases by exception do not have a limit amount.

Entities requiring higher amounts may request the Ministry of Finance (entity directing the goods and services administration system), to modify them in the regulations for contracting of the entities requesting it.


The tendering modalities provided in the Brazilian legislation are described in the response to question 5.1. In reference to the thresholds provided for each modality, they are mentioned in response to question 3.2.


As explained in 5.1, for low value purchases of less than C$25,000 (US$18,006), single or limited tendering is allowed.


The procurement procedure utilized, described in point 5.1, depend on the amounts involved in the transaction and the types of goods. The thresholds to define what kind of procedure to use varies form one public service to the other, but it is preestablished. In the case of municipalities, for procurement over 200 UTM´s (approximately US$10,275) open tendering procedures shall be used.


The open tender procedure, the equivalent to the selective tendering and direct contracting is applied according to the amounts of the contract. The law establishes the annual budget of the public entities, according to minimum legal monthly salaries, the amount that is considered higher amount, low amount and lowest amount (Law 80 of 1993, Article 24, 1-A).

The higher amount is established in minimum monthly wages according to the annual budget assigned to each entity, thus its value is variable.

As of May 1, 1997, and taking into consideration the budget of each contracting entity, contracts whose amount fluctuate between US$39.924 and US$159.694 (depending on the annual budget amount of the entity) will be considered as higher amount. Consequently, all contracts exceeding US$159.694 will be made through public bidding. Each year these amounts will be increased in proportion to the increment of the minimum monthly salary.

To establish the annual budget of the entities, the prevailing legal minimum monthly salary is used as a reference. This is determined annually. Its annual increase fluctuates between 18% and 21%.


In Costa Rica, the determination of the procurement procedure to be followed depends on:

  1. The annual budget of each entity (the public sector is divided in 10 categories according to the budget, see table.);
  2. The estimated procurement amount, according to the established rules;
  3. In some cases, the object of the procurement.

It should also be pointed out that the Law of Administrative Procurement establishes as general principles for the administrative procurement procedures, the principle of efficiency, equality and free competition, reciprocity, and publicity.

  1. Procurement procedures

a. Public tender

This procedure is applied for the Administration?s procurement activities within the amounts established by Article 27 of the Law of Administrative Procurement and by the General Controllership of the Republic resolution regulating paragraph g) of such provision. This procedure is applied for the sale of goods, movables or real estate, or leasing of public property, except when the auction procedure is used, and the concession of public facilities. For more detail, see Articles 42 and 43 of the Law of Administrative Procurement and Article 45 through 58 of the Regulations of this law. In the case of the concession of public works, a public tender is needed in all cases.

b. Tender by registration

This procedure is applied in accordance with the amounts established by the Law of Administrative Procurement (Articles 37 and 44) and the Resolution of the General Controllership of the Republic regulating paragraph g) of Article 27.

In these cases, the Administration must send and invitation to participate to all suppliers registered under the law. If there were more than ten, the Administration can call for bids through a publication in the Official Newspaper and two national papers. If there were fewer than five, the Administration must carry out the publications previously mentioned. As appropriate, the rules for public tenders shall apply (see Articles 44 and 46 of Law 59 of the Regulations).

c. Restricted tender

This is also applied in accordance to the amounts established by the Law of Administrative Procurement and the mentioned resolution. This is a procedure through which the Administration invites at least five registered suppliers. If there were fewer than five, the situation has to be registered in files, and the ones registered should be invited. The Administration has the responsibility of supplying a copy for any other possible supplier. As appropriate, the regulations for public tenders should be applied (see Articles 47 and 48 of the law and its regulations).

d. Auction

It is applied for the sale or leasing of movables or real estate, if the Administration finds it more appropriate. The procedures to be followed require the base not to be lower than the amount of the appraisal, except for unsuccessful auctions, that the call for tender be published in the Official Newspaper and a national newspaper, and that such publication include the list of goods to be auctioned, a description, location, base price, place, time and date of the auction. The interested suppliers should have the opportunity of examining the goods. There should be ten days between the publication and the auction.

e. Direct procurement

There are exceptional situations in which direct procurement should take place, with no limit as to the amount. They are defined on page 42, under question 3.2.

In the case of procurement where, because of their limited volume and economic importance, the principle of efficiency attains better conditions for the general interest, by not applying the ordinary procedures (public tender, limited tender, restricted tender and auctions), the Administration is entitled to use direct procurement, but in the cases subject to the thresholds established in Article 79.4 of the Regulations of the Law of Administrative Procurement and Resolution Number 1-DEE-96 of April 26, 1996, of the General Controllership of the Republic.

2. Thresholds in procurement procedures











G (3)

H (3)

I (3) J (3)
Ordinary annual budget of the contracting entity +174,878,677.9 -74,878,677.9 a + 7,439,338.9 -87,439,338.9 a +43,719,669.4 -43,719,669.4 +21,859,834.7 -21,859,834.7 a 4,371,966.9 -4,371,966.9 a + ,185,983.4 -2,185,983.4 a 1,311,590.0 -1,311,590.0 a 437,196.6 -437,196.6 a 131,159 -1312.159


Open tendering procedures + than 1,967,385.1 +than 1,311,590 +655,795 +437,196.6 +than 327,987.5 + 218,598.3 +than 109,299.1 + than 65,579.5 +than 43,719.6 +than 21,859.8
Limited tender 109,299.1 a 1,967,385.1 87,439.3 a 1,311,590 87,439.3 a 665,795 43,719.6 a 437,196.6 43,719.6 a 327,897.5 21,859.8 a 218,598.3 109,299.1 a 21,859.8 65,59.5 a 13,115.9 43,719.6a 8,743.9 21,859.8 a 371.9
Restricted tender 26,231. 8 a 109,299.1 21,859.8 a 87,439.3 19,673.8 a 87,439.3 17,487.8 a 43,719.6 15,301.8 a 43,719.6 13,115.9 a 21,859.8 De 21,859.8 De 13,115.9 De 8,743.9 -4,371.9
Direct contracting (2) - than 26,231.8 - than 21,859.8 - than 19,673.3 -than 17,487.8 -than 15,301.8 - than 13,115.9 Up to 10,929.9 Up to 6557.9 Up to 4371.9 Up to 2185983.4
Ordinary appeal (*) + than 174878.6 + than 157390.8 + than 139902.9 + than 122415 + than 104927.2 + than 87439.3 + than 43719.6 + than 21859.8 +than 17487.8 +than 10929.9
Public works -1,967,385.1 1,311,590 655,795 437,196.6 327897.5 218598.3 109299.1 65579.5 43719.6 21859.8

Notes: Explanation of Table: Amounts are in dollars. The estimation of amounts in colones converted into dollars is based on the dollar?s sale price as of May 1, 1997, which is 228.73 colones per dollar. As the table shows, the procurement procedure depends on the budget of the institution carrying out the tender and the estimation of the specific acquisition. The public sector is divided in 10 categories of entities, according to the budget, and each category has established limits for each procedure. There are some cases, as previously mentioned, for which the law establishes that only the public tender can be used. 1) Law of Administrative Procurement. Effective as of May 1, 1996. 2) According to Article 79.4 of the General Regulations of Administrative Procurement. D.E.Number 25038-H, published in La Gaceta N. 62 of March 28, 1996. 3) The economic limits for groups G), H), I), and J) are established by the General Controllership of the Republic, as provided by Article 27, paragraph g), of the Law of Administrative Procurement, Number 7,494 of April 24, 1995. (*) Amended by Law Number 7,612 of July 22, 1996. Published in La Gaceta Number 148 on August 6, 1995.


a. Public Contracting Law

Bidding: applies when the value is over 10,000 minimum wage salaries

Public tender competition: applies when the value is over 4,000 minimum wage salaries and does not exceed 10,000.

Price public competition: applies when the value does not exceed 4,000 and exceeds 2,000 minimum wage salaries.

Price private competition: This procedure applies when the value is over 1,000 but does not exceed 2,000 minimum wage salaries.

Government procurement contracts under 1,000 minimum wage salaries may be carried out through direct contracting in accordance with the internal regulations of each institution and the Rules for the Acquisition of Goods in the Public Sector.

b. The procedures applied according to the Law of Consulting Services and Regulation are:

When the contract amount is less or equal to one hundred thousandth of the Initial Government Budget (presently 184,424,520 sucres, approximately US$44,900), the entity or department can determine direct contracting or public bidding for the consulting services.

When the amount of the contract is higher than the aforementioned amount and lower than four hundred thousandths of the Initial Government Budget (presently 737,698,000 sucres, approximately US$180,000), the contract may be carried out through registered bidding circumscribed to consulting businesses or individual consultants registered with the Consultant Registry.

When the amount of the contract is higher than four hundred thousandths of the Initial Government Budget (presently 737,698,000 sucres, approximately US$180,000), the contract will be awarded through public bidding.


There are several cases mentioned, however, it is a generalization made by the autonomous institutions, as the amounts differ for each and are adjusted according to what their regulations or internal guidelines determine to be the appropriate sum:



Applicable legislation Public Private Direct contracting

Procurement Law 50,000 or more from 10,000 up to 10,000

and regulations to 50,000

of that law

Instructive 6023-a. id id id

Autonomous 100,000 from 50,000 to up to 50,000

Institutions or more 100,000


(*) in the majority of autonomous institutions, we find similar amounts to those displayed in the chart above, however, with the launching of new autonomous institutions or with their growth, the tendency is to increase the sums, for which some of them have gone above these quantities and they have been increased.


Direct purchases up to Q. 10,000 and in the case of absence of offers this modality could be put into effect regardless of the amount.

Price quote regime from Q.10.001 to Q. 300,000 for municipalities; and from Q. 10.001 to Q. 900.000 for the State and other entities. Open procedures above Q. 300.001 for municipalities; and above Q. 900,001 for the central government and other entities.

In the "open contract" procedure the amount is not relevant provided that the procurement is for volumes that assure better prices and that the specifications standardization may facilitate a more practical and economical procurement of goods, its use and maintenance.

Note: The nominal rate of exchange of reference in the market, under way as of April 30, 1997 is of US$1 ? Q. 5,99190.


Thresholds for acquisition of goods and services are as follows:

  1. JA$178,050 (US$5,000) and under: any reputable supplier from the approved list of suppliers;
  2. Amounts greater than JA$178,050 (US$5,000), but not exceeding JA$356,100 (US$10,000): quotations are invited from not less than three suppliers from the approved list of suppliers;
  3. Amounts exceeding JA$356,100 (US$10,000): tenders are invited from not less than five suppliers from the approved list of suppliers;
  4. Where the value greater than or equal to JA$1 million (US$28,082) for the procurement of goods, supplies and services, the processes at (2) and (3) below would apply.

    Thresholds for civil works contracting are as follows:

  5. Up to JA$1 million (US$28,082): appropriate ministry/agency without reference to the Government Contracts Committee;
  6. Amounts greater than JA$1 million (US$28,082), but not exceeding JA$5 million (US$140,410): must be approved by the Minister after reference to the Government Contracts Committee (GCC);
  7. Amounts exceeding JA$5 million (US$140,410): must be approved by the Cabinet on recommendation of the GCC.

These limits are reviewed and adjusted periodically.

*Exchange rate as of May 1, 1997, was US$1 = JA$35.61.


When the funding for the purchases originate from loans, donations or international agreements the procedures are determined by them.


Article 81 of the Law specifies the type of contracts that may be procured through restricted invitation (invitation to at least 3 suppliers or contractors or direct contracting), as an exception to the public or open tender. The exceptions are, among others, those related to the protection of patents, copyright or other exclusive rights; those goods or services which may only be acquired from a particular supplier; consulting services which involve proprietary information; in the absence of sound proposals after two consecutive calls for tender; purchases made for resale in commercial government stores.

In addition, entities, under their own responsibility, may carry out a restricted invitation procedure when the estimated value of the contract does not exceed the amounts which, to that effect, are established annually in the Budget of the Federation. Such amounts are defined in function of the budget assigned to each entity.

Article 31 of the Law provides that international bidding procedures will only be carried out when the entities justify such need, after an investigation of the market, the resources derive from foreign loans; or the contract is covered by international agreements.


As explained in point a-1, it depends on the amount, and the official price which is a reference framework which serves the entity to determine its discretion authority in whether or not to award a public act.


According to the value and nature of the goods and/or services to acquire. For example, tenders may have up to two calls for tenders, that is if declared deserted in the first call, the procuring entity can immediately proceed to a second call. If after the second call the entity was not able to award the procurement, it may adopt the modality of concurso de precio [price competition]: The concurso also has two opportunities to award a contract, but if after the second call the procurement has not been awarded, the procurement may be done through direct purchasing.


Acquisition of goods and services:

Contracting for the execution of works:

When the amount for the base budget in the execution of a public work is equal o more than S/.4,050,000, the executing agency shall not carry out the supervision and control the works, having to be contracted by Concurso público de méritos [merits public competition].

Contracting of nonpersonal services for the preparation of studies, assessments, consulting, expert studies, external audits, inspections and supervisions:


The procedures used apply to all procurement despite the thresholds given under the law.

From TT$100,000 to TT$500,000 or US$15,924 to US$79,618.

Up to TT$100,000 or US$15,924.

Rate of exchange used: US$1 = TT$6.28.


Credit card purchases are generally used below US$2,500; simplified procedures between US$2,500 and US$100,000; sealed bidding and negotiation over US$100,000.


The Article of the TOCAF related to bidding documents with general conditions states that these are mandatory of purchases are over certain thresholds. The same requisite exists in Article 45 of the TOCAF, which provides this obligation for the bidding documents with special conditions.


a. General tender procedures shall be used (Article 29 of the Law of Tender Procedures):

In the case of acquisitions of goods or procurement of services, if the contract to be awarded is for an estimated amount greater than (Bs. 70,000,000).

In the case of construction of works, if the contract to be awarded is for an estimated amount of more than Bs. 200,000,000.

b. Selective tender procedures can be used:

In the case of acquisition of goods or procurement of services, if the contract to be awarded is for an estimated amount of Bs. 7,000,000 and up to Bs. 70,000,000.

In the case of construction of public works, if the contract to be awarded is for an estimated amount of more than Bs. 70,000,000 and up to Bs. 200,000,000.

In the event that, in compliance with the certification issued by the National Registry of Suppliers, there were no more than 10 registered companies that are qualified for the corresponding procurement, technical works, specialized provisions, availability of equipment, economic and financial capacity, and any other requirement limiting the number of companies that can be invited to participate regardless of the price of the procurement.

c. General tender, selective tender, or direct awarding procedures can be used (Article33 of the Law of Tender Procedures):

In the case of acquisition of goods or procurement of services, if the contract to be awarded is for an estimated amount of up to Bs. 7,000,000.

In the case of construction works, if the contract to be awarded is for an estimated amount of up to Bs. 70,000,000.

If the execution of the works or the supply of goods and services is carried out by a public agency.

Direct awarding shall also be used when the amount of the contract is lower than Bs. 700,000.


5.4 Time limits for submission of bids

What are the time limits for submission of bids?


There are no limits for the presentation of offers for the purchase of goods and services. However, there are minimum time limits for publicity and anticipation with respect to the opening of offers. The anticipation varies between 12, 14 and 3 days according to the type of procedure and value of the procurement. In the case of public works the minimum time limits vary from 5, 15 and 20 days according to the value of the work. For the modality of "Integral Projects" this time limit varies between 30 to 90 days according to the complexity of the project.


They vary from one week to 6 months depending on the type of procurement and the Government Corporation.


The time limits for submission of bids vary between 1-2 months.


The time limits established for the presentation of proposals are of reference; the time limits could be of more or less working days, depending on how complex the purchase is:

  1. 20 working days for direct invitation
  2. 30 working days for open procedures
  3. 50 working days for direct invitation or open international procedures

These time limits will count as of the first publication of the call for bids.


A. Time limits are 45 days for:

Concurso (open procedures for technical, scientific or artistic works)

Concorrência (open or public procedures) when carried out through the methods of "best technical offer", "technical offer and price" or integral project methods.

B. Time limits are 30 days for:

Concorrência (open or public procedures) which are not specified above

Tomada de preços (limited procedures among registered and/or invited suppliers) when the methods of "better technical offer" or "technique and price" are used.

C. Time limits are 15 days for:

Tomada de preços for the cases not specified above

D. Time limits are 5 working days for:

Convite (invitation for interested suppliers pertaining to a certain industry)


Consistent with international agreements, bids are posted form 7 to 40 days, depending upon relevant legislation or policy.

The bidding period may be longer depending on the complexity of the requirement.


Time limits for the presentation of offers for goods and services (as of the publication of the invitation):

Public and private proposals minimum form 7 to 30 calendar days

Direct purchasing minimum form 3 to 10 calendar days

International bids 60 calendar days

Time limits for the presentation of public works (as of the publication of the invitation):

1st category 60 calendar days

2nd category 45 calendar days

3rd category 20 calendar days

minor works 15 calendar days


The time limits for the presentation of offers by the interested proponents depends on the terms established to that effect in the corresponding bid.


In public tenders, terms are 30-business day minimum in tenders for the construction of public works and for imported supplies. For any other supply or service, the minimum terms are 15 business days.

In public tenders for the concession of works, the minimum term to submit bids is 60 calendar days.

In tenders by registration, the minimum term to submit bids, regardless of what the object is, it is 10 business days.

In restricted tenders, the minimum term to submit bids, regardless of what the object is, it is 3 working days.


The time limits for the presentation of offers are:

For goods, services (excluding consulting services) and public works:

  1. Licitación [bidding] (open procedure for nationals and foreigners): between 18 and 48 days from the date of publication. The date is determined by the Acquisition Committee. However, these limits can be extended in accordance with the complexity of the project.
  2. Concurso público de ofertas [tender public competition] (open procedures for all interested parties): between 12 and 14 days.
  3. Concurso público de precios [price public competition] (open procedures for all interested parties): between 12 and 18 days.
  4. Concurso privado de precios [price private competition] (open procedures for all interested parties or by invitation): between 10 and 18 days.


There is no limit on the presentation of offers for the purchase of goods and services in the cases that have to do with centralized and decentralized governmental institutions. It is in the foundation of the bidding when the date, place, and time that the offer should be presented is established. Some autonomous institutions, however, abide by the regulation that, in the case of open tendering, the offer must be presented within 45 working days, but not before15; in the case of limited tendering, the time is reduced to 8 through 15 working days.


For the open tender regime, the time limit for the presentation of offers is at east 8 days as from the last publication, provided that it is not submitted over 30 minutes after the time specified for this purpose.

For the quotation regime, the time limit is established by the entity which orders the quote.

For the open contract, the time limit is determined by the Procurement Direction of the Ministry of Public Finances.

For the purchase of a sole supplier, the time limit is of 5 working days as from the last publication.


For open and selective tenders, a minimum of 30 calendar days for local, and 45 days for international; for private and single tenders, a minimum of 14 calendar days for local and 45 days for international are allowed.


In international tenders (participation of national and foreign bidders) for purchases, leasing, services and public works and for national tenders (participation of national suppliers) of public works, the time limit established is not less than 40 calendar days as from the date of the publication of the invitation.

For national tenders (participation of national offerers) for purchases, leases and services the time limit is of, at least, 15 calendar days counted as from the day of the publication of the invitation to participate.

It is possible to reduce these time limits, but only in case of justified urgency declared by the procuring entity.


Licitación pública y privada [public and private tendering]: at least 20 days form the last date of publication of the notice.


The time limits for the presentation of offers depends on the terms established to that effect in the corresponding bid.


There is no established period of time for the presentation of offers; however, the time limits for call or invitation to tenders and concurso de precios is clearly determined by the law.


The time limits for open procedures for goods and services, and public works are:




Licitación pública [public bidding] 15 days 30 days if it is needed to import the materials

15 días (when it includes material available in the local market)

Licitación internacional [international bidding] 30 days 45 days
Concurso público [public competition] 10 days 15 days


The statutory requirement is 14 days, However, under law agreements the time limits vary. In public works contracts up to 45 days may be granted for the submission of offers. Some projects may require up to 30 days.


Generally 15 days before the issuance of solicitation, and the solicitation must allow at least 30 days response time. However, according to the complexity of the procurement the response time can be extended. Additionally, the required time has been reduced for commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) acquisitions and will be reduced in the future for procurement that is conducted electronically.


Not less than 15 days before the date of the opening of offers or not less than 30 days when deemed necessary or convenient for the presentation of foreign offerers. This time limit may be reduced by the competent entity, in each case, when required by urgency or interest, but in no case shall this time limit be inferior to 5 or 10 days, respectively. For abbreviated procedures, where only certain firms are invited, the time limit is of 3 days before the opening of the offers. This may be reduced to 48 hours in case of urgency or interest. All offers presented by firms that were not invited shall be accepted.


In the case of general tenders, pre-selected participants will be invited to submit their bids through a communication indicating the following: Place, day and time in which the Committee will receive and open the bids, which shall never be fewer than five (5) business days as from the last day in which the bidding documents were delivered. The time-limit for the reception and opening of the bids will be determined for each case taking into account the complexity of the contract.