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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)  



Disclaimer – the interpretations provided below are from the Co-ordination Unit of the ACP Fish II Programme in Brussels and may not represent the views of the European Commission.


1. What is the procedure for the tendering of projects for the ACP Fish II Programme?

DECENTRALISED: EX-ANTE. Citing  what it is written in the EU PRAG 2012 : link

  • Procedures to be followed under a decentralised programme with ex-ante controls: Contracts are concluded by the Contracting Authority designated in a financing agreement, i.e. the government or an entity of the beneficiary country with legal personality with which the European Commission establishes the financing agreement.
  • The Contracting Authority will draw up shortlists (restricted procedures). Before the procedure is launched, the Contracting Authority must submit tender dossiers to the European Commission for approval. On the basis of decisions thus approved, the Contracting Authority is responsible for issuing invitations to tender, receiving tenders, chairing tender Evaluation Committees and deciding on the results of tender procedures. The Contracting Authority then submits the result of the evaluation for approval and at a second step, after having notified the contractor, received and analysed the proofs regarding exclusion and selection criteria (optional for contracts below international thresholds, see points 2.3.3. and the contract award proposal to the European Commission for endorsement. No endorsement by the European Commission is however required in certain cases contemplated in the Practical Guide for Programme Estimates. Once it has received this endorsement, it signs and awards the contracts. As a general rule, the European Commission will be represented when tenders are opened and evaluated and must always be invited. The Contracting Authority must submit procurement notices and award notices to the European Commission for publication.

Competitive negotiated procedure Citing  what it is written in the EU PRAG 2012

  • ( 2.4.4) pag 30: Under the competitive negotiated procedure, the Contracting Authority invites candidates of its choice to submit tenders. At the end of the procedure, it selects the technically compliant tender which offers the best value for money.
  • (3.4.2 ) Pag 87:
  • Note that the competitive negotiated procedure requires more time than the procedure to initiate an assignment under the Framework Contract.
  • The Contracting Authority draws up a list of at least three service providers of its choice. The candidates are sent a letter of invitation to tender accompanied by a tender dossier. The specific annexes for simplified tenders shall be used (procurement notice, tender form, admin grid, contract form, list of invited tenderers and invitation letter), for this procedure as well as for the single tender procedure (see below). For all other documents of the tender dossier the regular service annexes shall be used. Tenders must reach the Contracting Authority at the address and by no later than the date and time shown in the invitation to tender. The chosen candidates must be allowed at least 30 days from the dispatch of the letter of invitation to tender to submit their tenders. Tenders shall be opened and evaluated by an evaluation committee with the necessary technical and administrative expertise, appointed by the Contracting Authority.
  • If following consultation of the tenderers, the Contracting Authority receives only one tender that is administratively and technically valid, the contract may be awarded provided that the award criteria are met.
  • In the event of 1 failure of the competitive negotiated procedure, following the unsuccessful use of a framework contract, the contract may be concluded by negotiated procedure subject to the prior approval of the relevant services of the European Commission. The procedure for evaluating the tenders and awarding the contract is the same as under the restricted procedure (see points 3.3.9. to
  • The Contracting Authority may award service contracts of a value of € 10,000 or less on the basis of a single tender. See point 2.4.8.


2. What is the procedure to follow in order to be registered in the ACP Fish II Programme roster of prospective firms and individual experts for tendering?

  • To register with the ACP Fish II Programme, please visit the register for tendering page of the website, download the relevant form for companies/individuals, and send it to us at


3. What are the eligibility criteria?

  • ACP Fish II is a 9th EDF all-ACP Programme, and our projects are being launched under 10th EDF rules, so please refer to these for the eligibility criteria.

4. Are partner RFBs and firms eligible for tendering?

  • No, it is not possible for any beneficiaries, be they RFBs or ACP countries, to bid for projects launched by the ACP Fish II Programme. Nor is it possible for companies who were awarded the ACP Fish II Programme contract   to bid for projects. All other eligible firms and individuals are invited to register with us and join our database to be shortlisted for projects.


5. What is the normal Tender Dossier processing timeframe? In other words, how long does it normally take for a proposal to be processed from the time of submission to award of contract?

  • On average it could be 2 months after the deadline for submission of tenders, which is stated in the Instructions to Tenderers included in the tender dossier, before a contract is awarded.


6. What are the existing types of contracts (goods, works and services)?

  • All projects launched under the ACP Fish II Programme are services contracts.


7. Is there a difference between ‘projects’ and ‘contracts’?

  • Projects refer to the specific activities to be undertaken as part of the ACP Fish II Programme. Contracts refer to the documents signed with a winning tenderer for their implementation.


8.  What are the applicable tendering methods?


9. Do the applicable tendering methods vary depending on the type of contract and its value?

  • In all cases, the Contracting Authority for contracts launched under the ACP Fish II Programme will be the Programme’s Coordination Unit, based in Brussels. The maximum contract values will be of a value of less than EUR 200,000 . Contracts which are less than  EUR 50,000 , and less than  EUR 10,000  will follow different procedures. Please refer to the Practical Guide for more information. 

10.  What documents should be included in a Tender Dossier?

  • There are several documents to be included in offers sent to the Coordination Unit. For general information, please see the Services annexes of the Practical Guide to Contract Procedures for EU External Actions, and for clarifications regarding specific contracts, please refer to documents 4 and 5 (the Instructions to Tenderers and the Procurement Notice respectively) supplied in the Simplified Tender Dossier sent by the Coordination Unit to shortlisted firms/individuals.

 11 . Are two shortlisted firms allowed to do a consortium?

  • Yes, two shortlisted firms can do a consortium.

12.  If I do not understand something in the Tender Dossier, can I request for  clarifications?

  • Yes, all invited companies and individuals can request for clarifications to  the Coordination Unit after receiving the Tender Dossier. Tenderers may submit questions in writing up to 21 days before the deadline for submission of tenders
  •  The Coordination Unit has also a deadline for answering those requests. After the period of clarifications, tenderers will have at least 11 calendar days remaining before having to submit their offers.


13.  What is a mission? What is a field visit?

  • “Mission outside the normal place of posting requiring overnight(s)” – activities described in the ToR that take place a sufficient distance away from the normal place of posting, either in the same country or in another country, to require overnights. Please note that in these cases, the per diems for the nights spent will be included in the incidentals rather than the fees. Please note that “mobilisation/demobilisation” of the experts for each phase of the contract should be paid for from the fees, and is not considered to be a “mission”.
  • “Field visit not requiring an overnight” – activities described in the ToR that take place close enough to the normal place of posting to allow the experts to return to their normal place of posting the same day. These field visits may require car hire and other related expenditure, to be included in the incidentals in the estimated budget, but the per diem for these days should be taken from the fees as normal.


14.  What is the place of posting?

  • It is the operational base (City / town) for the assignment and generally the location in which the KE spends most of their time during the assignment. It is precisely identified in the Terms of Reference


15.  What is a home-based work?

  • Professional work undertaken in the KE’s home-country/home-town/home-office to complete the assignment detailed in the Terms of Reference.


16.  What is a working day?

  • The Key Experts are entitled to work 5 or in some cases 6 days per week. Mobilisation and demobilisation days will not be considered as working days.
  • During the weekends experts are not meant to work so the maximum of working days to invoice per month could be 26.
  • The Key Expert(s) must complete a timesheet using the ACP Fish II template provided by the CU at the start of the implementation period. The timesheet will include three signatures and the Consultants/Company representative must provide an original signature on the timesheet.


17.  Why do some projects specify two or more phases?

  • In cases where specific inputs or activities are required of a partner administration at a certain point in the overall implementation of the task, it is common for the ToR to identify two or more phases. In other cases there will be technical reasons why the entire tasks are best undertaken in two phases. For example where the Fisheries Administration is required to conduct its own internal consultations on a legal document, without the inputs of the Key Expert, the KE will not be expected to be present during this consultation phase. In cases of two or more phases being required, the KE may leave the place of posting and return to his/her home-base. Funds are provided in the fees budget line to pay the airfare for the mobilisation and demobilisation of the KE for the two phases (i.e. 2 return airfares).
  • The proposal from the Consultant should clearly state the number of phases to be included in the task implementation.


18.  What is an Assignment?

  • Assignment refers to the specific task or post to which the experts have been appointed irrespective of its duration.
  • However, evaluators will consider the duration and relevance of the assignments included in the CVS of the Key Experts in addition to the general experience and the number of years of that experience and will score properly its value in their assessment.


19. What is covered by a Perdiem?

Per diems  cover accommodation, meals, local travel within the place of mission and sundry expenses, in the framework of EC-funded external aid contracts and in case of missions requiring an overnight stay away from the base of operations.


20. Which are the perdiems rates for ACP countries established by the EU?

Here it is the link to the EU website where the Perdiems rates are uploaded:


21.  Could Key Experts purchase supplies through the programme, to support them in completing the task?

  • The Key Experts may need facilities to perform the required tasks. Office accommodation (as in Section 6.2 of Terms of reference) to be provided by the Consultant may be arranged either privately or through an agreement with the beneficiary.
  • As stated in Section 6.4 of Terms of reference, no equipment is to be purchased under the project.


22.  What is an Inception Report?

  • The Inception Report (IR) will present the findings and conclusions of the consultation meeting with the fisheries Administration (Focal points in the countries) and the briefing by the ACP regional Manager, along with the methodology and the work plan to be used during the project implementation. As a general rule, the IR should be sent no later than 10 days after the first Expert arriving in the place of posting for the first time. This report of a maximum of 10 pages in length will be submitted to the Fisheries Administrations/Regional Fisheries Bodies, RFU and CU. Comments, if any, on the IR must be provided by the fisheries administrations or regional fisheries bodies, RFU and CU within 5 days from receipt. The IR should follow the format provided by the ACOP Fish II porgramme. The format of this report is available on the ACP FISH II web site at


23.  What is a Final Technical Report?

  • The Final Technical Report (FTR) is a description of achievements, problems encountered, recommendations and technical proposals suggested by the consultant, taking into account changes and comments from the RFU, CU and the fisheries administrations or regional fisheries bodies. The FTR is the definitive record of the entire assignment and must include all information on the activities undertaken and all the technical outputs produced through the assignment. The draft FTR will be submitted before the Team Leader leaves the country on conclusion of the assignment. Comments on the draft FTR, if any, must be provided by the RFU, CU and the Fisheries Administrations/Regional Fisheries Bodies within 14 days. The FTR, taking into account such changes and comments will be submitted no later than 10 days from receiving comments on the draft FTR. If no comments on the report are given within the time limit of 14 days, the draft FTR shall be deemed to have been approved. The format of this FTR is available on the ACP FISH II web site at
  • The Draft Technical Report and the approved Final Technical Report will be translated by the consultant into different languages if needed. In addition to this, on approval of the FTR by CU/RFU the executive summary of this document will be translated by the consultant into those different languages if required.
  • Following approval by the relevant parties, the FTR will be uploaded to the ACP Fish 2 website.


24.  What is a Final Report?

  • The Final Report (FR) combines technical, administrative and financial information related to the assignment. The FR consists of a narrative section and a financial section.
  •  The narrative section is a short description of achievements including problems encountered and recommendations and suggestions.The  Final Technical Report must be annexed . 
  • The financial section must contain details of the time inputs of the experts, of the incidental expenditure and of the provision for expenditure verification. In particular , the  Financial section will be the financial report accompanied by the final invoice and experts timesheets  (note that all invoices (pre-financing/interim/final) and timesheets must be original and signed), an expenditure verification report together with all originals of supporting documents to substantiate invoices and expenditure, the auditor’s invoice for expenditure verification that must be signed as well and  the proof document of the exchange rate applied in reference to the month of payment must be provided (ex. INFOR-EURO) 


25.  What happen if in the course of the implementation phase the consultant considers that some changes have to be undertaken from the original Terms of Reference or the original awarded proposal?

  • All contractual communications including requests for contract modifications or changes to the Terms of Reference during the execution period of the contract must be addressed with a formal request to the CU and copied to the RFU. Beneficiaries’ support for these changes is required.


26.  Is there a page indication for the Organization and Methodology?

  • There is no indicative number of pages for the Organization and Methodology section of the offer


27.  What is the ‘incidental expenditure’ mentioned in Terms of Reference?

The Provision for incidental expenditure covers the ancillary and exceptional eligible expenditure incurred under this contract. It cannot be used for costs which should be covered by the Consultant as part of its fee rates, as specified above. Its use is governed by the provisions in the General Conditions and the notes in Annex V of the contract. It may cover:

a)       KEY EXPERTS

  • Travel costs and daily subsistence allowances (perdiems) for missions for Key Experts, outside the normal place of posting, to be undertaken as part of this contract. If applicable, indicate if the provision includes costs for environmental measures, for example CO2 offsetting.
  • Travel costs for field visits for the Key Experts (car or boat rental, fuel and domestic flights or other appropriate means of transport).

Any subsistence allowances to be paid for missions undertaken as part of this contract must not exceed the per diem rates published on the European Union (EU) website at:


  • The cost of organisation of the Stakeholder Consultations and National Validation Workshops, including cost for venue, communication and media activities, transport (domestic travel or car or boat rental to/from);
  • The payment of a lump-sum to participants requiring an overnight stay to cover accommodation and meals. This lump-sum payment will be up to 150 EUR and must not exceed the published EU per diem rate for the country;
  • The payment of a lump sum, up to 30% of the published EU per diem rate for the country, to all participants not requiring an overnight stay, to cover the cost of transport and meals;
  • In the two cases above, an attendance list signed by each participant and a separate list stating that the lump-sum was received (with an indication of the amount) shall be used to justify the expenditure.


Exceptionally, the cost of flights, accommodation and meals for the representatives of fisheries administrations or regional fisheries bodies accompanying the Key Experts on regional or national missions or in-country field visits, under the following conditions:

                        i)          Request of a prior approval to the CU, attaching to this request the declaration issued by local fisheries administrations or regional fisheries bodies stating that the cost of this extra activity for their officers cannot be covered given the internal budget restrictions. The administration should acknowledge, despite this, the need of the attendance of its officer for an effective project implementation.

                      ii)          The total cost for accommodation and meals based on actual cost (invoices to be provided) cannot exceed the EU per diem rate for the country.

                    iii)          If private or administration’s means of transport are used by the representatives of fisheries administrations or regional fisheries bodies accompanying the Key Experts on regional or national missions, fuel cost will be reimbursed upon receipt of the officer’s reimbursement request based on distance travelled and local price for fuel per unit. In case of field visits, not requiring overnights, the same procedures apply for meal and transport costs.


The cost of translation of the Final Technical Report as well as its executive summary into <languages of beneficiary countries


a)  The cost of producing communication items (banner, flyer, posters), and other technical documents outside normal editing formats to be used in consultations and workshops

b)  Cost of producing maps

c) The cost of producing extra hard copies of the Final Technical Report, to be presented to beneficiaries  upon formal request from local authorities 


 28. Could  a  Key expert be included in two offers of the same tender procedure?

  •   Signed statements of exclusivity and availability (using the template included with the tender submission form), one for each key expert, the purpose of which are as follows:
  • The key experts proposed in the tender must not be part of any other tender being submitted for the same  tender procedure. They must therefore engage themselves exclusively to the tenderer.
  • Each key expert must also undertake to be available, able and willing to work for all the period foreseen for his/her input during the implementation of the tasks as indicated in the Terms of reference and/or in the Organisation and methodology.
  • Any expert who is engaged in an EU/EDF-financed project, where the input from his/her position in that contract could be required on the same dates as his/her activities under this contract must not be proposed as a key expert for this contract under any circumstances. Consequently, the dates included by a key expert in his/her statement of exclusivity and availability in the  tender must not overlap with dates on which he/she is committed to work as key expert on any other contract.
  • The expert may participate in parallel tender procedures but must inform the Contracting Authority of these in the Statement of Exclusivity and Availability. Furthermore the expert is expected to notify the tenderer immediately if he/she will be successful in another tender procedure and he/she is expected to accept the first engagement which is offered to him/her chronologically.
  • If a key expert has been proposed as key expert by more than one tenderer with the agreement of the key expert, the corresponding tenders may be rejected. The same applies if the key expert proposed has been involved in the preparation of the project. The expert concerned will be excluded from this tender procedure and may also be subject to exclusion from other EU/EDF- financed contracts.
  • Having selected a firm partly on the basis of an evaluation of the key experts presented in the tender, the Contracting Authority expects the contract to be executed by these specific experts. However, after the notification of award, the selected tenderer may propose replacements for the key experts under certain conditions .The contract between the tenderer/consultant and its key experts shall contain a provision that it is subject to the approval of the beneficiary country.

If the Contracting Authority cannot use the Framework Contract or its use is unsuccessful (e.g. the technical expertise required is not available in the Framework Contract), the Contracting Authority may award contracts under € 200,000 by competitive negotiated procedure, without publication.