Art. 95. Contract award criteria

1. Award criteria shall not confer on the contracting station an unrestricted freedom of choice of the tender. They shall ensure the possibility of effective competition and shall be accompanied by specifications that allow the effective verification of the information provided by the tenderers in order to assess to which degree award criteria are met. Contracting authorities or contracting entities shall verify the accuracy of the information and proof provided by the tenderers.

2. Without prejudice to laws, regulations or administrative provisions concerning the price of certain supplies or the remuneration of certain services, contracting authorities or contracting entities shall, with respect to the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and equal treatment, proceed to the award of public contracts and the design contests and contests of ideas, on the base of the criterion of the most economically advantageous tender, identified on the basis of the best quality/price ration or on the base of the element of price or cost, following a criterion of comparing cost/ effectiveness such as the life cycle cost, in accordance with Article 96.

3. Are exclusively awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender identified on the best quality/price ratio:

a) contracts relating to social services and hospital, assistential and school catering, as well as labor-intensive services, as defined in Article 50, paragraph 1, notwithstanding the awards within the meaning of Article 36, paragraph 2, letter a);

b) contracts relating to the award of engineering and architecture services and other services of technical and intellectual nature for an amount equal to or exceeding € 40.000;

4. The criterion of the lowest price may be used;

a) without prejudice to what provided for in Article 36, paragraph 2, letter d), for works of an amount equal to or lower than € 2,000,000, when the award of the works takes place through ordinary procedures, on the basis of the executive project; in this case, where the contracting station applies the automatic exclusion, it has the obligation to make recourse to the procedures set out in Article 97, paragraphs 2 and 8;

b) for the services and supplies with standardized characteristics or whose conditions are defined by the market;

c) for the services and supplies of an amount up to € 40,000, as well as for the services and supplies of an amount equal to or exceeding € 40,000 and up to the threshold set out in Article 35 only where characterized by high repetitiveness, except for those at high technological content or having an innovative character.

5. Contracting authorities or contracting entities making an award within the meaning of paragraph 4 give adequate justification and state in the call for competition the criterion applied to select the best tender.

6. Procurement documents shall establish the award criteria, coherently with the nature, object and characteristics of the contract. In particular, the most economically advantageous tender shall be identified on the basis of the best price-quality ratio, assessed on the basis of objective criteria, including qualitative, environmental and/or social aspects, linked to the subject-matter of the contract. Such criteria may comprise, for instance:

a) quality, including technical merit, aesthetic and functional characteristics, accessibility for disabled persons, adequate design for all users, certifications and attestations on safety and health of workers, such as OSHAS 18001, social and environmental characteristics, containment of energy consumption and environmental resources by the work or product, innovative characteristics, trading and its conditions; (attention shall be devoted to the possible critical issues of this criterion in presence of the reduction of the guarantee within the meaning of Article 93, paragraph 7, seventh period - editor's note)

b) the possess of a label of ecological quality of the European Union (Ecolabel EU) in relation to the goods or services object of the contract, in a measure equal to or exceeding 30% of the value of the supplies or provisions object of that same contract;

c) the cost of use and maintenance also in relation to the consumption of energy and natural resources, polluting emissions, and to the total costs, including external costs and costs of mitigation of climate change impacts, referred to the entire life cycle of the work, good or service, with the strategic objective of a more efficient use of the resources and of a circular economy able to promote the environment and employment;

d) the compensation of the greenhouse gases associated to the activities of the undertaking calculated according to the methods established in recommendation n. 2013/179/EU of the European Commission of 9 April 2013, concerning the use of common methodologies to measure and communicate the environmental performances during the life cycle of products and organizations;

e) organization, qualification and experience of staff effectively assigned to performing the contract, where the quality of the staff assigned can have a significant impact on the level of performance of the contract;

f) after-sales service and technical assistance;

g) delivery conditions such as delivery date, delivery process and delivery period or period of completion.

7. The cost element, also in cases set out in provisions recalled in paragraph 2, may take the form of a fixed price or cost on the basis of which economic operators will compete on quality criteria only.

8. Procurement documents or, in case of competitive dialogue, the call or the descriptive document shall list the evaluation criteria and the relative weighting which given to each of them, also providing a range in which the gap between the minimum and the maximum shall be adequate. For each evaluation criterion that has been chosen, it is possible to provide, where appropriate, sub-criteria and sub-weightings or sub-scores.

9. Contracting authorities or contracting entities, where they consider that weighting as referred to in paragraph 8 is not possible for objective reasons, shall indicate in the call for competition and in the specifications or, in case of competitive dialogue, in the descriptive document, the decreasing order of importance of the criteria. In order to implement the weighting or assign the score to each element of the tender, contracting authorities shall use methodologies able to allow the identification through a final, single numeric parameter the most advantageous tender.

10. In the economic offer, the operator must indicate his labor costs and the business burdens concerning the fulfillment of the provisions on health and safety in the workplace, excluding supplies without installation, of services of an intellectual nature and of the assignments pursuant to article 36, paragraph 2, letter a). The contracting stations, with regard to labor costs, before the award process proceed to verify compliance with the provisions of article 97, paragraph 5, letter d).

10-bis. The contracting authority, in order to ensure the effective identification of the best quality / price ratio, enhances the qualitative elements of the offer and identifies criteria that guarantee an effective competitive comparison on the technical profiles. To this end the contracting authority sets a ceiling for the economic score within the limit of 30 percent.

11. Award criteria shall be considered to be linked to the subject-matter of the contract, where they relate to the works, supplies or services to be provided under that contract in any respect and at any stage of their life cycle, including factors involved in the specific process of production, provision or trading of those works, supplies or services or in a specific process for another stage of their life cycle, even if those factors are not a part of their substantial content.

12. Contracting authorities may decide not to proceed with the award if no offer is convenient or suitable in relation to the subject matter of the contract. This right is expressly indicated in the call for tender or in the letter of invitation.

13. Compatibly with European Union law and the principles of equal treatment, non­discrimination, transparency, proportionality, contracting authorities shall indicate in the contract notice, in the notice or in the invitation, the award criteria they intend to apply to evaluation of the offer in relation to the bidder's highest legality and business rating, as well as to facilitate participation in the award procedures for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, young professionals and newly established companies. They also indicate the highest score on the offer concerning goods, works or services that have a lower impact on health and the environment, including goods or products from a short or zero-kilometer supply chain.

14. As far as awarding criteria are concerned, in case of best quality/price ratio criterion, the following rules shall apply:

a) contracting authorities or contracting entities may authorize or require tenderers to submit variants. They shall indicate in the contract notice or, where a prior information notice is used as a means of calling for competition, in the invitation to confirm interest whether or not they authorize or require variants; in the absence of this indication, Variants shall not be authorized. Variants shall be linked to the subject-matter of the contract.

b) contracting authorities or contracting entities authorizing or requiring variants shall state in the procurement documents the minimum requirements to be met by the variants, as well as any specific requirements for their presentation, in particular whether variants may be submitted only where a tender, which is not a variant, has also been submitted. They shall also ensure that the chosen award criteria can be applied to variants meeting those minimum requirements and to conforming tenders which are not variants.

c) only variants meeting the minimum requirements laid down by the contracting authorities shall be taken into consideration;

d) in procedures for awarding public supply or service contracts, contracting authorities that have authorized or required variants shall not reject a variant on the sole ground that it would, where successful, lead to either a service contract rather than a public supply contract or a supply contract rather than a public service contract.

14-bis. In the case of contracts awarded with the criterion referred to in paragraph 3, the contracting authorities can not attribute any score for the offer of additional works compared to the provisions of the executive project based on an auction. paragraph introduced by legislative decree no. 56/2017 in force from 20-5-2017

15. Any change that occurs, also as a result of a judicial decision, after the admission, regularization or exclusion of offers is not relevant to the calculation of average in the procedure, nor for the identification of the anomaly threshold of the offers.

see Guideline no. 2: Resolution no. 424 of May 2, 2018, published in the Italian Official Gazette, General Series no. 120 of May 25, 2018 concerning: Most economically advantageous tender.
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