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Negotiations take place within the framework of an procurement procedure in order to enter into a direct dialogue with the bidders and to improve the submitted bid or to clarify ambiguities. The possibility of negotiations serves to achieve the best possible solution and to meet the requirements of the contracting authority.

Negotiations are not admissible in every type of procedure. Negotiations are permissible, inter alia, in the upper threshold range in the negotiated procedure pursuant to Section 17 VgV, competitive dialogue pursuant to Section 18 VgV and the innovation partnership pursuant to Section 19 VgV and in the lower threshold range in the negotiated award pursuant to Section 12 UVgO.

However, negotiations in the award procedure are subject to certain principles and rules:


Negotiations must be transparent and non-discriminatory. All bidders invited to submit a bid should have the same opportunity to participate in the negotiations.

Equal treatment

All bidders must be treated equally and must not receive information that is not available to other bidders. Negotiations should be conducted in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.


Negotiations may involve confidential information. Both the contracting authority and the bidders must ensure the confidentiality of information exchanged during negotiations.

Limits to negotiations

Negotiations must not result in changing fundamental aspects of the procurement process, such as the tender conditions or the evaluation criteria. Negotiations are intended to clarify or improve the tender submitted, but not to change the procurement procedure itself.

The results of negotiations can vary. The bid may be improved, for example, by adjusting prices, clarifying technical specifications or providing further information. In some cases, negotiations may also lead to the withdrawal of the bid if no agreement can be reached.

Did you know?

Negotiations are an essential part of many procurement procedures, especially in negotiated procedures and competitive dialogues. Here are some possible mistakes that can occur during negotiations in public procurement law and how you can avoid them:

  1. Violation of the principle of equal treatment: During negotiations, it is crucial that all bidders are treated equally. Every bidder should have the same opportunity to present their position and ask questions. Avoid favouring or disadvantaging any bidder.
  2. Non-transparent communication: It is important that all negotiations and decisions are transparently documented and communicated. Errors or ambiguities in communication can lead to misunderstandings and legal problems.
  3. Unclear negotiation goals and strategies: Before entering into negotiations, you should have clearly defined goals and strategies. A lack of clarity can lead to inefficient negotiations and undesirable outcomes.
  4. Lack of documentation: All negotiations and decisions should be thoroughly documented. This is important for transparency and can help avoid possible complaints or legal disputes.
  5. Failure to comply with procurement rules: Make sure you know and follow all relevant procurement rules, especially with regard to negotiations. Breaches of procurement rules can lead to legal problems and invalidate the procedure.

To avoid these mistakes, prepare thoroughly for negotiations, uphold the principles of transparency and equal treatment, have a clear strategy and document all discussions and decisions thoroughly. It may also be helpful to seek legal or expert advice to ensure that you meet all the requirements and achieve the best possible negotiation outcome.



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