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FTAA - Free Trade Area of the Americas

Draft Agreement

Chapter on Government Procurement

[Article I. Aims]

[1. The purpose of this Chapter is to [[create [,] [and] maintain [and expand] [a [[single,] broad] government procurement market [among the Parties] in order to maximize and optimize] [generate] business] [market access] opportunities [in government procurement] for [participating] [the Parties’] suppliers [of originating goods and services of the Parties] [and to reduce the business transactions costs of the public [and private] sectors [in the Parties [, [and] [as well as] ensuring the greatest simplicity in the application of government procurement measures]]].]]

[[2. In order to attain this goal, each Party shall] [guarantee] [recognize that it is desirable to establish]:]

[a) the principles of non-discrimination [,] [and] transparency [, [legality,] [[impersonality,] [morality,]] [equality] [due process], publicity, [and] [competitiveness] [free competition], [[a link to the individual instrument of a procurement requirement, objective judgment and other principles consistent with the basic principles herein above] in government procurement,] [pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, [and]]]] 

[b) the development of cooperation and technical assistance mechanisms.]
 [2. In order to attain this goal, each Party shall:

a) promote the principles of non-discrimination, transparency and competitiveness, consistent with the provisions of this Chapter and applicable national laws

b) guarantee the development of cooperation and technical assistance mechanisms, and

c) encourage, through the provision of greater advantage in the procurement process, small and medium-sized enterprises in the smaller and lesser developed Parties.]
[Article II. General Rights and Obligations:]

[1. The Parties [agree upon the following rights and obligations, in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter:] [recognize the desire]]
[a) to apply the measures relating to government procurement in such a way as to allow [the highest possible degree of competition [appropriate to the circumstances] [, respecting the principles [of transparency and nondiscrimination [, as well as the other provisions contained in this Chapter]] [and the other provisions contained in this Chapter]] ;] [competition, consistent with their size, levels of development and development requirements;] ]

[b) to [promote] [provide] business opportunities so that the suppliers compete in government procurements [preferably on the basis of [principles defined in Article 1 and] the quality-price ratio [principle][and delivery timing] [, as long as the application of this principle is compatible with the nature of the procurement in question]. [The application of [this principle] [these criteria] is aimed at obtaining the most efficient results with the financial resources allocated to the entities that carry out the procurement, taking into account the public needs of these entities]];] 

[c) to ensure [maximum simplicity and] publicity in the application of government procurement measures;]

[d) to [[maintain and] promote business] [provide market access] opportunities in government procurement processes for suppliers [from other Parties [during the periods of implementation needed for compliance with the commitments arising from the international agreements relating to this matter to which they are parties]]; ]

[e) to grant [equal] [non-discriminatory] opportunities to suppliers from other Parties in government procurement processes; and ]

[f) to [refrain from applying] [not apply] measures that:] 
[i) are discriminatory; ]

[ii) are arbitrary; [or]]

[iii) have the effect of denying equal access or opportunity to a supplier from another Party.]
[2. None of the entities of the Parties shall design, prepare or structure a government procurement [contract or policy] in such a way as to circumvent this Chapter.] 

[3. Each Party shall ensure that all measures affecting government procurement are administered in a reasonable, objective, and impartial manner.] 

[4. [This Chapter shall be applied in [conjunction] [congruity] with the specific laws of each Party.] [Each Party shall ensure that measures applied by [its] [the] entities [covered] [conform] [give effect] to the provisions of this Chapter.]]

[5. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prevent a Party State from adopting the measures it considers necessary for protecting its fundamental interests in regard to procurements related to national security and defense.]

Article III. [[Principles of] National Treatment [and] [,] [Most Favored Nation Treatment] [and Special and Differential Treatment]] [Non-discrimination] 

[1. With respect to all measures covered by [the provisions of] this Chapter [implemented by entities through competitive procedures], each Party shall [immediately and unconditionally] accord to the goods [and services] of another Party, [and] to the [suppliers of such goods, and to service] suppliers of another Party [that offer such goods and services], treatment no less favorable than [the most favorable treatment] the Party accords to:]
[[a)] its own [like] goods, [like] services and suppliers [of said goods and services] [; and] [.]]

[b) [like] goods, [like] services and [the] suppliers [of said goods and services of any other] [non-Party] [Party] [of another Party] [or third countries].] 
[2. With respect to all measures covered by this Chapter, no Party may:]
[a) accord a locally established supplier treatment less favorable than that accorded to another locally established supplier on the basis of degree of foreign affiliation or ownership; or ]

[b) discriminate against a locally established supplier on the basis that the goods or services offered by that supplier for a particular procurement are goods or services of another Party [or of any non-Party].]
[3. This article shall not apply to measures relating to customs duties or other charges of any kind imposed on or in connection with importation, to the method of levying such duties and charges, or to other import regulations, including restrictions and formalities [,[and measures affecting trade in services] other than laws, regulations and requirements regarding government procurement covered by this Chapter].]

[4. The Parties shall apply the principle of Special and Differentiated Treatment in the obligations and terms agreed to in this chapter for the purpose of creating the opportunity for effective and balanced enjoyment of the benefits of the agreement for all participating countries. To this end, in accordance with the level of development and size of the economies, special conditions shall be provided which permit the gradual assimilation and application of the agreement’s measures. Similarly, consideration shall be given to the need for technical assistance to permit full application of the present agreement.]

Article IV. [Offsets] [Prohibition of Compensatory Measures]

1. [Each Party shall ensure that its entities do not take into account, seek, require or impose, [in the [qualification and selection of suppliers, goods or services, or in the evaluation of tenders and award of contracts] [various stages of the processes],] [special compensatory conditions (offsets) [or special performance requirements]] [offsets] [from suppliers [from other Parties] taking part in government procurement processes].] [Each Party shall ensure that it does not facilitate the use of compensatory conditions to the extent that these represent discrimination in the qualification and selection of suppliers, goods or services, or in the award of contracts.]

[2. The developing countries or the smaller economies may apply compensatory conditions provided these are objective, clearly defined and non-discriminatory, and so long as they are only used for purposes of qualifying and not as criteria for the awarding of contracts.]

[Article V. Rules of Origin]

[1. For purposes of government procurement covered by this Chapter, [no Party may apply rules of origin to goods imported from another Party that are different from or inconsistent with the rules of origin the Party applies in the normal course of trade.] [the rules of origin used will be the rules of origin in the Chapter on Market Access for Goods.] [originating goods of the Parties will be those that qualify as such according to Annex V.1 (Rules of Origin) of this Chapter.] ]

[2. For purposes of the present Chapter, goods and services shall be considered originating goods and services of the Parties where they qualify as such in accordance with [the pertinent provisions in the Chapter on access of goods and the Chapter on Services] [annex X of the present Chapter].]

Article VI. Denial of Benefits

1. [A Party may deny the benefits granted by this Chapter to a service supplier from another Party [, following notification and consultation,] [during the period included between the presentation of tenders and the awarding of the contract,] when it determines that the service is being provided by an enterprise [that has no substantial business activities in the territory of another Party and] that [, according to the applicable laws of that Party,] is owned or controlled by persons from a non-Party. [Any Party may make consultations relative to this Article during the procurement processes conducted in any other Party State.]] [A Party may deny the benefits of this Chapter if it determines that the [procuring entity] [supplier] is not a juridical person of or established in a Party to the FTAA Agreement, with “substantial connections” to the Party, as defined by the national legislation of the respective state.]

[2. A Party may also deny the benefits of this Chapter to a service supplier of another Party where the service is being provided by a company owned or controlled by nationals of a non-Party, and the denying Party:]
[a) does not maintain diplomatic relations with the non-Party, or]

[b) adopts or maintains measures with respect to the non-Party that prohibit transactions with the company or that would be violated or circumvented if the benefits of this Chapter were accorded to the company.] 
[Article VII. Scope of Application]

[1. [ [Except as otherwise provided [in this Chapter],] this Chapter applies to [the measures that a Party adopts or maintains in relation to]:] [[any manner of purchasing goods, providing services or of purchasing goods and providing services jointly,] [covered in the respective legislation in force and done by the entities of the Parties [, excluding concessions]].] [[any law, regulation, requirement[s], procedure[s] or practice[s] governing] the procurement, [leasing or renting with or without option to purchase] by any contractual means [excluding concessions], by [covered] entities [listed in Annex VII.1 (Entities),] of goods [or] [,] services, [and public works] [including public works,] or any combination thereof, [indicated in Annex VII.2] [[for governmental purposes] and not with a view to commercial resale or with a view to use in the production or supply of goods [or] [,] services [and public works indicated in Annexes ___ , ___ and ___ ] for commercial sale].[Government procurement by means of concessions is not covered by this Chapter.]] [any type of procurement of goods, services, or combinations of goods and services, [including, inter alia, [licensed] concessions [for public works]] [, provided for by the applicable legislation in force and carried out by public entities of the Parties, with the exception of the entities listed in Annex VII.1 (Entities)]. ] [Except as provided in Annexes XX.01 and XX.02, this Chapter shall apply the government procurement envisaged in the respective current legislation of the Parties and carried out by its entities, in regard to:
a) goods; and

b) services, subject to the provisions of Annexes I and II of Chapter XX (Cross-border Trade in Services).]]

[2. Notwithstanding the provision in paragraph 1(b), this Chapter shall not apply to:

a) subsidies or donations accorded by one Party or one state enterprise, including loans, guarantees and insurance supported by any Party;

b) government services or functions, such as implementation of laws, social readaptation, unemployment pension or insurance services, or services related to social security, social welfare, public education, public instruction, child care, health and protection; and 

c) cross-border financial services.]

[3. This Chapter shall comprise government procurements whose value is equal to or greater than the limits established in Annex IX.1 (Thresholds –no text ).

4. None of the entities of the Parties shall conceive, prepare or structure a contract on government procurement in such a way as to evade the obligations of this Chapter.]

[Article VIII. Modalities of procurement]

[1. The Chapter applies to procurement involving any [method,] [modality established under the laws and regulations of the Parties.] [such as purchase, lease or rental contracts, with or without an option [to purchase], as well as combinations thereof]. [Government procurement by means of concessions is not covered by this Chapter.] ]

[Article IX. [Thresholds and] Valuation [of contracts]]

[1. This Chapter shall cover government procurement, the value of which is equal to, or higher, than the limits set out in Annex IX.1 (Thresholds – no text ). ] 

[2. For the purposes of determining whether procurement is above the thresholds in Annex IX.1 (Thresholds – no text ), the following provisions shall apply:] 
[a) The value of a procurement shall be estimated as of the time of publication of the notice of invitation to tender;] 

[b) In calculating the [referential] value of the procurement, [all taxes and other headings that affect the cost of the product, service or works, as well as] the total value of all purchases provided for, including premiums, fees, commissions, [and] interest [, other revenue streams [, and the maximum permissible optional purchases] shall be taken into account];]

[c) [Contracts that are awarded in multiple parts, are awarded to more than one supplier, are for an indefinite quantity or duration, [or result in the awarding of more than one contract,] shall be valued at the total estimated value of the contract over the duration of the contract period, if available, or at the maximum value that could be awarded to a single supplier;] [If a procurement results in the award of more than one contract, or in contracts being awarded in separate parts, the basis for the valuation shall be the actual value of recurring contracts concluded over the previous fiscal year, adjusted, where possible, for anticipated changes in quantity and value over the subsequent twelve (12) months. In the absence of such contracts, [use] the estimated value of recurring contracts anticipated over the fiscal year or twelve (12) months subsequent to the initial contract;]]

[d) In cases of contracts for lease, or use, with or without an option to buy, or contracts which do not specify a total price, the basis for valuation shall be:]
[i) in the case of fixed-term contracts, where the term is twelve (12) months or less, the calculation will be made on the basis of the total contract value for their duration, or, where their term exceeds twelve (12) months, on the basis of the total value, including the estimated residual value; or] 

[ii) in the case of contracts for an indefinite period, the basis will be the monthly installment multiplied by forty-eight (48),] 

[iii) if the entity is not certain whether a contract is fixed-term or for an indefinite period, it shall calculate the contract value using the method outlined in [4.] [(c)] ii.] 
[3. Parties shall ensure that their procuring entities do not select the valuation method or divide procurement requirements into separate contracts or otherwise value such requirements for the purposes of avoiding the application of this Chapter.]

[Article X. Exceptions]

[1. The types of government procurement excluded from this Chapter are listed in Annex X.1 (Exceptions).] [1. This Chapter shall not apply to:] 
[a) agreements entered into in pursuit of economic integration at the sub-hemispheric level;] 

[b) acquisitions and procurement linked to situations of defense, national security, public order, natural disasters and other emergencies involving the protection of health and the environment;] 

[c) measures necessary to protect morals, public order or security, human, animal and plant health and life, intellectual property, and products manufactured or services provided by handicapped persons, philanthropic institutions or prison labor, provided such measures are not applied in a way that they constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination among countries where the same conditions prevail, or a disguised restriction to international trade;]

[d) any form of government assistance, cooperative agreements, subsidies, grants, loans, equity infusions, guarantees, fiscal incentive, and the provision of supplies and services by a governmental entity or its representatives to any other governmental or non-governmental persons or entities;] 

[e) government services or functions, such as [law enforcement,] social readaptation services, [health,] pension or unemployment insurance, social security or welfare services, public education, public training, [public health,] child healthcare and protection, and children’s services;] 

[f) cross-border financial services;] 

[g) government procurement governed by a regime of concessions;] 

[h) procurement financed with funds from international organizations, international development agencies, multilateral technical assistance organizations, and bilateral technical and financial assistance organizations, which shall be governed by the provisions established in the respective funding and technical assistance contracts;] 

[i) in the case of the smaller and lesser developed Parties, government procurement which is intended to stimulate small and medium sized enterprises;]

[j) the acquisition of fiscal agency or depository services, liquidation and management services for regulated financial institutions and sale and distribution services for government debt;] 

[k) capital transfers and fiscal incentives;] 

[l) procurement made by embassies and consulates overseas [[, works of art,] [and those involving small amounts]]; and] 

[m) the hiring of public employees, government loans, legal relations derived from the provision of public services for which a fee is charged, and other activities subject to a special procurement regime.] 

[n) Occasional minor procurements made out of petty cash.

o) Procurements between government entities.

p) Procurements between the State and users of services for which a fee or general rate is charged.

q) Purchases of fresh produce.]

[r) any measure adopted or maintained with respect to Aboriginal peoples.]
[2. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prevent a Party from taking any action or not disclosing any information which it considers necessary for the protection of its essential security interests relating to the procurement of arms, ammunition or war materials, or to procurement indispensable for national security or for national defense purposes.

3. Provided that such measures are not applied in a manner that would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between Parties where the same conditions prevail or a disguised restriction on trade between the Parties, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prevent any Party from adopting or maintaining measures:
a) necessary to protect public morals, order or safety;

b) necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health;

c) necessary to protect intellectual property; or 

d) relating to goods or services of handicapped persons, of philanthropic institutions or of prison labor.]
Article XI. Publication of Laws and Regulations

[1. Each Party shall ensure that its entities provide effective dissemination [and understanding] of [its laws, regulations and administrative measures on] [the respective system of] government procurement [[, and the business opportunities generated by [government procurement] processes,] providing the suppliers of [the] other Parties with all necessary information for participating in said procurement [through the communications media called for in their respective national legislation]].] 

[2. [In order to achieve a wider government procurement market,] the Parties shall endeavor to implement an electronic [information] [[and intermediation] system [[, use of which shall be compulsory] for] [in] their respective entities]. [The main objective of this system shall be the dissemination of [information on] business opportunities offered by those entities.]]

[3. Each Party undertakes to inform [the contact points,] no later than [one (1) year] [three months] after the entry into force of this Agreement of the laws regulating government procurement in its respective countries [as well as of the entities covered by this Chapter]. [This obligation shall also apply to any amendment of said information.]] 

[4. The Parties, through the Contact Points, shall notify (the other Parties / the entity administering the Agreements), within ____ following their official publication, of all laws, decrees, regulations, administrative rulings and any procedure or legal rule relating to Government Procurement.

5. Based on the information supplied, the Contact Points at the national level shall publish and place at the disposal of interested parties the current national legislation. ]

[6. Each Party shall:]
[a) promptly publish any law, regulation , [judicial decision,] administrative ruling of general application [and any procedure [(including standard contract clauses)]] regarding government procurement covered by this [Chapter] [.] [,] [Laws and regulations] [these] shall be published no later than their date of entry into force.] 

[b) publish such information in [officially designated media which are readily accessible [to suppliers and other Parties].] [officially designated media which are readily accessible to the public.] [ [appropriate] publications [identified by the Parties in Annex XI.6 (Publication of Laws and Regulations- no text )] which are readily accessible to suppliers and other Parties.] [[through Internet.] [This notwithstanding, when a Party is not in a position to provide information in the manner described above, it must provide the information to [the FTAA Secretariat for subsequent inclusion on its web page].]] ]

[c) publish, in the same media and in a timely manner, all additions and changes to such information, [as well as any changes in the names or different variants with regard to contracting procedures. [The Parties may directly report amendments to their laws and regulations using electronic or other means of communication.]]] 
[Article XII. Designation of Contact Points]

[1. Each Party shall designate [and notify (the other Parties / the entity administering the Agreement)] [by the date the Agreement enters into force] [within [____] [30 days] [one (1) year] following the entry into force of the Agreement] [one or more] [one] contact points [which shall be responsible for supplying the information referred to in the present Chapter] [[to facilitate communication among Parties], to respond to their queries regarding the aspects covered by the Chapter, such as laws, regulations, procedures and practices related to government procurement, [notices of upcoming contracts that have been published,] the addresses of the entities covered in the Chapter, to provide information on training and orientation programs and other information of interest].] 

[2. Each Party shall notify the FTAA Secretariat of the appropriate contact information for this contact point.]

[Article XIII. [General Principles Governing] Procurement Procedures]

[1. The Parties shall ensure that their procuring entities, in conducting procurement subject to this Chapter, use [the] [tendering] [modalities and] procedures [established in their national laws provided that these are] in accordance with [the provisions of [this] [the present] Chapter [on open, [selective] or limited tendering procedures, pursuant to the definitions in Annex ___ (Definitions)]] [the principles defined in this Chapter].] 

[2. The [formalities related to the] [tendering modalities,] qualification of suppliers, calls for tenders, tender documentation, time limits, submission, reception and opening of tenders, [evaluation of tenders and] awarding of contracts [and the amounts established,] are those stipulated in the legal framework of each Party [, or those established in the legislation of each Party [, which must be in accordance with the Principles of this Chapter]].] 

[3. In order to guarantee free competition and allow for the participation of tenderers from any of the Parties, the entities shall abstain from applying procedures in a discriminatory manner [and from setting time limits, requiring technical specifications or any other requirement] whose aim is to limit or exclude competition.]

[4. Entities covered by this Chapter shall provide sufficient and timely information [to the extent of the resources of the Parties] on their procurement procedures [so as to permit broad and equitable participation by suppliers from all the Parties]. Parties shall not give information on a given government contract in such a manner as to have the effect of impeding competition. ]

[Article XIV. Application of Procurement Methods]

[1. [The Parties shall ensure that their procuring entities use the tendering procedures duly established in the laws of each country, while respecting the principles and guidelines contained in this agreements.] [The Parties shall ensure [through their respective legal frameworks] that their procuring entities use open tendering or [limited] tendering [modalities and] procedures to conduct procurement subject to this Chapter, except [where] [:]]]
[a) [in the specific circumstances identified in Article XVI of this Chapter for the use of limited tendering, provided that this does not involve the use of procedures to prevent the greatest possible degree of competition or in such a way that it constitutes a means of discriminating against suppliers of the other Parties or a means of protecting domestic suppliers.] [Furthermore, entities shall not use limited tendering because of a lack of advance planning by the requiring activity [or concerns relating to the amount of funds available to an entity within a particular period of time].]]

[b) There are no tenders that meet the essential requirements set out in the tender documents distributed.

c) There are no tenders from suppliers who meet the advance approve requirements established in the invitation to tender.

d) The requirement is for engineering works related to infrastructure projects, or for reasons relating to protection of exclusive rights such as patents, copyright or undisclosed information, or where no competition exists due to technical reasons, the goods or services can only be provided by one specific supplier and there is no alternative or reasonable substitute;

e) For reasons of extreme urgency due to events that the entity could not foresee, it is not possible to obtain the goods or services on time through open or selective tendering and the use of these procedures would cause serious injury to the entity, the scheduled duties of the entity, or the responsible Party; 

f) For additional deliveries by an original supplier for use as replacement parts or to extend the useful life or ensure continuing service of existing hardware, software, services or installations, and where a change in supplier would require the entity to purchase products or services which do not meet the requirement for interchangeability with existing hardware, software, services or installations;

g) For the procurement of local or foreign components or parts required for maintenance of hardware during the technical warranty period, where such exclusivity is an essential condition for the validity of the warranty;

h) When an entity purchases prototypes or a one-off good or service manufactured or provided at its request as part and for the execution of a specific contract for research, experimentation, study or original fabrication. Upon completion of contracts of this nature, the procurement of the goods or services resulting from them shall be by means of open or selective tendering procedures;

i) For the case of goods purchased on a commodities market;

j) Where the security of the State requires special guarantees confidentiality;

k) In contracts with a professional or entity recognized for specialization in its field of endeavor, where its prior performance, studies, experience, publications, organization, equipment, technical staff or other requirements related to its activities demonstrate that its work is essential and the best available means of fully satisfying the contract purpose;

l) Where an entity requires consulting services with regard to matters of a confidential nature, the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to place government secrets at risk, cause serious economic disturbance, or be contrary to the public interest in similar fashion; and

m) Where the amount of the procurement is negligible or below the minimum for limited tendering established by the Parties under their respective laws or regulations.]
[Article XV. Selective Tendering]

[1. [In order to ensure competition between the suppliers of the Parties,] the greatest possible number of suppliers of the Parties shall be invited to participate [in selective tendering].]

[2. Any supplier [included in the list] may [present its proposal] [apply to participate], independent of whether or not it was invited to participate in the tendering. ]

[3. If the participation of a supplier in selective tendering is not permitted, the tendering entity shall, upon request [by the interested party], provide the reasons for its decision.]

[Article XVI. Limited Tendering]

[1. Procuring entities may use limited tendering procedures in the following circumstances:]
[a) in the absence of tenders that conform to the essential requirements in the tender documentation provided in a prior open or selective tendering procedure, on condition that the requirements of the initial procurement are not substantially modified [in the contract as awarded]; ]

[b) in the absence of tenders from suppliers which meet qualification requirements established for a prior selective tendering procedure; ]

[c) when, for works of art, [in regard to infrastructure works,] or for reasons connected with the protection of exclusive rights, such as patents, copyrights or proprietary information or where there is an absence of competition for technical reasons, the goods or services can be supplied only by a [determined] particular supplier and no reasonable alternative or substitute exists; ]

[d) in so far as is strictly necessary when, for reasons of extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable [or inevitable] by the entity, the goods or services could not be obtained in time by means of open or selective tendering procedures [and the use of such procedures would result in serious injury to the entity, the entity’s program responsibilities, or the responsible Party];] 

[e) for additional deliveries by the original supplier that are intended either as replacement parts [, extensions, or continuing services for existing equipment, software, services or installations, where a change of supplier would compel the entity to procure products or services not meeting requirements of interchangeability with existing equipment, software, services, or installations];] 

[f) for the acquisition of components or parts of domestic or foreign origin needed for the maintenance of equipment during the technical guarantee period, when such exclusive status is indispensable for the guarantee to have effect;] 

[g) when an entity procures a prototype or a first good or service developed [or provided] at its request in the course of, and for a particular contract for research, experiment, study, or original development. When such contracts have been fulfilled, [the purchase of goods or services made as a result thereof shall be adapted to open [or private] [, selective or limited] tendering procedures];] 

[h) for goods purchased on a commodity market;]

[i) when state security requires special or proprietary guarantees;] 

[j) in contracts with a professional or entity considered, within the particular field, to have recognized expertise, demonstrated by prior performance, studies, experiences, publications, organization, equipment, technical staff, or other requirements related to their activities, it can be inferred that its work is essential and [indisputably] the most appropriate for fully meeting the objective of the contract; and] 

[k) where an entity needs to procure consulting services regarding matters of a confidential nature, the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to compromise government confidences, cause serious economic disruption or similarly be contrary to the public interest.]

[l) for purchases made under exceptionally advantageous conditions that only arise in the very short term, such as unusual disposals by enterprises that are not normally suppliers or disposal of assets of businesses in liquidation or receivership, but not routine purchases from regular suppliers;

m) for a contract to be awarded to the winner of an architectural design contest, on condition that the contest is
i) organized in a manner consistent with the principles of this Chapter, including regarding publication of an invitation to suitably qualified suppliers to participate in the contest,

ii) organized with a view to awarding the design contract to the winner, and 

iii) to be judged by an independent jury.]
[Article XVII. [Principles of] Publicity [for inviting tenders]]

[1. [[In order to comply with the principle of publicity,] access to [all] information related to [a bidding process] must be available to all [possible] [interested] [suppliers] [bidders], not only in the initial stages of the process, but also in the opening of bids and any subsequent clarifications. [The [pertinent] process[es] must be conducted in such a way as to ensure maximum publicity and participation of [tenders] [tenderers] [suppliers] [, as appropriate to the circumstances].]] [The procurement procedures shall establish the same requirements and conditions for all participants, especially in relation to time and place of delivery, form and time of payment, contractual penalties, advances and bonds; the dependencies and entities shall provide all interested parties with equal access to the information related to said procedures, in order to avoid favoring any participant.]]

[2. Procuring entities shall not provide to any supplier information with regard to a specific procurement in a manner which would have the effect of precluding competition.]

[3. The Parties shall endeavor, as far as possible, to use [electronic] means of communication for [efficiently] [rapidly] disseminating the invitation and information regarding participation in a government procurement [, especially that referring to business opportunities offered by the entities]. ]

[4. [In order to expand the market for government procurement,] the Parties shall endeavor to implement an electronic information [and [brokerage] [intermediation]] system [for] [in] their respective entities [, the principal objective of which will be to publish the invitation to participate in those entities’ government procurement procedures].]

Continuation:  [Article XVIII. Publication of invitation [to tender]]

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