There are many incentives available to facilitate SME access to public procurement contracts. Here is who you should contact in Brussels, depending on your business and your needs.
General information about public procurement
You can find contacts for your general questions here.
Federal public procurement portal
The Public Procurement portal centralises information about the different aspects of public procurement at the federal level, from legislation through electronic contract processing. Civil servants and companies can find manuals, examples of standard documents, contacts, etc. on the portal.
The portal is managed by FPS Policy and Support’s Public Procurement department jointly with the Service Marchés Publics (Public Procurement Department) of FPS Chancellery of the Prime Minister.
Companies can contact the regional public procurement helpdesk:
- First approach: Go to the 1819 entrepreneurship website. 1819 will provide you with an answer to all your entrepreneur questions free of charge. Can’t find the answer you’re looking for on the website? Call 1819 or go to the infopoint.
- If your question requires legal, accounting or financial expertise, you will be directed to the competent contact.
See more information about 1819 at link.
The consortium also organises seminars which cover the main public procurement issues. You can find a list of our upcoming seminars in our agenda.
Federal government simplification measures
In 2017, the federal government implemented concrete measures to facilitate SME access to public procurement, including:
- Taking into account criteria other than price in the offer selection criteria
- The obligation to consider subdividing contracts of over €144,000 into separate lots
- The “invoice acceptance” principle for contracts up to €30,000
Company federations and networks
The CCB-C provides a free public procurement information service. You can find information about rules, current and upcoming tenders in the Brussels region, etc.
The French- and Dutch-language entrepreneur networks, UCM and Unizo, respectively, can also assist you:
- UCM provides regular training sessions on public procurement open to all and provides advice to members. See their agenda and their services.
- Unizo provides information in Dutch and provides a tailored consulting service for members.
Training service providers
In addition to experts in the legal aspects of public procurement, several private organisations provide training to help you become familiar with public procurement procedures, how to read specifications, how to prepare an offer, etc. The service providers include:
Are you an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, you may need help to register, to understand a legal issue or to find tenders and make an offer. There are many resources available.
Do you need help registering?
Registration is split into categories and subcategories (based on the type of works) and classes (depending on the degree of difficulty and the amount of the works). Your registration will also depend on the characteristics of your company.
Registration is mandatory for public procurement contracts of €75,000 and more, without tax, classified in a category and for those starting at €50,000 classified in a subcategory.
How do you register? Registration is provided by FPS Economy according to a set procedure described here.
The CCB-C provides registration assistance. The service is for members only.
Do you have a legal question?
Many legal experts specialise in public procurement. You can request assistance from the Brussels public procurement helpdesk via the free number 1819.
Another option is to request assistance from your business federation and networks:
Are you looking for public procurement contracts?
Public procurement contracts are managed on the federal platform e-Procurement as are tender announcements (e-Notification) and offer submissions (e-Tendering).
Companies that want to use e-procurement must register with the platform. They can then view the current calls for tender and make an offer:
The new public procurement legislation of June 2017 made it mandatory to publish all contracts over €144,000. The free market principle requires that contracts of less than €144,000 also be made accessible to everyone via e-Procurement. However, publication of these contracts is not yet compulsory.
How to use e-Procurement? The website provides a user manual available here.
Training sessions are also held on request by:
Note that there is also a separate public procurement website for the French-speaking part of the country, the Portail des marchés publics en Région wallonne et en Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.
Private websites also list the calls for tender and offer paying services including personalised selection and management of the publications of interest to you:
You are the contracting authority for an architecture project
In order to ensure the architectural quality of construction, both the BMA (Bouwmeester Maître architecte bruxellois) and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation provide tools for private and public contracting authorities for their architecture projects.
Given that BMA’s goal is to ensure the quality of space use in Brussels, competition procedures are provided to both private and public project managers. The benefits of working with BMA and the procedures to do so are presented here.
Based on their experience with architecture procurement contracts, the Architecture Cell of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation has developed a practical guide for public contracting authorities. The guide describes a nine-step process for contracting authorities to promote architectural quality.
What about sustainable development?
Public procurement in Brussels has included more and more sustainability requirements over the past few years. So far, they have primarily involved supply contracts. However, there have already been initiatives for works contracts.
Stakeholder Platform for the Reuse of Building Items in Brussels
In addition to legal requirements for construction energy performance, the most common way to include sustainable criteria in works contracts is to promotematerials reuse. For this purpose, the “Stakeholder Platform for the Reuse of Building Items”, which began in 2017, intends to bring together all of the players committed to the development of a circular economy for construction materials in the Brussels-Capital Region. More information here.
The Regional Circular Economy Programme
Brussels’ Regional Circular Economy Programme (PREC) includes several measures to encourage the evolution of public procurement toward greater circularity. The current results of these measures are available here.
For more PREC construction news go to this link.
ecobuild.brussels also does work to raise the awareness of both its members and the local awarding authorities (primarily Brussels municipalities) about integrating sustainability in public procurement. The goal is to bring offer and demand closer together in public works contracts in Brussels and, in the end, increase the market share of Brussels-based companies.
For more information about the cluster’s public procurement activities, contact Estelle Castadot.