FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. I am interested in bidding on NATO JFTC silicitations. Where can I review solicitations and present-day requirements?
Information about all JFTC solicitations can be found on our website www.jftc.nato.int under Organization-Business Opportunities-Current Solicitations tab.
2. I did not establish any bussiness and I do not represent any firm. Can I still submit a proposal?
Solicitations are opened only to governmental or commercial entities. They need to originate or be chartered/incorporated within NATO member nations, and Contractor personnel performing services under the contract must be citizens of a NATO nation, having appropriate professional training and experience in related field(s), and meet applicable criteria for personal security clearances.
3. What is the international bidding process?
NATO regulations require that Requests for Proposals that are predicted to exceed Established Financial Limits (for 2016, all proposals exceeding €160,000) must be posted as an international notification of intent to begin bidding procedures. However, firms from any Member nation may bid on any proposal open for competitive bidding.
4. What is the purpose of issuing Notifications of Intent (NOI)?
Notifications of Intent (NOI) are issued by ACO/ACT Contracting Offices to NATO Delegations when ACO/ACT requirements valued in excess of Level D (currently EUR 160,000) of the NATO Established Financial Limit (EFL) demand the conduct of International Competitive bidding (ICB) procedures. The NOI aim at seeking potential bidders not already identified by the Contracting Office responsible to issue an ICB; therefore, NOIs give NATO Delegations the opportunity to submit additional names of eligible, interested and capable companies established within their respective country.
5. My company is from overseas; can my company bid on an Request for Proposal that was not posted internationally?
Any firms from any Member nation may bid on any proposal that is open for competitive bidding.
6. Who should I use as a point of contact at NATO for discussion before and after submitting a proposal? To whom should I address questions about the project or the Statement of Work?
The appropriate points of contact for any questions are included in the Bidding Instructions. The primary point of contact is JFTC Contracting Officer.
7. Who else is bidding or submitting a proposal and what price(s) are they quoting?
NATO reserves all information about potential bidders and current bidders as procurement sensitive. However, NATO Contracting Branch ensures maximum visibility to all nations regarding contract opportunities.
8. If I do not send Aknowledgment of Receipt of Request for Proposal (Annex A) on time, will I be disqualified from the solicitation process?
No. This annex serves as an information whether a bidder is interested in participation in the bidding or not. Only bidders indicating their intention to participate in the bidding will continue to receive all further correspondence related to this Request for Proposal.
9. May my company submit more than one proposal?
A bidding firm must submit a proposal that conforms to the Statement of Work for the Request for Proposal and may submit one or more alternative proposals in addition to the conforming proposal.
10. Can I submit my proposal in my local language?
No. The proposal shall be made in English language. Any relevant documents supporting the bid that are not translated into English language (self-translation will be accepted) shall not be considered eligible and may result the bid to be administratively not complaint.
11. Will my quote be accepted if submitted after bid closing date?
Proposals received after due date will not be used in award selection process. All late bids shall be returned to the offering company unopened. Only if it can be unequivocally demonstrated that the late arrival of the bid package was the result of the NATO staff negligence (mishandling) shall the bid be considered.
12. Does NATO prefer either small or large businesses in its proposal selection?
NATO awards contracts upon technical merit and cost-effectiveness, choosing the lowest possible cost for the best possible technical product. It seeks the best and most cost-effective solution to problems, regardless of the size of the firm that offers it.
13. Are there any categories of firms to which NATO gives special treatment (i.e. registered small business or veteran owned firm)?
All firms are given equal treatment before, during, and after the bidding process.
14. Does my business have to be from a NATO Nation in order to submit a proposal?
NATO seeks business only from member nations. However, if no Member nation submits a proposal, then a nation from the Partnership for Peace may submit a proposal. But if a firm from a Partnership for Peace nation submits a bid that competes with a bid from a firm of a Member nation, then the bid of the firm from the Partnership for Peace nation must be declared noncompliant.
15. Does the Past Performance requirement concern the firm or its key personnel?
Past Performance requirement shall be provided for a prime contractor or a subcontractor.
16. What are the most frequent errors that bidders do when submitting bids in response to formal biddings?
Errors made by bidders are either of an administrative or a technical nature. Below are the examples of the most common errors:
a) Submission of a bid via electronic means only.
How to avoid it? In the formal bidding the bid must be submitted in accordance with a double envelope system. Proposal packages shall be made by mail, courier or hand carried.
b) Submission of technical and administrative proposal as one set of documents/package.
How to avoid it? The Outer Envelope or parcel should be sealed and contain two inner envelopes, namely: Inner Envelope A – containing Technical and Administrative Proposal; and Inner Envelope B – containing Price Proposal. Each of them shall be separately sealed and identified (including bidder name).
c) Submission of technical and administrative proposal documents in other language/s than English.
How to avoid it? The proposal shall be made in English language. Any relevant documents supporting the bid that are not translated into English language (self-translation will be accepted) shall not be considered eligible and may result the bid to be administratively not complaint. The bidders must acknowledge the fact that the Contract Award Committee cannot be responsible for translating/interpreting documents into English language.
a) Technical documentation for Commerical Personnel Services, Subject Matter Experts, Short Term Operational Contractors is limited only to Technical Evaluation Matrix (TEM) and Curriculum Vitae (or resume). With such documentation Contract Award Committee is unable to determine the technical compliance.
How to avoid it? For the above mentioned service categories a proposal shall consist of the appropriate technical documentation to determine whether proposed services, terms and conditions unequivocally comply with all the bidding requirements. The aim is to provide indisputable evidence/documentation supporting technical compliance. Usually, apart from TEM and CV (resume) the proposal shall include also copies of certificates, diplomas, letters of reference, letters of appreciation, etc. that would support to ascertain whether the individual proposed as a key Personnel has adequately demonstrated that he/she possess the required education, qualifications, experience, skills and knowledge.
17. What is a security clearance?
A security clearance is a determination by the national government that a person or company is eligible for access to classified information. There are two types of clearances: Personnel Security Clearances (PCL) and Facility Security Clearance (FCL).
18. What kind of security clearance do I need to contract for NATO?
The Statement of Work for each solicitation will specifically state the level of clearance required by NATO. In general, at minimum, NATO SECRET clearance is mandatory.
19. Are NATO security clearances the same as national ones? In other words, if I already have a national security clearance, do I have NATO clrearance as well?
NO. The Statement of Work for the Request for Proposal will specifically state the level of clearance from NATO that the firm will be required to have. NATO's clearance levels function independent of any clearance levels for other nations. However, it is understood that for most NATO nations, granting of a NATO security clearance is handled in a similar manner to that of obtaining a national security clearance. Please contact your National Security Office for information on their procedures for obtaining NATO clearances.
20. Where can I get the necessary security clearance to submit a compliant proposal?
It is understood that for most NATO nations, granting of a NATO security clearance is handled in a similar manner to that of obtaining a national security clearance. Please contact your National Security Office for information on their procedures for obtaining NATO clearances.
21. Can NATO get me the necessary clearance to start work on my proposal?
If the firm possesses security clearance from its country, it can obtain a corresponding NATO security clearance. However, the firm is responsible for providing proof of clearance before contract award.
22. How do taxes and tax exemptions work?
International agreements approved by NATO Nations ensure that NATO HQs are exempt from paying taxes and duties on commercially procured goods and services. Generally speaking, Purchasing & Contracting branches can procure goods and services without paying taxes and duties or establish a procedure, under the guidance of the Financial Controller, to recuperate paid taxes or similar fees.
23. Will work on this project be tax exempt?
Because of a series of international agreements, NATO will not pay taxes for goods & services that it procures or will recuperate the funds that it expends upon taxes.
24. Can I invoice before receipt of materials?
Yes, but invoice will not be paid until delivery of all items.
25. What is required on all invoices?
Detailed information on invoices you may find in point 7 of JFTC General Terms and Conditions.
26. Are partial or advance payments authorized?
Unless otherwise agreed, partial or advance payments are not authorized. Full payment will be made when item(s) have been delivered and received.