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Contracts with public administrations

What are administrative contracts?

Public administrations use administrative contracts (tenders and minor contracts) to contract third parties and fulfil their institutional purposes. These contracts are subject to specific regulations to control public expenditure, guarantee equal opportunities for citizens and ensure proper contract performance. In Spain, administrative contracts are regulated by Law 9/2017 of 8 November on Public Sector Contracts (LCSP).

 

The UV may participate in these contracts as a contracted entity under the protection of article 60 of the Organic Law on the University System (LOSU).

What are the advantages?

These contracts facilitate the transfer of knowledge from universities to the socio-economic environment, thus contributing to one of the three university functions, along with teaching and research. Contracts between universities and public administrations enable society to use and exploit the scientific and technical capacities of university researchers.

 

Contracts with public administrations help researchers turn knowledge generated at universities with public funds into socio-economic benefits by creating new products or services. This also benefits the evaluation of their research activity and technology transfer, and in some cases, these contracts provide the opportunity to obtain additional allowances from the amount contracted with the third party. If the research produces protectable results, the research staff involved have the right to be credited as the author or inventor, and in some cases, they may have the right to receive royalties. However, any exploitation of these results must be negotiated.

 

Contracting entities can benefit from the research potential of universities and improve public services by incorporating goods and services with high innovative potential. They can also promote a culture of innovation in public entities and stimulate the productive environment to create new products and services, thereby contributing to economic growth.

Who is this for?

This information is for all research staff at the Universitat de València who meet the requirements and are interested in bidding for a tender or a minor contract.

How do I start?

If a public administration or entity has contacted you to carry out a specific task or you have identified a call for tenders to which you could apply, please contact the Contracted R+D+I Section of the Transfer and Innovation Service as soon as possible.

Types of administrative contracts

LCSP distinguishes between two types of administrative procurement contracts:

 

Minor contracts

According to LCSP, minor contracts are those that are valued at 15,000 euros or less (excluding VAT) for supply or service contracts, and whose duration is less than a year and is not subject to extension. Contracting administrations carry out minor contracts through an administrative file, in which only the approval of the expenditure is required. It is important to note that this amount is updated annually.

For minor contracts with public agents of the Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation System, including universities, the limit is 50,000 euros for supply or service contracts, provided that they are not intended for general or infrastructure services of the contracting body.


Tenders

Tenders are contracts with public administrations for an amount higher than that of the aforementioned contracts. They require the processing of the corresponding dossier, and the contracting entity must state why the contract is necessary and include administrative clauses, technical specifications and credit availability information that will govern the contract. To access a public tender, follow the procedure published by the contracting entity.

As previously stated, according to article 60 of the LOSU, the Universitat de València may apply for minor contracts and public or private tenders as a contracted entity.

What is innovative public procurement?

In order to promote bids with innovative solutions, the LCSP (promoted by Law 2/2011 on Sustainable Economy and Law 14/2011 on Science, Technology and Innovation) allows public authorities to open calls for the Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI), specifically Public Technology Procurement (PTP) and Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP). PTP involves the purchase of a good or service that doesexist at the time, but which could (probably) be developed within a reasonable timeframe and PCP is a method of procuring R+D services in which the public purchaser shares the risks and benefits of the R+D with the contracted party. The goal is to develop innovative solutions that go beyond what is currently available on the market.

The procurement process for these actions follows the same principles as administrative procurement and is carried out through open, restricted or negotiated ordinary award procedures, as well as through public-private collaboration contracts using the competitive dialogue procedure for particularly complex contracts.

In tenders, it is common to include clauses that favour procurement without specifying whether they are PPIs. If you plan to opt for tendering, it is important to consider that these clauses may affect the evaluation criteria for contract awards.

What are the specifics of university procurement by public administrations?

Similar to other public administrations, universities require third-party services to meet their operational needs and fulfil their general interest objectives. As procuring authorities, they are subject to legislation on administrative contracts (LCSP).

However, according to article 60 of the Organic Law 2/2023 of 22 March on the University System, the UV may enter into contracts with individuals, universities and public or private entities to carry out research projects related to science, technology, humanities and arts or to conduct specific training activities. This implies that universities can be contracted by other public administrations and universities.

As a contracting institution, the UV will be subject to administrative legislation (LCSP). As the contracted institution, it will be subject to private law in accordance with article 60 of the LOSU.

This duality gives these contracts unique characteristics, as the UV must comply with and demonstrate that they meet the requirements specified in the minor contracts or tender documents. Once awarded, the contract will be processed in the same manner as a contract under article 60 of the LOSU and will be subject to the Regulation on the awarding of contracts for scientific, technological, humanistic or artistic activities and specific training (ACGUV 172/2022).

 

Who can be a PI?

According to article 8 of the Regulation on the awarding of contracts for scientific, technological, humanistic or artistic activities and specific training (ACGUV 172/2022), active PDI doctoral staff may be appointed as PI and, thus, the person responsible of the minor contract or tender. Temporarily contracted staff must have previously formalised their relationship with the UV at the time of approval or at the time of favourable resolution of the tender or minor contract. The expected duration of the tender or minor contract must be equal to or greater than that of its execution.

The PIs must manage the research project, assign tasks to team members and represent the group. It is their responsibility to ensure strict compliance with the contract or tender, including the obligations of each member and any other conditions outlined in the tender specifications or the call and/or resolution of minor contracts.

PIs must also provide any information and documents requested by the University Head Office and other management services for any monitoring, control and accountability operations that may be conducted.

For more information, please refer to the guide on participating in scientific, technological, humanistic or artistic contracts, and specific training activities.

Who signs administrative contracts?

For minor contracts, the bid document must be signed by the relevant Office of the Vice-Principal. Administrative specifications should be included in the case of tenders, along with any additional documents that state legal capacity, financial solvency, technical expertise, etc.

If the contract needs to be signed after it has been awarded, the same Office of the Vice-Principal will be responsible for this task.

What is the procedure at the UV?

When the UV participates in any of these contractual modalities, the staff responsible must contact the Contracted R+D+I Section as soon as possible for guidance and to coordinate the submission of the documents that the contracting entities may request.

To submit a bid for a minor contract or a public tender, please follow these instructions.

1. Submit the following signed files, which will form part of your electronic file:

– technical report;

– estimated budget – please refer to the ‘Recommendations for drafting the budget of R+D+I activities’; in the case of minor contracts, a bid is usually submitted to the contracting entity using the available bid document model on the website;

– responsible declaration of absence of conflicts of interest (DACI) signed by each participant from the UV.

2. To submit the required documentation, access the Online Office and complete the application form following these instructions.

The Contracted R+D+I Section will process applications in the order they are received, unless there are exceptional circumstances that require out of order processing due to contracting entity deadlines.

To continue the procedure, it is crucial that the signed authorisation is submitted before signing any agreements or contracts under current university legislation. The authorisation must be certified by the Secretary of the department, university research institute or ERI.

If the PI are affiliated with an institute or ERI, they must inform their teaching department of this authorisation. This will enable the department to make any required decisions.

The teaching and research staff responsible will then send this communication to the Contracted R+D+I Section, who will compile the administrative documents and submit them through the corresponding website, if applicable.

For minor contracts, whether awarded directly or through competitive bidding, the process may involve a resolution or similar document, or it may involve the formalisation of a contract.

For public tenders, the first step is to ensure that both the UV and research team meet the tender requirements outlined in the specifications. If the requirements are met, proceed with preparing the necessary documents for submission. The main challenge in bidding is dealing with the complex documentation requirements and the inability to negotiate conditions. The contracts are awarded by tendering administrations, so they must be managed on a case-by-case basis.

In all cases, administrative documents must be submitted, which will vary depending on the contracting entity.

If you have any questions or enquiries, please contact sti.contractada@uv.es.

Who is eligible to participate?

According to article 6 of the Regulation on the awarding of contracts for scientific, technological, humanistic or artistic activities and specific training (ACGUV 172/2022), the following individuals are eligible to participate:

- teaching and research staff from the UV – whether civil servants or contracted staff;
- PI from the UV – provided that the rules governing their financing allow for it;
- teaching and research staff from other universities with prior authorisation from their institution, as well as researchers from other public or private organisations with the express authorisation of the centre;
- temporary staff and experts, as well as civil servants from other public administrations with express compatibility;
- service and administrative staff of the UV, in the terms established by the UV regulations and the general legislation in force;
- personnel from other UV centres and joint units, in accordance with the provisions of their institutional agreements.

Work may also be contracted out to third parties in accordance with applicable labour laws and internal regulations.

For more information, please refer to the guide on participating in scientific, technological, humanistic or artistic contracts and specific training activities.

Are overhead expenses applied?

Yes. According to article 27 of the Regulation on the awarding of contracts for scientific, technological, humanistic or artistic activities and specific training (ACGUV 172/2022) and article 221 of the UV Statutes, the Universitat de València will deduct 20% from the total amount stipulated. This amount will be distributed as follows: 10% of the funds will cover the institution’s general expenses, 5% will be assigned to the individual(s) responsible and deposited into their corresponding general research accounting code(s) designated for this purpose, 4.5% will be allocated to the department, institute or interdisciplinary research structure (ERI) to which the individual(s) responsible is/are attached, and 0.5% will be allocated to departments, institutes or ERIs that have not signed any contracts in the previous year (interdepartmental fund).

In order to adequately carry out the activity and all related tasks, the teaching and research staff responsible for the contract or tender should consider this percentage when preparing the budget for the foreseen activities and before submitting their minor contract proposal or the tender documentation to the contracting entity.

Is it possible to receive additional allowances for participating in a minor contract or tender?

Minor contracts and tenders awarded to the Universitat de València as a contracted entity are subject to article 60 of the LOSU, like any other contract. Therefore, staff involved in these contracts may receive additional allowances. These additional allowances are legally recognised in Royal Decree 1930/1984 of 10 October (modified by Royal Decree 1450/1989 of 24 November). Annually, this remuneration is equivalent to the salary of a Full University Professor holding the position of Principal, with 14 recognised three-yearly increments, 6 positive evaluations for teaching merits and 6 positive evaluations for research activity. This amount is updated yearly.

Depending on the type of staff, allowances are received as outlined in articles 29 and 30 of ACGUV 172/2022. Processing can only occur once invoices have been collected and the existence of sufficient credit in the activity's budget line for the gross remuneration plus, in the case of UV, employees assigned tio the General Social Security Scheme, the corresponding employer’s contribution heve been verified, which is prorated monthly in accordance with the Social Security regulations.

The gross remuneration will be paid on the payroll of the University of Valencia, with the application of the tax and social security deductions payable by the employee, in accordance with the legislation in force.

Payments made to teaching or research staff – whether civil servant or contracted – from other universities, researcher staff from other public institutions and temporary collaborators or civil servant experts from other public administrations require an approval of compatibility from their institution. Payments for these services will be processed following the University Head Office’s instructions.

Collaboration with external UV experts for sporadic and extraordinary work or overtime is subject to the UV Budget Execution Regulations.

For more information, please refer:

- Payment of allowances: concepts to be taken into account.

- Diagram of the procedure for the payment of allowances and examples.

- Guide on participating in scientific, technological, humanistic or artistic contracts and specific training activities.

What should I consider when creating a budget?

When creating a contract budget, it is important to consider the costs associated with the work to be carried out, along with any applicable taxes and UV overheads.

To prevent any form of distortion or threat to competition, the contract budget must reflect the full cost of the service plus a reasonable profit margin, or replace it with market prices if their value is known and higher than the minimum calculated amount.

In line with the above information, it is important to bear in mind that contracting entities will examine, in particular, tenders with abnormally low budgets. Although this is not a reason for exclusion, it is necessary to consult the specifications for the tender in order to take them into account.

The budget must consider the following types of expenses:

1. Implementation costs:

  • staff costs: recruitment or additional allowances for existing staff
  • inventory material: cost of equipment to be purchased or cost of using existing equipment (depreciation)
  • consumables: cost of laboratory and office consumables, and cost of equipment with a short usage life
  • travel and subsistence: expenses for journeys planned in order to complete the activities described in the contract
  • external services and subcontracting: outsourced activities
  • other expenses: other costs not included in the above items

2. UV overheads

These are expenses that are difficult to allocate to the contract (telephone, water, electricity, gas, depreciation and maintenance of buildings, common ancillary services, management services, etc.). In compliance with section 4 of the University Head Office’s instructions on the economic management of research, development and innovation activities through agreements and contracts (IUV 7/2019), and in compliance with article 27 of the Regulation on the awarding of contracts for scientific, technological, humanistic or artistic activities and specific training (ACGUV 172/2022) and article 221 of the UV Statutes, an overhead expense of 20% has been established for contracts falling under these regulations.

3. Applicable taxes

In general, Value Added Tax (VAT) will apply, except for those training activities exempt from VAT.

For more information, please refer to these recommendations for preparing budgets for R+D+I activities.

What about the rights to the results?

Although the ownership of intellectual or industrial property rights of research results is typically addressed in the documentation of the minor contract award or in the tender documents, as a general rule, these rights belong to the contracting entity. However, in some cases of Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions, the contracted entity may be allowed to retain these rights.

  • Given the tight deadlines and to ensure timely submission of documentation, we suggest researching potential tenders as soon as possible.
  • The staff or research team that will carry out the works to be tendered can find potential tenders by issuing alert bulletins or consulting directly with procurement platforms.

 

  • Once the tender has been published, the staff or team should review both the technical specifications and the specific administrative conditions and contact the Contracted R+D+I Section as soon as possible.
  • These documents contain information about the specifics of the contracted work, capacity conditions, solvency requirements, special skills and more.
  • The research staff responsible for the work to be carried out, with the guidance of the Contracted R+D+I Section, will decide whether to bid for the contract.
  • If a decision is taken in the affirmative, the technical and administrative documentation must be drawn up as soon as possible.
  • The research staff is in charge of preparing the technical report and the bid itself. The rest of the administrative documentation will be handled by the Contracted R+D+I Section.
  • To prevent unexpected issues at the last minute, it is essential to coordinate efforts with as early as possible.
  • During the awarding procedure, additional information may be required. Depending on the request, the preparation of this additional documentation may correspond to the research staff contracted to carry out the work or the Contracted R+D+I Section.
  • If the bid is accepted, proof of capacity conditions and solvency is usually required to proceed with the contract. This is handled by the Contracted R+D+I Section, if it has not already been completed in the previous stage.
  • Once this procedure has been completed, the award of the bid is definitive. The Contracted R+D+I Section provides a 5-day window to review and sign the contract, which will formalise the contractual relationship with the contracting entity.
  • The Contracted R+D+I Section will process the file following the standard procedures for an article 60 LOSU contract (registering the contract in the database, conducting a specific opening, contract records, etc.). The research team will perform the work outlined in the contract specifications and technical report for the duration of the contract period and any possible extensions.
  • The contract will be terminated and any remaining assets will be liquidated in the standard manner.

Reference Rules File(s)
ACGUV 172/2022

Reglament pel qual es desenvolupa la Normativa per a la contractació d'activitats de caràcter científic, tecnològic, humanístic o artístic, així com per a activitats específiques de formació. (CG 11-VII-2022).

IUV 7/2019

Instrucció de la Gerència de la Universitat de València sobre la gestió económica d'activitats d'investigació, desenvolupament i innovació articulades mitjançant convenis i contractes

L 9/2017

Llei 9/2017, de 8 de novembre, de Contractes del Sector Públic, per la qual es traslladen a l'ordenament jurídic espanyol les Directives del Parlament Europeu i del Consell 2014/23/UE i 2014/24/UE, de 26 de febrer de 2014.

 
 
 

Other resources

PLACE
NASA
NASA
 
 

FUNCTIONS OF THE TRANSFER AND INNOVATION SERVICE

The Transfer and Innovation Service, through the Contracted R+D+I Section, provides guidance on the economic, administrative and technical aspects of public procurement procedures. This includes budget preparation, assessment of solvency and capacity and assistance in the interpretation of specifications.


The Contracted R+D+I Section is responsible for submitting the required documentation to the electronic platforms of the contracting entities and overseeing the bidding process until its conclusion. This includes addressing any necessary corrections or requirements subsequent to the submission of bids. In the event of an award, the Section prepares the supporting documentation and reviews and signs the contract, when applicable, and processes the contract file at the UV.

Contact

Transfer and Innovation Service

Contracted R+D+I Section

C/ Amadeo de Saboya 4, 46010 València

Universitat de València 

 

sti.contratada@uv.es

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