EUROPEAN COMMISSION DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR MARITIME AFFAIRS AND FISHERIES

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1 EUROPEAN COMMISSION DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR MARITIME AFFAIRS AND FISHERIES Policy development and coordination Structural policy and economic analysis OPEN CALL FOR TENDERS No MARE/2008/09 SUPPORT UNIT FOR THE EUROPEAN FISHERIES AREAS NETWORK (FAR-NET) TENDER SPECIFICATIONS Explanatory Note: For the purposes of this Call for Tender, Directorate Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (hereinafter referred to as DG MARE) is the Contracting Authority for the European Commission. In the following tender specification, the term service provider refers to any natural or legal person or public entity or consortium of such persons and/or bodies that offer to provide the services requested. The term economic operator includes a service provider. An economic operator, who has submitted a tender, is referred to as a Tenderer.

2 INDEX 1. PURPOSE OF THE CONTRACT Legal basis Terminology General background Objectives of the service contract General guidelines and rules of conduct Identification Policy area / Political priorities Private data protection Documentation available 4 2. TASKS TO BE PERFORMED BY THE CONTRACTOR Services required 5 A. Core Functions A.1 Technical assistance methodological support for those involved in axis 4 7 A.1.1 Support for the groups 7 A.1.2. Support for administrations 8 A.2. Support for transnational cooperation 8 A.2.1. preparatory technical support for cooperation projects 9 A.3. Information exchange and coordination of national networks10 A.4. Communication / Promotion and representation 11 A.4.1. Promotion of axis 4 and representation of FAR-NET 12 A.4.2. Contribute to creating solidarity between the fisheries areas 12 A.4.3. Inventory of needs Support for promotion of axis 4 12 A.5. Summaries and analysis of priority axis 4 in the Member States 13 A.5.1 Summary on the organisation of priority axis 4 in the Member States 13 A.5.2. Analytical information and periodic summary 13 A.6. Good practices 14

3 A.7. Information line - Day to day running of the Support Unit 14 A.7.1. Set up a well located Brussels office 15 A.7.2. Reception of visitors during working hours 15 A.7.3. Treatment of requests for information 16 A.7.4. Telephone answering service 16 A.7.5. Compiling and updating address lists for dispatching Publications 16 B. Core tools B.1. Website 17 B.1.1. Contacts 18 B.1.2. "News section" 19 B.1.3. Search tools, repertoire 19 B Search tools 19 B group search tool 19 B Search tool for cooperation projects 19 B Best practice search tool 20 B Repertoire by Member State 21 B.1.4. Maps of groups in the EU and per country 21 B.1.5. Library 21 B.1.6. Electronic mailbox 22 B.1.7. Current events page 22 B.1.8. Frequently asked questions 22 B.1.9. Commission directory 23 B.2. Publications 23 B.2.1. Electronic newsletter 24 B.2.2. Magazine 24 B.2.3. Technical dossiers 25 B.2.4. Annual inventory of best practices 26 B.2.5. Summary of the organisation and implementation of priority axis 4 in the Member States 27 B.2.6. Annual report on implementation of axis 4 27 B.3. Organisation of seminars and conferences 27 B.3.1. Transnational meetings and thematic/ methodological seminars 29 B.3.2. Conferences at Community level 29 B.3.3. Ad hoc seminars 30

4 2.2. Evaluation of services and outputs Tasks and Methodology Language to be used for deliverables (output) and reporting documents ORGANISATION OF THE WORK Workload and budget allocated Overall management of the Contract Analytical accounting Work programme Amendments Deadlines Technical reports Missions Logbook Time sheets Replacement of team members Procedures retained for tasks execution Seminars / conferences Publications Translations Meetings with the Commission DESCRIPTION OF THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS AND REQUIRED PROFILES Experience required Linguistic skills Specific skills Team leader Permanent staff Non-permanent staff Technical skills of the team as a whole Premises TYPE OF CONTRACT AND PARTICULAR ARTICLES Type of contract Duration and amount of the Contract Details of the contract Specimen Contract 43

5 Method of payment and invoicing Contractual liquidated damages Performance Guarantee GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLICABLE TO THE CALL FOR TENDERS Conditions Prices Joint tender A consortium entity already in existence The intention to create a consortium No intention to create a consortium Subcontracting Contact between Contracting Authority and Tenderers EVALUATION AND AWARD OF THE CONTRACT Identification of Tenderers Exclusion criteria Exclusion from participation in the procurement procedure Exclusion from award of the contract Declaration that there are no conflicts of interest Selection criteria Economic and financial capacity Technical and professional capacity Award criteria Technical evaluation Financial evaluation Award of the contract CONTENTS OF THE TENDER Presentation of the offer Identification of the Tenderer and exclusion and selection criteria Technical Tender Financial Tender Financial Tender - Price Schedule and price tables Guidelines for completing the price schedule (table 1)59

6 Total Amount for services to be provided under the contract Further explanatory notes for the above price schedule ANNEXES Annex 1: draft service contract Annex 2: tender forms Annex 3: questionnaire and check list N.B.: The above Sections n 1 to 5 inclusive will constitute the basis of Annex I, Tender Specifications, of the future Contract, if and, when awarded.

7 1. PURPOSE OF THE CONTRACT 1.1. Legal basis Article 46 (1) of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 of 27 July 2006 on the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) specifies: "At the initiative of and/or on behalf of the Commission, subject to a ceiling of 0,8% of its annual allocation, the EFF may finance the preparatory, monitoring, administrative and technical support, evaluation and audit measures necessary for implementing this Regulation. These measures are executed in accordance with Article 53(2) of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 and any other relevant provisions of that Regulation and of its implementing rules applicable to this form of execution of the general budget of the European Union. Those measures shall include: (f) the establishment of transnational and Community networks of actors in the sustainable development of fisheries areas with a view to encouraging the exchange of experience and best practice, stimulating and implementing transregional and transnational cooperation and the dissemination of information" Terminology DG MARE = European Commission, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries FAR-NET = Fisheries Areas Network = the European network for fisheries areas under axis 4 of the EFF as provided for under Article 46 (1) (f) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 of 27 July 2006 on the European Fisheries Fund. Support Unit = the team (permanent staff and non-permanent experts) put in place by the contractor for delivering the services described under point 2 hereunder. The core team of the Support Unit = permanent staff based in Brussels 1.3. General background The European Fisheries Fund (EFF), which replaces from 2007 the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance, contains a new group of measures that have been included along a new priority axis the sustainable development of fisheries areas" ("Axis 4"). This priority axis will be implemented through a bottom-up approach. A partnership of local actors called groups will be responsible for designing and implementing local strategies for the sustainable development of fisheries areas (Art of the EFF). Around 20 Member States, to different degrees, will implement this new priority axis and it is expected that at least 200 groups will be created across the EU. Those groups will design and implement local Page 1 of 77

8 development strategies containing all the measures eligible under Article 44 of Council Regulation 1198/2006 except the ones provided under Article 44(1) (h) of Council Regulation 1198/2006, i.e. interregional and transnational cooperation in fisheries areas among groups mainly through networking and disseminating best practice. The measures provided for under Article 44(1) (h) of Council Regulation 1198/2006 may be administered either centrally or by the groups. The Commission strongly encourages Member States to implement such measures pursuant to Article 45(5) of the EFF. A European network for the networking of groups will be put in place at European level in accordance with article 46 (1) (f) of the EFF ("Fisheries Areas Network" (FAR-NET)). Article 46(1)(f) provides for the establishment of a Community network of actors in the sustainable development of fisheries areas with a view to encouraging the exchange of experience and best practice, stimulating and implementing transregional and transnational cooperation and the dissemination of information. Accordingly, the main aims of the 'FAR-NET Support Unit' will be the provision of technical assistance, animation, coordination, information and capitalising on experiences. More specifically, the Support Unit will: - provide support to local groups, administrations and national networks; - produce a website and regular publications (newsletter, magazine, technical dossiers); represent the network in events; - organise thematic seminars and conferences at Community level for those actively involved in the sustainable development of fisheries areas to exchange experience and good practice and stimulate the emergence of cooperation projects; - provide preparatory technical support for the development of cooperation projects; - collect, disseminate and consolidate at Community level good transferable practices on the sustainable development of fisheries areas; - provide summaries and analysis of priority axis 4 in the Member States. The network's activities shall benefit to those engaged in the sustainable development of fisheries areas such as: Groups (cf. article 45(1) of the EFF) Concerned administrations and institutions involved in the management and implementation of priority axis 4 (Managing Authorities, etc.); National networks implemented following article 46(2). of the EFF; Stakeholder organisations at European level or with strong links to European level; Page 2 of 77

9 Various bodies and actors on the ground concerned with sustainable development of fisheries areas. It is very important for FAR-NET to have a point of reference, a "focal point" in each Member State i.e. a national network. These national networks will organise the networking activity on national and regional level and therefore facilitate the work of FAR-NET. Therefore although the EFF does not impose an obligation to Member States to create national networks of groups, the Commission strongly encourages Member States to establish such networks. Member States can finance the establishment of these networks under their technical assistance budget in accordance with Article 46(2) of the EFF. The national networks are encouraged to develop activities such as training and capacity building for local groups (especially those in the process of formation), the identification and analysis of good transferable practices and the provision of information about them, network management, the organisation of exchanges of experience and know-how and technical assistance for inter-territorial and transnational cooperation Objectives of the service contract Via the present call for tenders the European Commission wishes to obtain technical and administrative assistance from a service provider who will provide support for setting up and running the Fisheries Areas Network (FAR- NET) from 2009 to 2014 "under close Commission cooperation and guidance". The service provider shall be asked to set up a structure called "Support Unit" which will bring animation, thematic and technical expertise and administrative support to the Commission, groups and other relevant actors / bodies mentioned above (c.f. point 1.3). The Support Unit will deliver support to DG MARE for running the FAR- NET providing the services specified under point 2 hereunder in line with the objectives for the FAR-NET specified above (c.f. point 1.3), thus contributing to the efficient implementation of the fisheries operational programmes and in particular of their priority axis General guidelines and rules of conduct Identification The contractor will ensure that there is no confusion between the (FAR- NET) Support Unit on the one hand and the FAR-NET and the Commission on the other hand. The Support Unit team members shall therefore identify themselves as being part of the team providing support Page 3 of 77

10 services for the Commission (for the implementation of FAR-NET activities) Policy area / Political priorities The contractor shall be aware of having to provide support in relation to a policy area under evolution and shared management with the Member States. He shall stay informed about these evolutions and shall take into consideration any Commission guideline. The contractor will also stay informed about EU political priorities (Gothenburg and Lisbon strategies, etc.) and will take those into account when carrying out the Support Unit's activities. The Support Unit shall work in line with the position adopted by the Commission. If and when doubts arise in this respect, Support Unit team members shall abstain from taking a position and shall seek clarification with the Commission services Private data protection The contractor shall be aware of the rules in force concerning protection of private data, in particular Regulation (EC) N 45/2001 and shall bear responsibility for complying with these. The contractor shall bear the responsibility for identifying these areas of activity developed by the Support Unit to which the aforementioned Regulation concerning the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community Institutions, in particular its articles 21, 22 and 23 relates. The contractor shall ensure awareness among all his employees, both permanent and non-permanent, of these obligations. The contractor must contact the Commission services for any question that may arise in this area Documentation available - Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 of 27 July 2006 on the European Fisheries Fund - Commission Regulation (EC) No 498/2007 of 26 March 2007 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 on the European Fisheries Fund (OJ L120 of 10 May 2007) - The EFF Vademecum (C (2007) 3812) is available of the DG MARE website together with the tender documents - Documents related to the conference on axis 4 in Marseille (February 2008) - Documents related to the conference on axis 4 in Sevilla (January 2007) - Documents related to the conference on axis 4 in Porto (June 2006) - Documents related to the conferences on axis 4 in Tallinn (October 2005) 2. TASKS TO BE PERFORMED BY THE CONTRACTOR Introduction Page 4 of 77

11 The present tender specifications will be completed with a draft work programme to be submitted by the Tenderer with its offer. In case of award of the contract the work programme will be discussed, fine-tuned and agreed upon between both contracting parties (on an annual basis) (cf. point 3.2 under the present tender specifications) Services required The following service specifications will be reproduced as an annex to the contract and will constitute, together with the tender offer and the yearly work programme, the reference framework for the activity of the contractor in charge of the Support Unit. These technical specifications are structured as follows, in conformity with the table under point 3.1 as well as the price schedule under 8.4. The Tenderer shall communicate comprehensive information concerning the envisaged methodology for delivering each of the services described hereunder. The information provided should allow the Commission to analyse the Tenderer's proposal for delivering each of the services to the highest professional standards. A. Core Functions A.1 Technical assistance methodological support for those involved in axis 4 A.1.1 Support for the groups A.1.2. Support for administrations A.2. A.3. A.4. Support for transnational cooperation A.2.1. preparatory technical support for cooperation projects Information exchange and coordination of national networks Communication / Promotion and representation A.4.1. Promotion of axis 4 and representation of FAR-NET A.4.2. Contribute to creating solidarity between the fisheries areas and to create a positive image of these areas A.4.3. Inventory of needs Support for promotion of axis 4 A.5. Summaries and analysis of priority axis 4 in the Member States A.5.1 Summary on the organisation of priority axis 4 in the Member States A.5.2. Analytical information and periodic summary A.6. Good practices Page 5 of 77

12 A.7. Information line - Day to day running of the Support Unit A.7.1. Reception of visitors during working hours A.7.2. Treatment of requests for information A.7.3. Mailbox(es) and phone facilities A.7.4. Frequently asked questions A.7.5. Compiling and updating address lists for dispatching publications B. Core tools B.1. Website B.1.1. Contacts B.1.2. "News section" B.1.3. Search tools, repertoire B Search tools B group search tool B Search tool for cooperation projects B Best practice search tool B Repertoire by Member State B.1.4. Maps of groups in the EU and per country B.1.5. Library B.1.6. Electronic mailbox B.1.7. Current events page B.1.8. Frequently asked questions B.1.9. Commission directory B.2. Publications and other products B.2.1. Electronic newsletter B.2.2. Magazine B.2.3. Technical dossiers B.2.4. Annual inventory of best practices Page 6 of 77

13 B.2.5. Summary of the organisation and implementation of priority axis 4 in the Member States B.2.6. Annual report on the implementation of axis 4 in the Community B.3. Organisation of seminars and conferences B.3.1. Transnational meetings and thematic / methodological seminars B.3.2. Conferences at community level B.3.3. Ad hoc seminars General remarks Tenderers should draft their proposals on the basis of the quantities, frequencies, volumes, etc. mentioned in the present tender specifications. These are best estimates based upon experience and forecasts. During the implementation of the contract, changes could be made to the aforementioned indicative figures provided in the tender specifications. These possible changes would be agreed between the contractor and the Commission and included in the work programme provided the total budget is not exceeded or an increase in costs in one post can be compensated by a decrease in another post. For unforeseen additional tasks the contingency reserve would be activated. The contractor shall be expected to adopt a pro-active attitude as far as the efficient use of the resources is concerned. Where periods of lower workload might appear during the execution of the contract, he shall identify - where necessary propose to the Commission - services and undertake activities/outputs fitting within the description of services and tools hereunder. As well as delivering the contractual services to the highest professional standards and within agreed deadlines, the contractor shall ensure that work of an administrative nature is completed in accordance with contractual provisions. As a general rule attention shall be paid to timely delivery of well structured administrative documents easing any assessment, evaluation or audit work that would be undertaken by the Commission services or any entitled body. A. Core functions A.1. Technical assistance methodological support for those involved in axis 4 The contractor will need to provide methodological support to groups, authorities responsible for axis 4 and national / regional networks. The main focus will be on providing training, technical advice and support for local groups. This service will mainly be implemented through the instruments described in point B (web site, seminars, publications etc.). Specific actions: A.1.1. Support for the groups Page 7 of 77

14 One of the most important tasks of the Support Unit will be to provide training, technical advice and direct support to local groups, particularly those which are in the process of formation and which do not have prior experience in terms of local development and the management of projects. This will be achieved by "on the spot" missions to the countries most concerned by axis 4. An indicative number of 20 visits per year during the first three years is foreseen. A geographical balance will be aimed at. However, less experienced / new groups, particularly in the new Member States (EU-12), will be given priority. In this respect, the contractor will organise one-to-one support, the production of methodological guides for local groups (covering all areas of interest for organising a group and enabling it to implement a strategy (cf. point B.2.3.)), and organise seminars and conferences (c.f. point B.3.1. and B.3.2.). In addition, the contractor will organize training sessions for groups in the form of ad hoc seminars (c.f. point B.3.3.) The setting up of a twinning system between "experienced groups" and "beginner groups" (e.g. exchange visits etc.) is also recommended. A mentoring scheme between groups and Leader Local Action Groups or other relevant local development bodies or agencies could also be considered. A.1.2. Support for administrations The Support Unit will also provide technical advice and support to national administrations and national networks. In particular the Support Unit will assist national networks in the phase of their creation. This will be achieved by visits of the relevant countries. An indicative number of 10 visits per year are foreseen. These visits could be combined, if adequate, with the visits foreseen under point A.1.1. The contractor will also produce methodological guides for administrations and national networks on the implementation of axis 4 (see point B.2.3.). A.2. Support for transnational cooperation Support for trans-national cooperation should constitute one of the main tasks of the FAR-NET Support Unit. In this domain the value added by the Community is evident. There is a clear need for support at European level of potential trans-national cooperation partners and emerging projects. It is obvious that this activity will become important during later contractual years when the number of cooperation projects will increase. There are three main steps preceding the implementation of a cooperation project: - finding suitable partners; - setting up the cooperation structure; - having the project approved by concerned Member States. Page 8 of 77

15 The contractor will stimulate trans-national cooperation by making available to groups the information required when seeking partners and useful technical support when preparing a cooperative action. The support for trans-national cooperation will be a horizontal task, which will be implemented via a range of tools and activities: preparatory technical support for cooperation projects (see service B.1. below), publications, guides, meetings and seminars ("cooperation corner" (cf. point B.3.), the databases mentioned in points B and B , etc. The contractor's efforts should be complementary to the efforts developed at Member State level. Specific action: A.2.1. Preparatory technical support for cooperation projects Apart from making information available and easing the search for partners, the Commission intends to bring active direct support to a (limited) number of emerging cooperation projects via a coaching system. The Support Unit will cover the preparatory costs linked to the realisation of first contacts and the launching of a cooperation project. It is expected that an average number of eight cooperation projects per year will be supported. Eligible costs could include: expert support to emerging projects (strategy development, financial plan, legal aspects, cooperation agreement), feasibility studies, expenses for group members to attend meetings in Brussels or travel e.g. to the leading group, etc. The travel costs and per diems linked to the preparatory support for cooperation projects, i.e. the mission expenses the Support Unit can reimburse for members of groups involved in setting up a cooperation project and therefore needing to travel (attending meetings in Brussels, travelling to the leading group, etc.), are limited to a total maximum amount of Euro per year (c.f. section of the price schedule (table 1 under point 8.2.)). The contractor may pay preparatory expenses on behalf of the Commission but can make no decision as to which cooperation projects will receive support. The selection process of the projects which will receive preparatory support will include the consultation of management authorities and/or national network units. The tender offer shall include the Tenderer's views on how to organise this selection process. At an early stage of the contract this proposal shall be fine-tuned before endorsement by the Commission services. Geographical balance will be aimed at and projects concerning less experienced partners will be given priority, although some "show cases" with more experienced partners could be envisaged. This direct support should be exploited as a kind of laboratory. Visibility to the experience gained and results obtained will be given via the other services and tools such as: cooperation guide, good and best practices, the magazine, etc. Page 9 of 77

16 The data base of cooperation projects will identify these projects/partners receiving or having received direct support from the Support Unit. The concerned project partners will be invited to put their experience at the disposal of other emerging projects experiencing similar situations. In his tender offer the Tenderer shall present his views concerning service A.2. (Support to transnational cooperation) in general, as well as his approach to service A.2.1. in particular. In addition, proposals for innovative web-based approaches that could enhance the use made of this tool will be welcomed. Complementarity between efforts on national/regional and EU level must be a key element of the concept. In this context it is important to note that, according to the EFF Vademecum point , the initiative to launch a cooperation project lies with the group and the budget of these actions may be administered either centrally by the Member States or by the groups. The Commission will establish detailed guidelines on the execution of this task - including the process for selecting which cooperation projects will receive support - after the signature of the contract. The contractor will then propose a course of action for each project, to be approved by the Commission, and report on each action in the reports mentioned under point A.3. Information exchange and coordination of national networks One of the central tasks of the Support Unit will be to animate the FAR-NET, in particular to: - bring groups, national networks and national authorities in contact with each other; - facilitate the exchange and transfer of experience, skills and expertise between groups, national networks and national administrations; - establish links and create channels to facilitate the circulation of information; - assist national administrations in their coordinating role and in putting beneficiaries under axis 4 in contact with one another in the interests of cooperation; assist national networks in coordinating their activities. National networks are expected to be created in many but not all Member States. Where no national networks exist, the Support Unit will be in direct contact with the groups. For these groups (direct) support from the Support Unit will be crucial (c.f. service A.1.1.). In countries which intend to set up national networks the Support Unit will assist these networks in the phase of their creation (c.f. service A.1.2.). It will be important that from the outset the Support Unit is in close contact with the national networks to maximise synergies by e.g. agreeing on similar working methods and common procedures, e.g. for the selection of good practice etc. Page 10 of 77

17 Through its animation work the Support Unit will help to reduce the isolation of the fisheries areas. The Support Unit will also encourage dialogue between players on various levels. Groups, national networks, actors engaged in axis 4 and national administrations will be invited to participate in the conferences and seminars organised by FAR-NET (c.f. point B.3. of the present tender specifications). Groups, national networks and national authorities will also be invited to participate in the following work meetings, which will be organised in Brussels at the Support Unit's premises (approximate numbers on a yearly basis): 3 national network meetings gathering national networks. Other existing national (and regional) networks (e.g. Leader National Network Units) could also be invited (indicative number of 30 representatives -1 or 2 days) 3 group meetings, gathering (individual) groups established under axis 4 (indicative number of 15 participants - 1 or 2 days) 2 national authorities meetings, gathering Managing Authorities (indicative number of 20 participants - 1 or 2 days) 2 mixed meetings, gathering groups, networks, managing authorities and other Member State authorities (indicative number of 30 participants 1 or 2 days) Details concerning the Support Unit's premises were the above work meetings will take place are provided under point 4.4. of the tender specification. Sharing tools and information on a basis of complementarity and subsidiarity will be the overall mandate for this service. This mandate is to be considered at all times when organising the information stream with the groups, national networks, and national authorities with the aim of enhancing the content of products and outputs such as the magazine, the newsletter, databases, guides, etc. both on the European and national level. The tender offer will describe the envisaged strategy for organising this information stream/sharing. A smooth communication process with the networking activity on national level should also aim at identifying needs expressed by actors in the fisheries areas. It can be expected that certain needs emerging from grass roots level actors could alternatively find their way via the national networks. It will be the contractor's task to distil from this information flow those needs that appear relevant and representative and that could possibly be proposed for inclusion in the ongoing or following work programme. A.4. Communication / Promotion and representation Page 11 of 77

18 The Support Unit will also be responsible for presenting the achievements of the groups outside the network. The Commission will provide a logo for FAR-NET which the Support Unit will use to promote the network. The logo will be used during presentations, on the website, on publications etc. (This logo will be property of the Commission). Specific actions: A.4.1. Promotion of axis 4 and representation of FAR-NET As axis 4 is a new priority in the EFF there is a particular need to promote this initiative amongst stakeholders and the broader public, including universities, NGOs, research centres, local and regional entities, etc. The contractor is expected to identify relevant upcoming conferences / events with a clear European dimension, organised in the different Member States. (indicative number per year: 15). The contractor will propose on a regular basis to the Commission services a selection of events in which it would be useful if the Support Unit's team member(s) participated. This selection will include events identified by the Commission. This selection will aim at geographical and thematic balance. The Commission will decide on the choice of conferences / events to be attended by the contractor. Mission approval will be organised following provisions under point 3.2. of the present tender specifications. The contractor will undertake preparatory work concerning these representation and promotion activities. This will consist of content-providing support such as: preparation of presentations, animation of working groups, etc. The contractor can be asked to deliver such content delivery support for presentations/participation to be undertaken by the Support Unit team members, as well as by Commission officials. The contractor will submit any document or presentation text, which it intends to use to provide this service, to the Commission for its prior approval. A.4.2. Contribute to creating solidarity between the fisheries areas, and to creating a positive image of these areas Networking activities and the exchange of good practice will contribute to creating solidarity between fisheries areas. The magazine and the website will disseminate information on successful projects and positive developments which will contribute to creating a positive image of the areas (cf. point B.1. and B.2.). A.4.3. Inventory of needs Further support for promotion of axis 4 It is the Commission's aim to develop a strategy to promote and provide visibility to axis 4. Page 12 of 77

19 In order to deliver this service the contractor will set up an enquiry involving as many of the concerned actors as possible: Groups, Managing Authorities, national networks, other actors in the fisheries areas. The goal of this enquiry is to identify the needs and priorities among these actors for information on axis 4 complementary to the one provided at Member State or regional level. Within the limits of available resources these needs will constitute guidance for developing a coherent strategy for the promotion of axis 4. Taking into consideration these needs, the contractor will draft a concept paper to be submitted to the Commission services at the latest three months after signature of the contract, proposing actions to be undertaken for the promotion of axis 4. In his tender offer the Tenderer shall present his views on how this enquiry will be developed. A.5. Summaries and analysis of priority axis 4 in the Member States A.5.1. Summary on the features of priority axis 4 in the Member States The contractor will conduct a study on the features of priority axis 4 in the Member States. The aim of this study is to provide the reader with an overview of priority axis 4 in the Member States, setting out the most salient points, including, but not restricted to: - selection criteria for the groups - areas and populations concerned in each Member State - planned (programmed) measures - management arrangements (administrative and financial systems) - financial aspects - comparisons between Member States on the above points - general trends noted among the Member States - main challenges faced by fisheries areas and possible solutions - other pertinent points The study will be submitted to the Commission services six months after the signature of the contract for approval. The study will have an indicative length of 60 pages. At the same time the contractor shall provide a summary of the above study. The summary will be a web publication. This will allow for the inclusion of links and updating (see point B.2.5. of the present tender specifications for further details) Any change in timing will require approval in writing by the Commission (c.f of the present tender specifications). The tender must include a proposed outline of this study in its offer. The final use of this study will be at the Commission's discretion. A.5.2. Analytical information and periodic summary Page 13 of 77

20 The contractor shall also provide analytical information and other relevant data on the implementation of axis 4 in the Member States: the lessons learned from its implementation, its implications for the sustainable development of fisheries areas, recommendations on how the implementation of axis 4 can be improved in each Member State and overall policy recommendations for axis 4. The annual report on the implementation of axis 4 in the Community (see B.2.6. of the present tender specifications) constitutes the cornerstone around which this service will be built. The Tenderer will also include in the tender his proposal for a tool that will allow him/her to generate summary tables at any given moment. A.6. Good practices Learning from each others' experiences is one of the main objectives of networking. The contractor will be in charge of setting up a process and adequate tools for selecting and presenting examples of good transferable projects implemented under axis 4. This exercise needs to be complementary with the efforts undertaken in the Member States on national/ regional level. Therefore the contractor will need to liaise at an early stage with the national networks in order to agree upon, as far as possible, a work method based on the principle of complementarity. An agreement on common selection criteria, as well as a common structure of data sheets, should be aimed at. The outcome of this preparatory work will be communicated to the Commission together with proposals for efficient work organisation and definition of criteria to be used on a European level. The data base and best practice search tool to be developed under service B and the annual inventory of best practice (c.f. B.2.4.) are the cornerstones around which the good practice activity will be built. Furthermore best practice examples will be disseminated during seminars and conferences (c.f. B.3.), via publications (e.g. magazine (c.f. B.2.2.), etc). Inspiration for criteria for selecting good practice examples can be drawn from the website of the Leader+ Community initiative: When selecting the best practice projects the contractor will keep in mind the necessity for thematic diversity and geographical balance at European level. The Commission might also decide to award (a) prize(s) probably at the occasion of events (cf. service B.3.). The contractor shall provide full support 1 in this respect. A.7. Information line - Day to day running of the Support Unit 1 Any material prize to be offered would be organized and financed by Commission services Page 14 of 77

21 Specific actions: A.7.1. Reception of and presentations to visitors A reception facility for visitors will be set up during office hours. Visitors without an appointment should be able to obtain general information and/or documentation. Appointments should be made for large groups and more specialised presentations. The contractor will develop presentation templates for the most common topics (c.f. service A.3.) and have these adapted where needed, depending on the request. The indicative number of presentations to visitors per year is 30. The contractor shall comply with the provisions under "policy area" (cf. point of the present tender specifications). The reception facility will therefore provide for displays as well as for a storage facility for copies of the publications issued by the Support Unit. A.7.2. Treatment of requests for information The Commission wishes to put at the disposal of those involved in the sustainable development of fisheries areas (cf. point 1.2.), academics, students, as well as the broader public, the availability and expertise for answering numerous questions concerning fisheries areas via , phone or letter. The Commission services apply a rule concerning requests which says that answers should be given within 15 days. The contractor should aim to provide most of the answers within hours or days; for complex questions for which it might take longer to answer, the contractor will send an acknowledgement of receipt. In any case, the contractor should not exceed the deadline of 15 days. The Tenderer will describe the envisaged organisation for logging 2 questions and answers, providing answers within a reasonable delay. This procedure description will also explain the organisation of the dispatch of the questions to the most appropriate team member or expert, depending on the theme, the difficulty, the language, as well as the follow up of timely delivery of the answers. The contractor could envisage encouraging the use of rather than phone particularly for complex questions that do not allow for an immediate reply thus easing their logging, dispatch, follow up and answering. Where necessary the contractor will seek the Commission's approval or advice on a draft answer. However the expertise available within the team should allow limiting the number of such consultations. (cf. point 1.5 of the present tender specifications) It appears difficult to indicate approximate volumes. As an indication: under the Leader+ Observatory the Contact Point dealt on a yearly basis with some 600 questions via and a similar quantity via phone. It sounds reasonable to estimate that approximately half the amount of questions will have to be dealt with 2 c.f. point (Logbook) Page 15 of 77

22 by the Support Unit of FAR-NET. These numbers 3 will most probably fluctuate depending on the stage of implementation of the EFF. With respect to the electronic mailbox (cf. point B.1.6.) the contractor will need to keep a logbook and ensure that questions are being dealt with within a reasonable time. A.7.3. Mail box(es) and phone facilities The tender offer will describe the facilities the Tenderer intends to put in place for ensuring a smooth communication process via , as well as phone. The contractor shall provide telephone answering during office hours 4. A.7.4. Frequently asked questions (FAQ) It is to be expected that certain questions will occur on a regular basis. In order to avoid duplication of work and to assure coherence of the answers given, frequently asked questions and answers will be made available on the website (cf. service B.1.8.). These FAQs and their updates will be submitted for the Commission's approval. A.7.5. Compiling and updating address lists for dispatches of publications The contractor will respect rules concerning the protection of personal data when dealing with this service. The Support Unit will be responsible for compiling and updating a list of contact details (estimated quantity: addresses) of all relevant actors involved in the sustainable development of fisheries areas. This list will be used for the dispatch of the various publications and the dissemination of information. Various versions of mailing lists will be required depending on the target public for each publication (magazine, electronic newsletter, other). Updated versions or extracts of these lists will be made available to the Commission services on request. The contractor will provide a standard form (describing the content of the publications and asking whether the readers would like to receive any of them) which DG MARE will include in its the magazine "Fisheries and aquaculture in Europe", which is distributed to addresses. The replies could constitute a first basis for the contractor to establish a new mailing list. The contractor will also include a form to fill in to receive more information in every publication as well as on the website. 3 On a yearly basis 4 A.m.: 9 till and p.m.: 2 till 6 Page 16 of 77

23 The contractor will complete this list with other interested parties and keep it updated. Quality and volume of the mailing lists are essential for ensuring a (cost) efficient communication on the sustainable development of fisheries areas and the activities of FAR-NET. The contractor shall therefore undertake the organisation of this service from the very start of the contract. The tender offer shall propose a methodological approach with regard to the delivery of this service. As far as available and (still) relevant the Commission will communicate to the contractor lists it would dispose of at the start of the contract. B. Core tools B.1. Website Introduction The website will play a crucial role when it comes to visibility of the FAR-NET and will constitute a key tool for organising the network. The Tenderer will therefore include a detailed description of all elements in its offer, including a sitemap, allowing the Commission to evaluate the Tenderer's proposal to deliver a high quality product. The specifications hereafter include, apart from the development of the site and its maintenance, content provision and related data collection. It will be essential for the contractor to resource highly qualified staff (cf. point 4 of the present tender specifications), as well as appropriate equipment (hardware and software), thus allowing for the development of user friendly features. Contractor's responsibilities It will be the responsibility of the contractor to manage the FAR-NET website on the Commission's server. This includes the concept of its structure and lay out, its development and maintenance, the content provision and related data collection, its updating, as well as the promotion of the website. In order to promote the website the contractor will include the link to the FAR-NET site in all publications, information material etc. Technical requirements The website will be hosted on the EUROPA server (DG MARE). The contractor is required to comply with the "Information Providers Guide (IPG)" (accessible at and the "Overview of the usage of the Information System Hosting Services of the Data Centre". Other technical specifications (for example updates to the guidelines above) may be communicated at a later stage and must be respected by the contractor. Any web content management Page 17 of 77

24 system proposed by the Tenderer must be compatible with the software environment of EUROPA servers. At the start of the contract the contractor shall develop the necessary documents, containing full technical information, to allow the Commission's assessment of this compliance. The Commission's explicit agreement must be obtained before developing any application that will be hosted on the EUROPA server. In case a contractor judges certain features require the use of software not listed in the guides above, this software should be explicitly mentioned together with detailed justification for their use, and the contractor will supply a list of references of his experience with that software. Languages (see also "translations" under point 3.3 of the present tender specifications) The static content of the website (menus, background, objectives, introductory/explanatory pages of each section/feature, as well as the search criteria and instructions on how to search the data base must be made available in the official languages of the EU, except where the Tender specifications provide differently. The non-static parts of the site (e.g. the "news" and "current events" pages) will be available in EN, and the language of origin, where available. The content of the data base shall be available and searchable at least in English and in the language of origin of the information, where available. Content / Features The content of the website and major changes must be submitted to the Commission services for prior approval. The Commission has identified the following information / features (non-exhaustive list) to be developed. However, the Tenderer can identify additional information / features that might be of interest and proposals to enrich the website will be welcome. The development of these features will be undertaken further to an agreement with the Commission services. The estimated indicative quantity of pages will be The Commission will put a logo at the disposal of the contractor which will be used on the website (c.f. point 1.3.). List of required features/ sections (minimum) / Specific actions: B.1.1. Contacts Page 18 of 77

25 Contact details of the Support Unit and information about (the location of) its premises, as well as contact details of DG MARE staff members directly involved with FAR-NET will be made available in this section. (1 page) B.1.2. "News" section The "news section" will announce latest developments, e.g. uploading of a new publication, etc. B.1.3. Search tools, repertoire B Search tools The contractor will establish a database which will be connected to the three following search engines to be developed by the contractor. A separate section for each search tool will be developed on the website. - a group search tool - search tool for cooperation projects approved by Member States as well as trans-national cooperation projects "under construction" - best practice search tool The Tenderer will describe his views on how to develop these search engines allowing evolution further to identified needs and offering user friendly multicriteria searches, taking into consideration the aspect of data collection. B Group search tool The group search tool will be a tool to help connect groups and facilitate the search for partners to start up joint cooperation projects. The contractor will conceive a search engine with search criteria based on the following information: contact details (name of the group, contact person, address, telephone number, , etc.), information on territory (population, surface area, density, physical and socio-economic characteristics etc.), strategy, budget, projects and cooperation activity, etc. The Tenderer shall propose the basic structure of this search tool as well as a set of search criteria. The Tenderer can propose additional search criteria. B Search tool for cooperation projects Page 19 of 77

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