UNCITRAL Procurement Glossary – Basic Comparator PRINT E-mail
A glossary primarily intended to be used as a basic reference tool which includes terminology contained in the UNCITRAL Model Law and other common synonyms in use.

UNCITRAL Model Law Terms

Others in use or similar Terms

Description Notes

Abnormally low submissions

Abnormally low tenders (EU)
Submissions with prices so low they raise performance concerns

Advance notice of the procurement Contract notice (EU) or Prior information notice (EU), depending on the context

Advertisement prior to beginning of procurement
Challenge procedures – request for reconsideration, request for review

Remedies (EU)

Bid protest (US)

Challenge procedures (GPA)
Suppliers’ challenge to procurement decisions under Chapter VIII Model Law
Closed framework agreements

Framework agreements (EU)

Two-stage award procedures


Works (EU, World Bank)



Specification (EU)

Contained in the document used to establish the requirements for the goods or services to be purchased.

Direct solicitation


Solicitation addressed directly to one or a restricted number of suppliers and contractors without initial prequalification, available in restricted tendering, request-for-proposals, request for quotations, competitive negotiations and single-source procurement

Evaluation (EU)

Award of contracts (GPA)
Comparative assessment of tenders etc.

Evaluation criteria

Award Criteria (EU)

The criteria by which the successful tender is to be selected


Consideration of responsiveness (various)

Assessment of whether tenders are responsive


Supplies (EU)

Invitation (to tender, participate etc)

Contract notice (EU)

Invitation to participate (GPA)
Cf an invitation in the EU, which is a direct invitation to a supplier

Most advantageous tender/submission

Most economically advantageous tender (MEAT)  (EU); most advantageous tender (GPA); lowest evaluated tender (1994 ML, other systems)
The winner where there are non-price award/evaluation criteria
Open framework agreements

Dynamic Purchasing Systems (EU)

IDIQ/Task and order contracting (US)

A framework agreement to which a supplier (or suppliers) or a contractor (or contractors) in addition to the initial parties may subsequently become a party or parties

Open tendering

Open procedure (EU)

Tendering (1994 ML) Competitive Tendering
A bidding process that is open to all qualified suppliers 
Open tendering with pre-qualification

Restricted procedure (EU)

Limited tendering (GPA)

The ML combination is the nearest equivalent to the EU and GPA methods

Pre-selection, pre-selection documents

Shortlisting (World Bank, EBRD) 


Choosing amongst the prequalified the ones best qualified to be solicited.

Procurement contract

Public Contract (EU)

Do not include framework agreements

Procuring entity

Contracting authority (EU), government agency (US)


Procurement procedure

Award Procedure (EU)

The procedure for awarding a contract

Public notice of award

Contract award notice (EU)


Qualification criteria

Selection criteria (EU)

Criteria to determine which suppliers can participate


Selection (EU, GPA)


Request for proposals with dialogue

Competitive dialogue (EU)

The procedures are not identical

Request for quotations

Shopping (MDBs)

Relatively informal procedure with request for quotation directly addressed to limited number of suppliers

Restricted tendering

NOT the Restricted procedure in the EU

Restricted tendering under the ML is more like Limited tendering under the GPA

Second stage competition

Call off (EU)

Competition to award contracts under a framework agreement



Not in the Model Law, but jargon used to denote award to winning supplier

Single-source procurement

Direct contracting

Award of procurement contract directly to one supplier

Solicitation, solicitation documents

Call for tender, invitation to tender

See definition in article 2 of Model Law


Tender proposals, offers, quotations, bids

See definition in article 2 of Model Law

Supplier or contactor


Economic operator (EU) Candidate (EU)

Vendor (US)
Also includes potential suppliers or contractors


Suppliers’ List

Approved List (EU)

Preferred Suppliers’ List (EU)

Shortlist (EU, World Bank)
Not used in ML as such; discussed in Guide; Shortlist in World Bank terms means the pre-selected suppliers under Article 49 of the ML

Tender security

Bid bond (US)

Tender/submission with the lowest price

Lowest-price tender (various, 1994 ML)

The winner determined where only price as award/evaluation criterion



Basic comparator of the UNCITRAL terminology and commonly used terms prepared by Mrs. Caroline Nicholas, Senior Lawyer, UNCITRAL, United Nations and Mr. Steen Bruun – Nielsen, International Expert, EBRD UNCITRAL Initiative.

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