Répondre aux marchés publics pour les PME : Formation, aide et assistance sur tout le territoire (sur site ou à distance)
Entreprises - PME : Répondre aux marchés publics (DC1, DC2, ATTRI1, DC4, mémoire technique, ...) Acheteurs publics
DATES J01 Fondamentaux J02 Répondre aux AO J03 Réponse électronique J04 Mémoire technique Formations Assistance

Have you found a public contract that interests you ?

Get assistance to respond to a digital call for tenders in France

If you are a foreign company, two types of services are offered to you if you wish to respond to French public markets:

  • either TRAINING, knowing that this requires you to have a good command of the French language,
  • or ASSISTANCE to set up your response file.

In both cases, if you wish to receive a quote, please contact us via this link:



Table of contents

  • The problem for foreign bidders
  • The main steps necessary to respond to calls for tenders
  • Frédéric MAKOWSKI - Public procurement trainer and consultant for SMEs and public purchasers

The problem for foreign bidders

For a foreign company, responding to a public market in France can be relatively complex as you must at least master:

  • downloading the consultation file (for beginners),
  • the French language, whether for reading the consultation file or the response to be sent (response documents must necessarily be written in French),
  • the legal vocabulary of public markets (application ("candidature"), offer ("offre"), commitment act ("acte d'engagement", RC, CCAP, CCTP, CCAG, BPU, DQE, DPGF, variants ("variantes"), possible additional services ("prestations supplementaires eventuelles" : PSE), groups of companies ("groupements"), certificates ("attestations"), ...),
  • reading and understanding the obstacles of the consultation file ("DCE"),
  • managing the legal documents required to respond (certificates, financial, technical and professional abilities required for the application, ...),
  • forms (DC1, DC2, DC4, DUME),
  • writing the technical memo (« mémoire technique »), which represents an important part of the rating),
  • electronic transmission of applications and offers,
  • electronic signature with an EIDAS certificate, if the signature is mandatory from the time the offers are submitted,
  • the documents to be provided if the company is selected.

In summary, you need to know the documents to be provided and then set up a response file that meets the requirements.

As a result, it requires solid knowledge and requires knowing and respecting 5 main steps:

  1. searching for market advertisements (AAPC),
  2. withdrawing the consultation files of companies in digital or paper form (these are the "public market documents" or consultation documents (DCE)),
  3. selecting interesting markets,
  4. withdrawing the consultation files of companies in digital or paper form (these are the "public market documents" or consultation documents (DCE)), and transmitting the file digitally.

The main steps necessary to respond to calls for tenders

1 Searching for market advertisements

Your company can first search for advertisements issued by buyers (market notices):

  • the company will search for public market notices (advertising) to know the markets that are launched by the administration,
  • it can subscribe to automatic alerts (free) defined according to criteria specific to the services or work that interest it (especially on the BOAMP website).

Identifying oneself on digitalization platforms to respond

To respond electronically, the candidate or submitting company will need to identify themselves on the electronic response platform, by creating or not creating an account on that platform. Creating an account is recommended in order to store information. However, the company must first have properly identified the response platform, which may not be the case for inexperienced candidates in the process.

2 Download the company consultation file (DCE)

Once the advertisements have been recorded and analyzed, the company will download the DCE to respond to the public tender, this DCE will include documents such as the following: consultation regulations (RC), commitment act ("acte d'engagement"), CCAP, CCTP, DPGF, BPU, ... this list is not exhaustive.

The first step is to go through these documents and then move on to selecting files that may be successful. The withdrawal of files is usually done by downloading on the website of the purchasing authority dedicated to the dematerialization of public contracts ("buyer profile") or, in now exceptional cases and provided for by regulation, by requesting a paper copy of the consultation file.

3 Select interesting markets. Can they be won?

This step is crucial because it is not for a company to respond to all calls in order to avoid exhausting themselves and achieving a disappointing success rate.

The goal is to make a selection of tenders that may interest the company for "winnable" markets.

It is not a question of responding to all potentially interesting markets. Preparing responses to public contracts is relatively long and the company will quickly become exhausted if the success rate is insufficient.

  • Therefore, it is necessary to see if it is worth responding. This often requires additional investigations to be carried out in conjunction with the company's experience in the field.
  • Some buyers restrict advertising or even direct the file, which is naturally prohibited but it exists.

4 Compile your response to the market

The drafting of the response is an important step. It is mainly the consultation regulations that list the documents to be provided in a public contract.

It is divided into two phases or parts.

The application file

The constitution of the "application" part includes an application file that will allow the selection of candidate companies by criteria for selecting applications.

The offer file

The constitution of the "offer" part that will allow the award of the offer by criteria for choosing offers.

The offer generally includes:

The financial offer

The financial offer includes documents related to prices (Commitment Act, DPGF, BPU, DQE).

The technical offer

The technical offer ("technical memorandum", "methodological note", ...) reflects the means used, the methodology, sustainable development, ... for the execution of the contract. It is a SPECIFIC document to the contract in question, of paramount importance and weighs heavily in the balance.

WARNING! It is a SPECIFIC document for each market.

The content of the technical memorandum is crucial for awarding the contract, knowing that its drafting is delicate in that this document is specific to each response, even if some elements can be extracted from other responses. Therefore, for drafting, it is necessary to avoid using examples or standard technical memoranda as they will not meet the needs of the market.

If the application section is important, as it is unavoidable, companies that are new to the matter should mainly focus on the part related to the offer. In fact, what interests the buyer is the offer and not the application, which is only a "pass through".

It is advisable to draft the offer with the utmost care as even the most important companies regularly make mistakes at this stage.

5 Transmit your response file electronically

The file being complete, the final step is to send your response over the internet to the buyer via a dematerialization platform.

The operation is more complex than simply sending an email, especially due to potential technical issues (JAVA, document signing, internet connection, multiplicity of platforms, incident on the platform, unreachable hotline, file size, etc.).

The dematerialized response is mandatory, so since October 1, 2018, paper offers are irregular.

For the dematerialization of calls for tenders, here is what you must, at a minimum, master:

  • have a workstation that meets technical requirements (characteristics, good version of JAVA, browser, etc.);
  • have an EIDAS electronic signature certificate, which can be purchased and must be installed on the workstation used;
  • protect yourself from technical incidents with necessary common sense precautions;
  • know how to electronically sign documents;
  • know how to manage file size (avoid large files, especially for the technical offer);
  • know how to complete an electronic DUME if you use it; know how to respond practically by electronic means, therefore, submit a dematerialized tender in the marketplace.

Frédéric MAKOWSKI - Public procurement trainer and consultant for SMEs and public purchasers

  • Professional Master 2 in "Public Contracts Law" - ENSEA engineer
  • More than 30 years' experience in public procurement, both for companies bidding for contracts and for public purchasers awarding contracts.
  • Numerous references in various fields of activity.
  • Assistance to set up your response file.
  • Distance learning, INTRA on-site or INTER-company courses.