Under LOU, a ‘framework agreement’ means an agreement concluded between one or more contracting authorities and one or more suppliers, the purpose of which is to establish the terms for a later award of contracts during a given period.
A framework agreement may relate to products, services or works. The value of a framework agreement shall be estimated as the maximum aggregate value of all of the contracts envisaged for the term of the framework agreement. The rules regarding framework agreements apply both to procurements above the thresholds and to procurements below the thresholds.
A procurement, the purpose of which is for a framework agreement to be concluded by the contracting authority, must comply with the provisions of LOU. Special rules subsequently apply to the award of contracts based on the framework agreement. Awarding contracts under a framework agreement is known in procurement terms as a ‘call-off’. Terms for individual call-offs may not deviate fundamentally from the terms contained in the framework agreement concluded.
The term of the framework agreement must be for no more than four years (including option and renewal clauses) unless there are special reasons.
A framework agreement may be concluded either with one supplier or with several suppliers.