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Product-neutral specification for printers

The aim of this document is to provide public purchasers within the Federal Government, the Länder and at local government level, as well as purchasers working for companies and private institutions – such as churches and associations – with reliable, discerning assistance in com-piling product-neutral invitations to tender for the procurement of printers.

These guidelines exclusively concern printers to be used as workplace, work group or department printers. Information about the product-neutral invitation to tender for multi-function (4-in-1) devices will be added in version 2.0.

Product-neutral invitations to tender are necessary because both European and German regulations for awarding public contracts largely prohibit the mentioning of brand names in public invitations to tender. This is set forth in European legislation’s discrimination ban in Article 23 of Guideline 2004/18 and in § 7 (4) VOL/A (German regulations for awarding contracts) and § 8 VOL/A EG (German regulations for awarding contracts with a value above the EU threshold). This prohibition ensures that manufacturers and suppliers cannot be excluded from the circle of potential bidders based on discriminatory wording in the invitation to tender.

These guidelines are of assistance in that they support compliance with the legal requirements and thus ensure fair competition, and also refer to and describe current technical developments. Because the benchmarking methods applied to notebooks and desktop PCs are unsuitable for printers, compliance with the legal requirements is achieved by means of product-neutral specifications, the core components of which are technical characteristics and standards.

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