What is a Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) ?
A BOA is the primary part of a two-stage contracting procedure whereby:
- The contract is negotiated and placed centrally with a supplier for a specified range of goods. All basic contract provisions are agreed including prices or a definitive pricing methodology.
- Individual orders for retail quantities may then be placed against the central contract by local offices for local delivery.
Acquisition under BOAs is competitive by default, especially if funded by the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP). All BOA competitions hosted by the NCI Agency are announced on the Agency’s Bulletin Board accessible on the Bulletin Board.
What are the main advantages of a BOA?
The BOA implements a standardised contract format and contract terms and conditions for all hundreds of suppliers throughout NATO:
- All essential contract terms are already determined by professional contracting staff.
- Avoids unnecessary and repeated negotiation by local purchasers (often leading to variable results)
- May operate irrespective of the source of authorized funds (i.e. the budget is transparent)
- Automated access to information from hundreds of suppliers throughout NATO on the latest IT products, services and prices, and company points of contact
- Most Favoured Customer pricing and terms and conditions:
- Considerable reduction on commercial prices due to potential of large aggregate quantities
- Admits main quantity buys (retail quantities) by local offices at any time during validity of the BOA
- Although no total quantities may be agreed, suppliers have access to a wider market with the advantage of a central negotiation and reference point in the NCI Agency
- Pricing and Technical information updated regularly
- Benefits of competition in a streamlined environment:
- Faster and simpler processing of competitive procurements.
- Single entry point for access to web-based services provided by the suppliers (configuration tools, price calculators etc.)
- Enhances ability to obtain Global, Corporate and Site Licenses
What products are included?
Currently the NCI Agency has negotiated a number of BOAs for Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) information covering a wide variety of commercial computer products including hardware and a large range of software, information technology support and maintenance services, and consultancy and engineering support.
What is the basic process of a BOA?
The majority of BOA procurements processed by the NCI Agency are done via competitions. They are announced on the Agency’s Bulletin Board and are only open to suppliers with an active BOA. For BOA competitions, the NCI Agency compiles an initial bidders list via the BOA criteria selected by each supplier in accordance with the scope of their BOA. BOA suppliers not initially selected may contact the NCI Agency and request inclusion in any bidders list of interest.
Where the funding authorization foresees sole source procurement via BOA, the prospective Purchaser will identify requirements and requisite authority in accordance with local regulations. The Purchaser can then issue a local purchase order directly to the chosen supplier quoting the relevant BOA number. Goods are supplied in accordance with the pre-determined BOA conditions. Any special-to-order/location conditions should be negotiated and included by the Purchaser.
What are the procedures to obtain security as well as NATO clearances on behalf of foreign nationals in order that those foreign national might work on a temporary project in NATO Nations?
All questions regarding security clearances need to be addressed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the country where your company resides or to the National Delegation at NATO for the foreign nationals concerned.
What if our prices for services are high in comparison with that of other companies and cannot be reduced?
With respect to service type agreements where Task Orders are involved there are, of course, a number of variables to consider of which price is just one: (a) price; (b) rates; (c) period of performance (d) levels of expertise; (e) availability; (f) support and maintenance; (g) travel requirements. A typical formula is a=b+c+d+e+(f)+(g).
The rates used as part of the BOA, however, set a baseline and provide information to enable potential purchasers to price, and order if necessary, individual levels of expertise. For example if a Purchaser wishes 10 days of engineering support he can readily identify, price and order this. Whilst price is important and forms a critical part of the BOA, it is not necessarily the only criteria to be used.
The NCI Agency understands that prices quoted in the BOA are indicative only. Hence, prior to any procurement via BOA, the NCI Agency will contact the potential supplier directly and request a firm price quotation for each specific requirement.
Though primarily used as a procurement method by the NCI Agency, any NATO Agency, Governmental Agencies (including military forces) of any of the 28 NATO Member Nations, and, on a case by case basis, the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) Nations are eligible users of BOAs.
Which of the Eligible Purchasers are exempt from VAT?
NATO Bodies are exempt from paying VAT. Enlargement and PfP Governmental Authorities as well as NATO National Authorities may also be exempt if purchasing for a NATO project with a NATO authorised budget or, in some cases, when these authorities have been authorised by NATO to purchase under NATO regulations and using their privileges when there is a shared interest. This should be documented in each and every case.
What are the approximate yearly revenues on the NATO BOAs. Is this information available to the public? Is there a NATO CI budget and if so, how large is it?
No formal records are kept for such estimates. The NCI Agency, as only one potential "Host Nation", does not have an overview of the overall budget sizes associated with the above information. Although there is a NATO CI Organisation (NCIO) and we are the NCI Agency, there is no CI Budget as such.
Purchases within this category can be made by NATO, NATO Member Nations and other "eligible purchasers" under the following budgets/funding:
- NATO Investment (various categories including Signals (CM), HQ, War Installations, etc., all of which may include Communication and Information System requirements, NATO-wide);
- Military Budget (Administrative budgets - Organisations NATO-Wide and Capital Investments - NATO-Wide, military Commands, etc);
- Civil Budget;
- Certain National requirements (NATO Member Countries).
Our company belongs to a multi-national conglomerate, but can only deliver in the country in which we reside. Can our branch still negotiate a BOA?
Yes, your branch can either negotiate its own BOA with the NCI Agency, or we can negotiate an overarching BOA with the multi-national “parent” company and adding your branch as a subsidiary to this BOA.
Would it be possible for us to include another company's products, for which we are a vendor, in our BOA?
Yes, other company’s products and services can be included in your BOA.
We cannot provide warranty, maintenance and support Europe-wide. Is that a problem?
Subject to the requirement and/or project concerned, this may be a limitation for your company to be "compliant" in certain bids. However, alternative methods of warranty, maintenance and support are available such as via the world-wide web, immediate replacement warranty/maintenance, etc., depending on the type of products involved.
Can a company that has negotiated a BOA still participate in ICBs? How does that company then get included in the ICB process?
Yes. In order to participate in International Competitive Bidding (ICB), your company needs to be nominated by your National Delegation to NATO for inclusion in the bidders list. You may contact your National Delegation to NATO for further information on the procedure for ICM competitions.
Will information on potential procurements be available to a company that has negotiated a BOA?
Yes, from various sources including the Delegations, NATO Military Commands, NATO Agencies, etc. depending on the project and/or budget involved. The NCI Agency also maintains a Bulletin Board which lists all current Agency-wide business opportunities and Twitter account (@NCIA-Acquisition) for this purpose.
How is updating of pricing information done in a BOA? Can products be added after it has been signed?
Products and Services as well as price lists can always be added to the BOA, subject to approval by the NCI Agency. This is one of the objectives of the BOAs to maintain up-to-date pricing and technology. All requests for changes need to be emailed to the BOA Programme Coordinator at email@example.com.
How is BOA comparison done when it concerns consultancy services?
This depends on the requirement or project. It ranges from a simple comparison of rates based upon "lowest compliant" to detailed Statements of Work where the total price for completion is evaluated. In every case the criteria for evaluation will be specified in the bidding documents.
In which currency do we publish our prices?
Prices can be published in any of the NATO Members’ currencies including multiple currencies if appropriate and/or Euro.
Do our staff need security clearances?
Security Clearances are not required as part of the BOA but they may be required for certain projects but these security requirements will be specified in the bidding instructions.
Can crypto equipment be the subject of a BOA?
Yes, if it is Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS). Such crypto equipment may be subject to accreditation by National or NATO Security Authorities.
What is the next step after our Company has digested all the available information and decides to solicit a BOA?
If you are interested in signing a BOA with the NCI Agency, please email the BOA Programme Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a BOA Information Packet. You will receive a detailed file containing all background information, templates and instructions for the application process. Registration will be done electronically.
I understand that BOAs are only for small procurements, i.e. sole source?
BOAs can indeed be used for small procurements but they can also be used for larger procurements. Normally, particularly under the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) the majority of procurements will be conducted under competition.
In order to participate in ICB, does a company need to have a BOA in place?
No, but in order to be eligible the Company must be nominated by their National Delegation.
Can third parties products, used by our company to develop a solution, be included as our offered products range?
Subject to the agreement of any third party, there is no reason why you cannot include products and services of other manufacturers, suppliers, companies, etc. under your BOA. The NCI Agency, on behalf of NATO, has many BOAs which include such arrangements as well as Divisions, Subsidiaries, Partnerships, etc.