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General Terms of Contract (GTC) for Use of www.simap.ch


Status as of 29.09.2009
30.03.2017: modification Place of jurisdiction



1 Preamble



The Association for Provision of an Information System on public procurement in Switzerland (simap.ch association; hereinafter called the Association) operates an information system on its website www.simap.ch. The platform provides an environment for the exchange of information between public procurement authorities and potential bidders. The Procurement authorities can publish their invitations to tender on www.simap.ch. The bidders have the opportunity to notify their intention to tender, examine the relevant documents and use the forum to submit questions to the procurement authorities. The Association also uses the www.simap.ch site to provide additional information on Public procurement procedures in Switzerland.

The Association operates as a non-profit organisation. All users are entitled to make use of www.simap.ch free of charge.


2 Object of contract, applicability



2.1 Object of contract

These General Terms of Contract regulate the provision of information by the Association and use of the platform for exchange of information between procurement authorities and potential Bidders.

2.2 Applicability of General Terms of Contract

These General Terms of Contract apply to persons and entities who actively use www.simap.ch in procedures for award of public-sector contracts (hereinafter called Users). These include the Bidders notifying their intention to tender and the procurement authorities publishing invitations to tender on the platform and can be in the form of natural persons, legal persons under private law or legal persons under public law.

2.3 Conclusion of contract

All users that register online as a procurement authority or a Bidder automatically confirm their acceptance of these General Terms of Contract. The obligations contained therein apply equally to natural persons actually using the platform and to the legal persons on whose behalf they are acting (e.g. procurement authorities, Bidders or data providers). Provisions containing references to the term ‘User’ apply equally to natural persons and to the legal persons represented by them.


3 Services provided by Association



3.1 Availability of information and functionalities

The Association makes the following information and functions available:

  • a list of invitations to tender, a list of awards and the list of other public-sector invitations to tender running during the current and the preceding week
  • a list of public-sector invitations to tender broken down by type of agency (cantonal, Swiss cities, federal authorities and public corporations)
  • a search engine capable of performing both simple and advanced searches
  • a list of all public procurement authorities using www.simap.ch
  • a list of Bidders’ names (available to procurement authorities only)
  • a function for download of tender documents made available to www.simap.ch by the procurement authorities
  • a function enabling Bidders to submit questions on invitations to tender in cases where Q&A forums are held
  • a function enabling procurement authorities to answer any such questions online
  • a list of contact addresses for use in case of problems, questions or other requests
  • practical instructions for bidders and tips for procurement authorities
  • a collection of documents (laws, resolutions, agreements) and links relating to public procurement procedures
  • a large number of documents and links relating to www.simap.ch (general information, links to similar platforms in other countries, glossaries)
  • onward transmission of simap data to public-sector bodies responsible for publication
  • Offer of subscriptions für data providers (GTC for Online Subscriptions www.simap.ch)

3.2 Support and Help desk

The Association provides online Help functions (user manual, instructions for use, tips), and also a Help desk. The e-mail support function includes replies to questions on www.simap.ch functionalities.

The electronic Help desk is unable to answer questions relating to problems arising from Users’ hardware or software. Nor can the support function deal with questions relating to laws and regulations on public procurement. Any such questions must be addressed to the responsible office at federal or cantonal level.


4 User responsibilities



4.1 General responsibility

The individual User bears the sole responsibility to both the Association and the other Users for the legality and accuracy of the contents published by him on www.simap.ch. This responsibility extends to all information and data (texts, images, etc.) published by him on www.simap.ch.

4.2 Observance of legal requirements

When using the platform, the User hereby undertakes to observe Swiss law. In particular, he undertakes to ensure that the contents and offers published by him on www.simap.ch infringe no legal provisions (especially provisions contained in criminal, competition, trademark, copyright or telecommunications law, data protection regulations or regulations on invasion of personal privacy). He further undertakes to ensure that his publications do not offend ethical or moral principles or contain any other items of a dubious nature. The User further undertakes to respect the rights of third parties and to verify his publications for accuracy and freedom from viruses prior to their placement on the site.

4.3 Control of site contents

The Association does not systematically control contents and offers published by a User. Should the Association receive credible allegations of illegal, immoral, unethical or inaccurate information or offers published by a User, it will, after informing that User accordingly, take the precaution of deleting the relevant publication from www.simap.ch. In accepting these General Terms of Contract, the User automatically authorises the Association to take the final decision on deletion of publications which could be construed as illegal, immoral, unethical or inaccurate.

In the event of discovery of an unlawful act (and, in particular, of a suspected criminal act) the Association reserves the right to inform the responsible authority accordingly. The Association is also entitled to prohibit any User infringing legal or contractual requirements from using the platform and reserves the right to press claims for compensation.

4.4 Password confidentiality

Every User receiving a password (access code) for the www.simap.ch site bears full responsibility for the secrecy and safekeeping of the access data. The User is not permitted to disclose these access data to third parties, but is entitled to make them known to members of his own organisation.

4.5 Special responsibility of Procurement Authority

The procurement authority is responsible for observance of the regulations governing award of public-sector contracts. In particular, the procurement authority bears full responsibility for the content of its invitations to tenders, any corrections or additions thereto, replies to questions asked in the forum and for any other information on a tender published on the www.simap.ch site.

4.6 Consents

In completing the form confirming his participation in the tender procedure, the Bidder authorises onward transmission of his data to the procurement authority.

The Bidder and the procurement authority hereby declare their consent to publication of information on award of a contract on the www.simap.ch site.

4.7 Liability

The User shall bear full liability for all loss or damage resulting from his infringement of contractual obligations and hereby indemnifies the Association against any compensation claims filed against it by third parties.


5 Responsibilities of Association



5.1 Correct function of platform

Although the Association bears responsibility for conscientious provision of its services and normal functioning of the platform, the User is aware of the impossibility of guaranteeing total freedom from functional defects in complex information systems, even when these are designed and operated with all due care. Consequently, the Association gives no guarantee that the www.simap.ch site will function without defects. The same applies to transmission of data to the cantonal gazettes (KHB) or to the Schweizerische Handelsblatt (SHAB).

Any application errors will be corrected either by updates or by revised versions. The Association shall be free to decide the time for correction of errors within the framework of its release planning, but will nevertheless endeavour to correct serious errors without undue delay. When supplying updates or revised versions, the Association cannot guarantee that all functions will be maintained in unchanged form.

5.2 Availability of services

Although the Association cannot guarantee uninterrupted availability of www.simap.ch functionalities and the Help desk, or that the platform will be accessible at all times, it will endeavour to remedy any system failures occurring within its area of responsibility as quickly as possible. Where possible, the Association will display situation reports on any especially complex or long-lasting interruptions of its services on the www.simap.ch site.

5.3 IT-Sicherheit

The IT security level of the www.simap.ch site is state-of-the-art. User data are protected by https encryption and by the use of passwords and security codes.

The Association has no influence whatsoever on data files exchanged between users and is consequently unable to guarantee either their integrity or their readability. The Users bear full responsibility for format compatibility and for keeping their files free of viruses.

5.4 Confidentiality, data protection

The Association treats all not generally known information coming to its knowledge during provision of its services in strict confidence and will not communicate any such information to third parties without the relevant user’s prior consent.

Unpublished personal data will be treated in confidence and adequately protected against disclosure to unauthorised persons. In entering his personal data on a contact form or sending an e-mail, the User confirms his consent to processing of these data for the relevant use.

5.5 Data handling / Archiving

The archiving/cancellation on simap.ch is regulated as follows:

Please note, that on a open procedure all documents are deleted automatically by the system 31 days after the deadline to submit respectively submitting project.

On a selective procedure, the documents are deleted automatically by the system 12 months after the deadline of the application for participation.

All publications (invitations to tender, awards) are saved on simap.ch at most 5 years and are open to public.

5.6 Liability of the association

In the event of claims filed for any legal reason whatsoever, the Association’s liability shall be limited to damage or loss caused through gross negligence or wilful act of the Association itself or the responsible employee(s). Unless otherwise stipulated by mandatory law, the Association excludes its vicarious agents and subs from liability, and also excludes any liability whatsoever for indirect or consequential loss or damage. The Association’s liability is limited to the amount of its assets.

Notwithstanding the precautions taken to prevent misuse of its www.simap.ch services and its reaction to any warnings received, the Association cannot exclude the possibility of use of these services for improper purposes. The Association disclaims any responsibility or liability for loss or damage suffered by either Users or third parties through any such misuse.

The Association further disclaims any responsibility or liability for the contents or the correct functioning of other sites which can be reached through hyperlinks.

5.7 Award and fulfilment of contracts

The Association’s position is independent and neutral. It has no influence on decisions taken by a procurement authority and published on the www.simap.ch site. Consequently, objections to award of contracts cannot be filed against the Association.

The Association is neither a party to nor an intermediary in contracts concluded between Users of www.simap.ch. All procurement contracts are concluded and executed between the relevant procurement Authority and Bidder outside the www.simap.ch site.


6 Exclusion from site



The management of the Association is entitled to exclude Users from access to the functionalities of the www.simap.ch site or to restrict the persons authorised to access the site without notice. Such exclusion or restriction can occur in the following cases:

  • Misuse of www.simap.ch
  • User failure to observe these General Terms of Contract
  • Grounds for suspecting that a User’s publication is unlawful, immoral or unethical
  • Misuse or disclosure of the access code,
  • User’s online transmission (either intentionally or unintentionally) of virus-infected data

A User’s exclusion automatically terminates his contractual relationship with the Association. The User cannot contest either a restriction, an exclusion or the termination of the contractual relationship.


7 Termination of contract



Either party is entitled to terminate the contract at any time and without stating reasons. Notice of termination must be served in writing (by e-mail).

The Association is entitled to cease operation and close down the platform at any time without incurring any liability for claims from the User. The Association will give advance warning of any such action.


8 Final provisions



8.1 Rights to www.simap.ch

The design and creation of the platform and of the applications for processing and accessing of its contents are the intellectual property of the Association and its owners and are protected by copyright law.

The invitations to tender remain the intellectual property of the procurement authorities, but the Association reserves the right to transmit their contents to third parties.

Duplication, publication or linking (in particular by integration into a website or an Intranet), either in whole or in part, of the www.simap.ch platform structure, applications or contents require the Association’s prior written consent. This restriction does not apply to printout or download of contents for personal or non-commercial use or to printout or download of invitations to tender with the intention of considering a bid. 8.2 Amendments to General Terms of Contract, changes in functionalities

The Association reserves the right to modify, enlarge or restrict the platform’s structure, procedures and functionalities at any time. The Association is also entitled to modify the contents displayed by itself on the www.simap.ch site at any time

The Association is entitled to amend these General Terms of Contract at any time. Any such amendments will be communicated to the User either by e-mail or by another suitable method (online). Continued use of the platform by a User shall constitute his acceptance of the new conditions. Rejection of the amendments by the user shall automatically entail immediate termination of the contractual relationship.
The most recent binding version of the General Terms of Contract is available for inspection and printout at www.simap.ch.

8.3 Escape clause

Should any individual provision of these General Terms of Contract prove invalid or impracticable, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions.

8.4 Settlement of disputes

In the event of differences of opinion in connection with the use of the www.simap.ch site or with the most recent valid version of the General Terms of Contract, the parties to the contract hereby undertake to make every effort to find a mutually acceptable solution in good faith.

If there are any discrepancies or inconsistencies between the various language versions of these standard terms and conditions, the German version shall prevail.

8.5 Place of jurisdiction, governing law

The sole place of jurisdiction for all disputes between the Association and the User arising either from these General Terms of Contract or from the use of www.simap.ch shall be Bern.

The contractual relationship is governed by Swiss substantive law.