Legal Framework for Procurement of Public Works, Goods and Services - 2008


This booklet is one of a series aimed at helping investors do business in Mozambique. It is
based on the idea that informed investors can more easily follow the law, and the conviction
that the rule of law is the best guarantor of property and of orderly and sustained
The series has been developed jointly by a number of institutions, including GTZ APSP
(Ambiente Propício para o Sector Privado), GTZ PRODER (Programa de Desenvolvimento
Rural), Projecto GERENA (Gestão de Recursos Naturais), CFJJ (Centro de Formação
Jurídica e Judiciária), SAL & Caldeira Advogados e Consultores Lda, UFSA (Unidade
Funcional de Supervisão das Aquisições), and ACIS. By combining the experience of these
institutions, we hope to give investors clear, practical advice with a sound basis in law.
This booklet is aimed primarily at those companies interested in selling goods and services
to, or undertaking public works on behalf of the government but is also a tool for those
from the public sector promoting economic development in Mozambique. However the
booklet cannot be all things to all people and with that in mind its main focus is on enabling
companies to legally engage in business with the government of Mozambique.
As we developed the booklet at times we disagreed over what was the “proper” procedure.
On further investigation we noted that this is because in some instances matters are handled
differently in different parts of the country. While the sources of law governing most
procedures are standardised at national level, local interpretation can vary. These differences
are rarely of major significance but we felt it important, since this is a guide book of sorts, to
note these differences. We have therefore taken the procedures as followed in Sofala
Province as our baseline and, where we are aware of them, have made note of any
differences in the way procedures are handled elsewhere in the country.
A number of additional legal requirements are mentioned in the booklet, such as the
requirements for incorporation of a company and payment of taxes. These are complex
subjects in their own right and some are the subjects of other booklets in this series. Where
relevant we have opted not to give detailed treatment to these questions here but
recommend that the reader consults the other titles in this series.
In this, the English language version of the booklet we have been faced with the choice of
using terms in English or in Portuguese. We have opted to introduce both terms together
and then to use the Portuguese term. While this may at first seem inconvenient to those who
are not familiar with Portuguese in the longer run we believe it will help readers to become
familiar with the basic terminology for procurement in Mozambique. A glossary of the
terms used in Portuguese is included.
Much of the legislation cited in this booklet is available in both Portuguese and English.
You may download it from ACIS’ web site, and from the UFSA web
While we have tried our best to be accurate, we may have made some mistakes, and we
certainly made some omissions. Also, law and public administration are dynamic subjects,
and it is very likely that in the near future, some law or regulation described herein will be
changed. We hope to correct the mistakes and supply the omissions in a next edition, so
please do tell us of any that you find. In the meantime, the detailed nature of the subject
matter and ordinary prudence both compel us to disclaim liability for those errors or
omissions. In cases of doubt, readers would do well to consult legal counsel.
We hope that you find this booklet and the others in the series useful. Mozambique is a
wonderful country and, as an entrepreneur creating wealth and employment, you have an
important role to play in building it. Our role is to help you do yours. Força!
The copyright for this booklet belongs jointly to GTZ and ACIS. If you quote from the
booklet, please do so with attribution. All rights are reserved.
A note about footnotes: This booklet is not designed for lawyers, and while we hope that it
will also be of use to them we have taken the view that footnotes, where included should be
easily accessible to the average reader who does not have legal training. Therefore we have
provided the formal citation of pieces of legislation in the text where they first occur.
Subsequent references use the “name” of the legislation, for example the Procurement
Regulation etc.


Please find below a list of some of the terms you will encounter in this manual. Those used
most frequently in public procurement are found in Article 3 of the Procurement Regulation.
Defined terms are set forth in bold typeface.


A number of pieces of legislation provide the legal context and background for the
procurement system in Mozambique. These include the 2005 Procurement Regulation,
legislation governing state and municipal administration, and anti-corruption legislation. In
addition other areas of legislation such as the Commercial, Notarial and Tax Codes also
impact on procurement procedures. Certain aspects of this legislation are complex, and while
we have endeavoured to simplify where possible, we encourage the reader to seek advice
from legal counsel in cases of doubt.
Please also note that the web site includes details of tenders
currently open, adjudication of completed tenders and details of past tenders undertaken
under the new procurement legislation, and is therefore an important site for all those
wanting to do business with the government.


In 2005 the Mozambican Government introduced new legislation regulating the contracting
of public works, supply of goods and provision of services to the State. The regulation
(Decree 54/2005 of 13 December, known throughout this book as the Procurement
Regulation) was introduced with a view to streamlining procedures which had previously
been the subject of various, at times overlapping, pieces of legislation, and to bringing state
procurement in line with international norms and standards, and centralising it within the
Ministries of Finance and Public Works. The development of the legislation now in force
was the subject of much debate involving the Administrative Court, Finance Inspectorate,
CTA, Mozambique’s cooperation partners and others.
With the introduction of the Procurement Regulation all public works, goods and services
procured by the government at all levels (national, provincial, district and municipal as well
as companies in which the State holds 100% of the capital, where the financial activities of
any of the aforementioned entities are linked to the State budget1) including procurement
using funds from donor governments is to be undertaken in accordance with the
requirements provided in the Regulation. The Procurement Regulation also regulates
consultancies and concessions2. While some exceptions continue to exist in the main it is the
Procurement Regulation which guides all business relationships between the private and
public sectors.
The government body responsible for oversight of the Procurement Regulation is the Unit
for the Supervision of Acquisitions (Unidade Funcional de Supervisão das Aquisições – UFSA).
Ministerial Diplomas 141 and 142/2006 of 05 September established UFSA and approved
the structure of UGEA.
The Procurement Regulation requires that all procurement procedures abide by a number of
principles including legality, public interest, transparency, openness, equality, competitiveness, impartiality and sound financial management3. In addition procurement
processes must be decentralised wherever possible as indicated by UFSA, and must strive to
optimise the benefits of procurement (for example through collective purchasing)4.
Procurement processes must provide clear justification of the type of tender to be used5.
Types of tender are discussed in depth below in Section 5. In addition tender documents
must be clear and concise, including the necessary technical, financial and legal qualifications,
but must not be drafted in such a way as to limit competition, the stipulation of specific
brands for example being prohibited6. Tenders must be well publicised and provide
sufficient time for the bidders to prepare their responses7. Tenders must allow all potential
bidders equal opportunity to bid and must ensure the maximum possible participation from
potential bidders8. The criteria for awarding the tender must be established in the tender
documents before the invitation to tender is made public, and the criteria must ensure the
most advantageous bid wins while taking into account the principles of equal opportunity
and fair competition9. The award criteria must be made available to potential bidders10.
Above all procurement processes must be undertaken in accordance with that provided in
All documents related to a procurement process, including responses to tenders, must be in
Portuguese. Tenders may simultaneously be issued in other languages, but Portuguese must
also be used12.
Details of how procurement procedures are carried out and how these relate to those
interested in bidding on them are provided below in Sections 4 and 5.


Owing to its nature, and often to the values involved, procurement is, unfortunately an area
in many countries where corruption may be found. Mozambique has an anti-corruption law
(Law 6/2004 of 17 June) and also a regulation which governs certain aspects of that
legislation. In addition to the rights of appeal which those who participate in procurement
processes have (see Section 6 below) the following provides a brief summary of rights of
recourse under the anti-corruption legislation. These do not apply specifically to
procurement processes.
 Indemnity for damages
Law 6/2004 of 17 June, Article 3 paragraph 2 establishes that indemnity should be made for
damages to public or private property or interests resulting from acts or omissions made by
government functionaries.
The request for indemnity is made against government managers or functionaries who, for
corrupt or illicit financial motives have undertaken acts or made omissions which have
materially damaged public or private property or interests. The Constitution of the Republic
allows that a claim may be awarded against the State if it is found liable to answer for the
manager or functionary in question (Article 58, paragraph 2 of the 2004 Constitution).
Action may be taken by the party feeling himself injured. Action is taken before the
Administrative Court (Law 9/2001 of 7th July, the Administrative Litigation Law Article 98
paragraph b) in conjunction with Article 99 and 102). The time taken for a process depends
on how busy the court is, and costs are calculated according to a table of costs published in
Decree 28/96 of 9th July. Costs may be awarded, though the winning party is also subject to
up to 10,000MTn in costs.
 Presentation of declarations
All those with decision-making roles in the state apparatus are required to present
declarations of assets (which include fixed and non-fixed assets both within and outside the
country). These must be submitted before taking office and must be regularly updated. (Law
6/2004 article 4, Decree 22/2005 of 22nd June, article 3). Such declarations are to be
regularly reviewed and may be used as evidence in anti-corruption investigations.
 Recourse against administrative acts
Administrative acts and decisions must be justified. The legislation requires that any
administrative act which; either wholly or partially negates, restricts or otherwise affects
rights; increases obligations, responsibilities or sanctions; affects legally protected interests;
gives a decision on complaints or appeals; decides in any way against what the applicant has
requested; decides contrary to the standard interpretation and application of legal precepts;
or implies the revoking, modification or suspension of a previous administrative act must be
justified with a clear indication of the motivation for the decision and include clear legal
support for the decision taken. Any verbal decision of this nature given must be reduced to
writing and presented within 7 days (Law 6/2004 Article 5).
As above complaints on this type of issue are taken before the Administrative Court. The
time taken for a process depends on how busy the court is and costs are calculated according
to a table of costs published in Decree 28/96 of 9th July. Costs may be awarded, though the
winning party is also subject to up to 10,000MTn in costs.
 Administrative or criminal process
An administrative or criminal process may be brought by any person. To begin the process a
document containing all supporting information (facts of the case, proof) should be prepared. The document may be signed or may be anonymous. The complaint should be
directed to the relevant administrative authority (in practice, the Anti-Corruption Office at
national or provincial level, or the department in which the functionary being complained
against is employed), the police or the Attorney General’s office (Law 6/2004, article 12).
In a criminal process the injured party may have his legal representation designated as an
“observer” so that counsel can actively participate in the investigation and prosecution
process. A criminal process can be brought alongside an administrative process, the
conclusion of the criminal process also serving as a conclusion to the administrative process
(Decree Law 35007, article 4, paragraph 5).
The time taken for a criminal process depends on how full the court is. Costs may be
awarded, though the cost of taking the process to court is with the complainant until the
case is concluded.
 Petition to the National Assembly
In accordance with Article 79 of the Constitution of the Republic any citizen can take a
petition before the Assembly. This included petitioning on cases of corruption. A petition is
cost-free, the only stipulation being that it must be presented in writing. There are a number
of requirements about the actual complaint – it must have a sound basis for example. The
complaint then passes through a number of stages including discussion by committee, at
which time further evidence or information may be gathered. The petition may be upheld,
filed for consideration at a later date or turned down.
A number of useful contacts, as well as the anti-corruption legislation and commentary on it
are available in the ACIS “Combating Business Participation in Corruption Toolkit” which is
available in Portuguese and English on request from
Construction and the provision of construction services to the government in the form of
public works are regulated by a raft of legislation. Given the complexity of the subject matter
the discussion of the licensing of construction companies is outside the scope of this
publication. However interested parties are referred to a forthcoming publication in the
Legal Framework series, “The Legal Framework for Construction in Mozambique”.


The following requirements are based on the Procurement Regulation and on the Ministry of
Finance Procedures Manual for procurement (hereafter the Procedures Manual) produced in
2007. The Procedures Manual includes a large volume of standard documents, many of
which are destined for internal use within the public sector. Given that this booklet is aimed
at the private sector we have opted to only reproduce in annexes those documents which
bidders and other interested parties are likely to see. We have however referenced all
documents to the Procedures Manual so that anyone with a deeper interest in the subject can
locate them. The procedures for certain types of tender may differ slightly, particularly in
respect of small-scale procurement processes. Where these differ we have noted this fact.



The entity planning to undertake a procurement process must first send a request to the unit
responsible for management and execution of acquisitions (Unidade Gestora Executora de
Aquisições – UGEA). This request must include13:
 Need and purpose of the proposed procurement
 Specifications
 Detailed contract estimate and budget provision
 Any specific requirements that must be made of bidders
In the legislation the relevant authority and the contracting entity are differentiated. In the
interests of brevity we have opted here to refer to both as the “applicant” or “applicant
entity” and throughout the booklet these terms refer to the individual or institution which
will ultimately contract with the private sector individual or company in respect of the works,
goods or services to be provided.
Having analysed the information received and checked the budget situation of the applicant
the UGEA then requests permission from the applicant to begin the procurement process14.
This request is made by means of a form letter15. The applicant verifies that the details
included in the form letter, which will form the basis for the tender documents are correct
and then authorises the UGEA to proceed with the procurement process.
On the basis of this agreement with the applicant entity, the UGEA then opens an
administrative process, which is allocated an internal administration number (separate from
the tender number), develops the tender document and prepares the tender advertisement16.
Standard tender documents are provided either in the Procedures Manual or in the following
 Procurement of goods – Joint Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Industry &
Commerce Ministerial Diploma 147/2006 of 30 December 2005;
 Contracting of Public Works – Joint Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Public
Works Ministerial Diploma 145/2006 of 30 December 2005;
 Acquisition of school books – Joint Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education
Ministerial Diploma 150/2006 of 30 December 2005;
 Acquisition of medicines – Joint Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Health
Ministerial Diploma 149/2006 of 30 December 2005;
 Contracting of General Services - Joint Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Industry
& Commerce, Ministerial Diploma 147/2006 of 30 December 2005;
 Contracting of Consulting Services – Joint Ministerial Diploma 151/2006 of the
Ministries of Finance, Public Works, Health and Education, issued on 30 December
 Procurement of goods (small scale17) - Joint Ministry of Finance and Ministry of
Industry & Commerce Ministerial Diploma 148/2006 of 30 December 2005;
 Procurement of Public Works (small scale18) - Joint Ministry of Finance and Ministry
of Public Works Ministerial Diploma 146/2006 of 30 December 2005.
and must be used for all tenders19.
Having prepared the tender document and the advertisement UGEA submits these for
approval to the applicant and requests permission to launch the tender. The request for
approval is based on a standard document20 which requires that the applicant specifically
approves the following parts of the tender document: Objective and purpose of the
procurement (the public interest to be satisfied by this acquisition); type of tender selected
(see Section 5 below); criteria for evaluating bids; and currency in which the bids can be
In addition the UGEA requests that the applicant selects the jury or Tender Committee
which will evaluate the bids received in accordance with the criteria established22. Selection
of this committee is dealt with in greater detail in Section 4.1.2 below.
Having received this information from UGEA the applicant entity then approves or corrects
the documents and returns them along with the list of members of the tender committee, to
UGEA which is then in a position to launch the tender.


The Tender Committee must be comprised of at least three people, qualified to decide on
the matter, one of whom must be linked to the UGEA23. Those nominated to comprise the
Tender Committee are not permitted to delegate this function to anyone else24. The role of
the Tender Committee includes receiving the bids and opening them, requesting any
clarifications from bidders, proposing to the applicant entity the use of specialists in
17 A small-scale goods procurement process is undertaken when the value of the work to be undertaken is
estimated by the applicant entity to be not more than 131,250Mt, Procurement Regulation Article 3, clause r) in
conjunction with Article 88, Paragraph 2, clause b)
18 A small-scale public works procurement process is undertaken when the value of the work to be undertaken
is estimated by the applicant entity to be not more than 262,500Mt, Procurement Regulation Article 3, clause r)
in conjunction with Article 88, Paragraph 2, clause a)
evaluating the bids if necessary, evaluating and classifying the bids and submitting a report
with recommendations for the award of the contract to the applicant entity25.
The Tender Committee is required to observe the principles of independence, impartiality
and exemption from any potential conflict of interest in respect of the bids received26. The
following are considered impediments to an individual participating in a tender committee27:
 Having a personal interest in the contracting of a particular bidder (either being
personally involved in the company or being a manager or representative of said
 Having a spouse (including by common law), parent or other close relation with a
personal interest in the contracting of a particular bidder;
 Personally having, or a spouse or close relation having shares in any of the
companies bidding;
 Having any form of link to any of those bidding.
If any member of the Tender Committee believes that any of these impediments might apply
they should immediately refer the question to the UGEA28.
The Tender Committee makes its decisions in closed session based on the majority decision
of those present and does not have quorum without the majority of its members being
present29. The decisions of the Tender Committee must be minuted, and the minutes must
be signed by all those who participated in the meeting30. In cases where one or more
members of the Tender Committee object to the decision taken this must be included in the
minutes along with the basis for the objection31.


Having received approval of the tender document from the applicant along with the names
of the members of the Tender Committee the UGEA attributes a tender number to the
tender and proceeds with publication of the tender announcement. This announcement is
published in a newspaper or through other means of mass communication32. The
announcement must be published or broadcast at least twice33. The announcement must also
be displayed publicly at the headquarters of the applicant entity and of UGEA and a copy
sent to the Functional Unit for the Supervision of Acquisitions (Unidade Funcional de
Supervisão de Aquisições – UFSA)34.
32 In the case of small-scale tender processes it is permissible to only broadcast these over the radio –
Procedures Manual, Part III, Section 3.5, Chapter 2, sub-section b)
33 Procedures Manual, Part III, Section 3.4, Chapter 2, Procurement Regulation, Article 64
34 Procurement Regulation, Article 61
At the same time the UGEA must make available the tender documents for those
responding to the announcement. These documents may be issued to potential bidders for
free or a fee may be charged. However this fee must only be sufficient to cover the cost of
document reproduction35. The UGEA is responsible for responding to any queries about the
tender received from bidders36. The UGEA must ensure that all bidders receive the
responses to queries, including in cases where bidders have received the tender documents
from the applicant entity, rather than from UGEA itself37. If it proves necessary to alter the
tender document on the basis of the queries received the UGEA issue an addendum to the
original tender process38.
The UGEA is also responsible for notifying the Tender Committee of any queries received
from bidders as well as notifying the members of the Tender Committee of the date, time
and location for the opening of the bids received39. At the same time it must also notify the
applicant entity of any issues which have arisen subsequent to the publication of the tender
which could cause an impediment for the entity itself or for members of the Tender
Committee, or of any issues which could result in the cancellation of the tender40.
Having received documents from bidders, and the closing date for bids having been reached
the UGEA is responsible for preparing a list of bidders which must include the tender
number and description, and the names and addresses of bidders.


UGEA receives all bids on behalf of the Tender Committee and must strictly observe the
cut-off date and time stipulated for the receipt of tenders41. The time periods for tenders are
counted from the date of second publication of the announcement.
As noted above the closing stage of the publication and notification phase of the tender
process is marked by UGEA preparing a list of bids received. This list includes the order in
which the bids were received, identity of the bidder and the date and time at which the bid
was received. This list is then submitted to the Tender Committee along with the bids
themselves42. At this point the responsibility for the procurement process shifts from the
UGEA to the Tender Committee.
The Tender Committee, on receipt of the bids, opens them in a public meeting to which the
representatives of bidders, and other interested parties are invited. A list of participants at
this public meeting must be prepared by the Tender Committee43. The Tender Committee for receipt of bids is 30 days and in the case of limited tenders a minimum of 15 days – Procurement
Regulation Articles 69 and 90 respectively
42 Procedures Manual, Part III, Section 3.4, Chapter 3, and Standard Document 9
43 Procedures Manual, Part III, Section 3.4, Chapter 3, sub-section 3.2, and Standard Document 10
may only proceed with the public meeting if the majority of the committee’s members are
present. The public meeting then proceeds as follows44:
 Identification of the tender process;
 Reading of list of bidders in the order in which the bids were received;
 Opening of the bids;
 Reading of the main details of each bid (including name of bidder, price quoted,
existence of provisional guarantee where this is required, declaration of discounts
 Signature by each member of the jury of every page of every bid received;
 Preparation and signing of a minute of the meeting – this must take place before the
closure of the meeting.
No further discussion and no classification of the bids may take place in the public meeting.
Following the public meeting the Tender Committee meets in closed session to evaluate the
bids received. At the same time the Tender Committee passes any original provisional
financial guarantees to the finance section of the applicant entity. A copy of the guarantee
and of proof that it has been given to the finance section is then attached to the bid45.
The evaluation of bids must be based solely on the criteria established in the tender
document46. The Tender Committee’s discussions must be minuted47. If necessary the
Tender Committee may request technical or expert opinions. This is done by the committee
requesting permission to do so from the applicant. The relevant expert then provides a
written recommendation and comments for the Tender Committee. However the final
decision rests with the Tender Committee48.
The Tender Committee may request additional information, or the correction of omissions
from the bid submitted, from the bidders. This must be done in writing and the bidder must
be given a minimum49 of two days to make corrections or to submit clarifications, which
must also be provided in writing50. The types of omission which can be corrected in this way
include not having provided copies of certificates, licenses and so on. Omission only applies
to documents which would have existed before the bid was submitted51. In addition bidders
may be asked to correct errors in the calculation of their quote52. In this case the Tender
Committee must provide their own correction of the calculation and this must be sent to all
bidders. The bidder that made the error must then, in writing, state whether or not they
accept the new calculation. Prices quoted may only be rectified if the Committee has made
mistakes in the correction. If the bidder does not accept the change made by the Tender Committee then their bid is declassified and they forfeit their guarantee in favour of the
applicant entity53.
Bids presented with items that have not been quoted on or that do not include a provisional
guarantee (where this is required) cannot be rectified and are not considered as part of the
Having requested and received any clarifications or adjustments to the bids as detailed
above, the Tender Committee proceeds with classification of the bids. Any decision to
declassify a bid must be taken with a sound legal basis and this must be documented55. The
Tender Committee prepares an Evaluation Report which includes details of the tender, the
basis for its decisions, and recommendations in respect of the award. This report must be
signed by all members of the Tender Committee56.
The evaluation report is then passed to the applicant entity for a decision, and a copy is also
passed to the UGEA57. The general recommendations which guide the preparation of the
evaluation report are provided in the Procedures Manual58. The UGEA is responsible for
supporting the applicant during this time, and if the process has taken longer than originally
envisaged, for requesting a time extension in respect of the validity of the bids and the
provisional guarantees, from the bidders59.
The applicant examines the report provided by the Tender Committee. If there are any
errors or findings in the report which prevent a decision being made the applicant may
return the documents to the Tender Committee and request correction. If not, then the
applicant makes a decision and communicates this to UGEA60. The UGEA is then
responsible for communicating the decision in writing to all the bidders61. This decision is
also publicly displayed at the headquarters of the applicant entity.
The decision phase being completed the bidders may appeal (see Section 6 below). If there is
no appeal within the time allowed for such62, or after the appeal process is completed the
contract is awarded. In order for this to happen the UGEA communicates the outcome of
the tender in writing with each of the bidders63. In addition the outcome is published or
broadcast in the media and publicly displayed at the headquarters of the applicant entity64. At
this stage the UGEA also takes the necessary steps to return the provisional guarantees to
those who did not win the tender.


The notification to bidders and the public in general that the tender has been awarded signals
the start of the contracting phase of the tender process. This phase begins with the applicant
requesting any additional documents from the bidder. These may include certificates or
licenses which have expired during the tender process65. The applicant has ten days to
provide the relevant updated documents, otherwise the tender is awarded to the second
choice bidder. At the same time the applicant verifies with the national suppliers register that
there is no impediment to using the selected bidder. The applicant must also provide a
written declaration to the effect that their budget has sufficient funds available to pay for the
works, goods or services to be contracted66.
These procedures having been completed the bidder is then invited to present the definitive
financial guarantee (if required) and to sign the contract67. The successful bidder then has
thirty days to present the definitive guarantee and sign the contract. If this does not happen
the second choice bidder is invited to take up the contract and the original first choice bidder
loses their provisional guarantee in favour of the applicant entity68. If a guarantee is not
required than the applicant entity may establish a shorter time period for the signing of the
contract, though this may not be less than 10 days69.
The contract signed must be the same as the standard contract included in the original
tender documents. The bidder’s representative must provide documentary proof of having
sufficient legal right to sign the contract70. All contracts must be in writing71. They must
include at least the following: the name of each of the contracting parties; the purpose of the
contract; time periods for undertaking the work or providing the goods subject of the
contract; guarantees if required; payment terms; sanctions; total contract value; the form of
dispute resolution to be used (which may include arbitration, in Mozambique in
Portuguese72); an anti-corruption clause73. The tender documents and the bidder’s proposal
form an integral part of the contract74. Contracts for the supply of goods and services may
not have a duration of more than one year, and are renewable once only under the same
contract terms75. No advanced payments may be made outside of the payment terms agreed
in the contract unless the relevant works, goods or services have been provided76. No
advanced payment may be made without the deposit of the definitive bank guarantee, where
this is required77.
Within five days from the date of signing of the contract it must be submitted to the
Administrative Court for approval78. Neither the legislation nor the Manual include any
reference to the procedures followed by the Administrative Court. However the principle of
tacit approval is held to apply if the court has not ruled against the contract within a certain
time frame.
Contracts may only be altered with justification if79: there are new specifications which allow
the contract to be fulfilled more effectively; the contract value alters for a justified reason;
the original contract terms cannot be fulfilled; the payment terms alter. If a change of more
than 25% of the original value of the contract is required this must be approved by the
Ministry of Finance80.
Contracts are considered concluded when they have been fulfilled, or by mutual agreement
or by rescission81. In the latter two cases the conclusion of the contract must be
documented82. Unilateral rescission of the contract by the contracting entity may take place
if83: the contract has not been complied with; the contracted works, goods or services are
deficient in terms of what was agreed; the contract is systematically not complied with; the
bidder is bankrupt or dies; the bidder’s organisation undergoes changes in shareholding and
ownership without the consent of the applicant entity; the contract is passed to another
organisation for completion, without agreement; the bidder accumulates fines of up to 20%
of the contract value.
Unilateral rescission of the contract by the contracted may take place if84: the location for
undertaking the work or providing the goods or services is not accessible or essential
information is not made available; there is a delay of more than sixty days in making
payment; the contract is suspended for more than sixty days by the contracting entity as a
result of issues not related to the actions of the contracted party.
Notification of the decision to rescind the contract must be given in writing providing
justification for the rescission. The offending party then has thirty days to correct the
situation after which, if the problem is not resolved the contract is considered cancelled85.
In the case of contracts rescinded by the contracting entity the bidder loses their guarantee
and the right to outstanding payments. They may also be required to pay an indemnity86. In
the case of rescission by the contracted party they may demand the immediate return of their
guarantee, payment for work done to date, and payment of costs associated with the
conclusion of the contract (such as demobilization in the case of a construction project)87.


Having signed the contract with the successful bidder the applicant entity must either88:
 Appoint an independent overseer in the case of public works; or
 Appoint a committee composed of at least three people to oversee the receipt of
goods or services89.
The contracting of an independent overseer is undertaken in accordance with the
requirements for procurement of consulting services (see Section 5.5 below)90.
The applicant entity is responsible for ensuring that the works, goods or services received are
provided in exact accordance with the terms of the original contract. In the case of public
works these are initially received provisionally, based on an inspection by representatives of
the contracting entity91, and the independent overseer, and definitively after the inspection of
all work undertaken under the contract at the end of the contract period. This contract
period may not be less than one year92. In the case of goods or services these are considered
to have been received when all the contractual requirements are verified to have been
complied with93. In the case of goods or services which require inspection, or which require
a certain time period in order to ensure that they are functioning correctly then reception
may take place in two phases. The provisional phase is completed after initial supply and
inspection of the goods or services and the definitive phase is completed after the time
required for verification has elapsed.
If there are any problems with the work, goods or services these must be dealt with as soon
as possible. All communication about such problems must be reduced to writing, and the
contracted party must be given time to resolve the problems94.


Any natural or legal person, either national or foreign, that complies with the eligibility
criteria set forth in the Procurement Regulation is eligible to bid on government
procurement tenders95.
The following (among others) are explicitly excluded from participating (see Article 19 of the
Regulation for a complete list of exclusions)96:
 Any person convicted of a crime which carries a prison sentence or which calls into
question their professional integrity;
 Any natural or legal person prohibited from contracting with the State;
 Any individual employed by, or organisation controlled by an individual employed by
the applicant entity (the entity undertaking the procurement) or any other state entity
involved in the specific procurement process being bid on;
 The designer of the project (be it a natural or legal person) for which the works,
goods or services are being procured;
 Any legal person, either individually or as part of a consortium, in which the designer
of the project for which the works, goods or services are being procured, holds more
than 5% of the social capital97.
Bidders are expected to comply with a number of criteria in order for their bid to be
considered. These include legal, financial, technical and fiscal criteria as well as, in certain
cases nationality criteria. Some or all of the documents listed below as comprising these
criteria may be dispensed with either wholly or in part in the case of small-scale tenders98. If
this is the case these exemptions will be specifically indicated in the tender documents. For
details on that constitutes a small-scale tender see Section 5.4 below.
All bid documents must be submitted in Portuguese99.
A note about documents:
Bidders are required to submit a number of documents as proof of their qualifications to
bid. Wherever possible, only copies of documents should be submitted. These copies must
generally be authenticated by a notary or similar person recognised by the Mozambican
Government. In the case of documents where the original is in another language these must
be translated into Portuguese by an officially recognised translator. In this case the original
document (or an authenticated copy thereof) is presented along with the translation, which is
signed and sealed by the translator.
In addition bidders may be required to provide a power of attorney (procuração)
demonstrating the right of a specific person to contract on their behalf. A procuração is usually
drawn up for a limited purpose as appropriate to the context. You can have a procuração
drawn up by a lawyer or by the Notary. The signature however must always be verified by a
Notary. It is critically important to understand what powers you are conceding through a
procuração, and to craft the limits of those powers appropriately.
Individuals who do not live in Mozambique can draw up and sign a procuração at a
Mozambican Embassy or Consulate. Some embassies and consulates have been known to
request notarized copies of the proxy’s identity documents, and though there is no basis in
law for this, it is often best to be prepared.
Legal persons may also draw up and sign a procuração at a Mozambican Embassy or
Consulate. It is usually best to make and keep an authenticated copy of the procuração,
especially in the case of a procuração from a legal person, because replacing it if it happens to
be misplaced can be a lengthy process.
In the case of the submission of any documents, including a bidding document or any
correspondence related to a bid or contract, to a government department it is advisable to
retain a copy of the documents submitted and to request the individual receiving the
document to stamp, date and sign the copy. This copy then serves as proof that the
documents were submitted on a given date. The same is true for receipt of documents from
the government, in this case it is important to note the date and time that a document was
received. As we shall see below certain procedures including appeals and requirements to
submit additional information have a specific time period which is counted from the date on
which the bidder receives the relevant notification.


i. Legal criteria are as follows100:
 In the case of natural persons a completed form101 and a authenticated copy102 of
the bidder’s identity document;
 In the case of legal persons a completed form 103 and a authenticated copy104 of
the bidder’s commercial registration certificate (for example the alvará) and
updated company articles of association (estatutos which may be provided as
issued by the Notary or as published in the BR);
 A declaration (known as a “declaration of honour” or Declaração de Honra) that
the bidder does not suffer any of the impediments listed above which specifically
exclude them from participating in the bid.
In addition where relevant the bidder must present105:
 Documents demonstrating the legal or planned creation of a consortium;
 Any other legal documents required for bidding on procurement for a specific sector.
ii. Financial criteria are as follows106:
For natural persons:
 Declaration of income (Declaração Periódica de Rendimentos issued on a form provided
by the Ministry of Finance);
 Annual accounting and tax declaration (issued on a form provided by the Ministry of
 Declaration that there is no judicial sentence affecting the person’s financial status
(issued by the court, on written application).
For legal persons:
 Declaration of income (Declaração Periódica de Rendimentos issued by the entity’s
accountant or auditor);
 Annual accounting and tax declaration (issued by the entity’s accountant or auditor);
 Three years worth of trading accounts prepared in accordance with Mozambique’s
General Accounting Plan (issued by the entity’s accountant or auditor);
 Declaration that the company is not insolvent or in the process of liquidation (issued
by the court, on written application).
In addition the tender documents may specifically request107:
 Proof of invoicing for work similar to that being procured (for example a list of
 Average annual income for the three preceding tax years demonstrating a value equal
to or exceeding the minimum value for such income stipulated in the tender
documents. The minimum value is limited to between one and three times the
estimated value of the works, goods or services being procured;
 Social capital or liquid assets equal to or in excess of the value stipulated in the
tender documents. This value may not be set at more than 10% of the estimated
value of the works, goods or services being procured (demonstrated by the
submission of the entity’s estatutos for example);
 Confirmation of access to credit of the value stipulated in the tender document (for
example a letter from the bank).
The financial qualifications for bidding must be in keeping with the financial responsibilities
the bidder would have to assume to complete the contract and be proportionate to the size
and nature of the likely bidders108.
In the case of tenders for the award of concessions, the value of social capital or liquid assets
set in the tender documents must take into account the costs which the concessionaire will
have to assume during the first three years of operation (as estimated by the conceding
entity), including any fees payable in respect of the concession contract109.
iii. Technical criteria are as follows110:
 Certificate issued by the relevant body demonstrating registration for a professional
activity compatible with the objective of the tender (for example alvará);
 Declaration made by the bidder that they have sufficient infrastructure and
equipment at their disposal to enable them to carry out the contract, including details
which would allow the verification of the information provided (using a form
available from UFSA);
 Declaration made by the bidder that they have sufficient qualified staff to carry out
the contract. This declaration must be accompanied by the CVs of all key staff that
will work on the contract (using a form available from UFSA);
 Independent declaration stating that the bidder has experience in undertaking
activities of a similar technical specification to those outlined in the tender document
(using a form available from UFSA);
 Certificates demonstrating the academic and professional qualifications of those who
will be responsible for the execution of the contract;
 Nationally or internationally recognised quality standards certificate attesting to the
quality of the goods or services to be provided, and their conformity with national
quality standards (in theory these would be provided by INNOQ – the National
Quality Standards Institute, however there is currently no legal basis for the issuing
of such certificates. On occasion international quality certificates may be requested);
 Operating license (alvará)
The tender documents must clearly establish the minimum level of information and
documentation required in order for a bidder to be eligible according to the technical
criteria111. The technical qualifications for bidding must be in keeping with the technical
responsibilities the bidder would have to assume to complete the contract and be
proportionate to the size and nature of the likely bidders112.
iv. Fiscal criteria
In addition to the foregoing the bidder must demonstrate that both fiscal and social security
obligations have been complied with. This is done by submitting113:
 A certificate of no impediment (Certidão de Quitação) issued by the relevant section of
the Ministry of Finance (usually the tax office where the bidder pays his regular
taxes). In the case of small-scale procurement processes this document may be
replaced with proof of having paid withholding tax or other relevant proof of tax
compliance depending on the size of the company involved114;
 A valid declaration of no impediment from the Social Security Institute (INSS) (for
example a Certidão de Quitação).
v. Nationality criteria
The tender document may restrict the participation in tenders based on the nationality of
bidders and on the basis of preferential procurement of nationally produced goods115.
Alternatively, in open tenders the tender evaluation criteria may provide a preferential
margin to national bidders or nationally produced goods. The margins used are 10% of the
pre-tax contract value for public works and 15% of the pre-tax contract value for nationally
produced goods116. These criteria must be specifically mentioned in the tender documents in
order to apply. If the applicant plans to establish such criteria in a tender process they must
first obtain permission from their line ministry and the Ministry of Finance117.
In the case of the nationality criteria tenders up to a value of three times those provided for
Limited Tenders (i.e. of a maximum total value of 2.625.000,00MT for small-scale goods
procurement processes118 and 5.520.000,00MT for small-scale public works procurement
processes119) may be restricted on this basis120.
In respect of nationally produced goods these require proof of having incorporated national
raw materials or nationally produced consumables for at least 30% of the value of the
finished product at the factory door121.
The nationality criteria are determined as follows122:
 For natural persons – being of Mozambican nationality;
 For legal persons – being legally incorporated and registered in Mozambique and
having at least 50% of their social capital held by a natural person with Mozambican
nationality or held by a legal person which itself has at least 50% of its social capital
held by a natural person with Mozambican nationality.
Foreign bidders are held to be either those that do not fulfil the nationality criteria outlined
above, in tenders where this criterion is applied or, on all other tenders, those that are not
resident, incorporated or registered in Mozambique123. Foreign bidders are required to fulfil
the same general criteria established for national bidders, presenting equivalent documents
from their home country in cases where they do not have Mozambican documents. In
addition foreign bidders, regardless of whether or not they are legally authorised to operate
in Mozambique, are required to provide the following124:
 Proof of having a legal representative, or mandate holder domiciled in the country.
This representative must specifically have the authority to respond and contract on
behalf of the foreign entity (i.e. the power of attorney which the representative holds
should explicitly state that the representative has this right);
 Demonstrate compliance with the legal, financial, technical and fiscal criteria outlined
above, in their country of origin;
 Demonstrate that they have no impediment to undertaking business either in
Mozambique or in their home country.
All of the documents submitted by the foreign bidder must be submitted in Portuguese125.
Where relevant documents must be translated by an official translator registered as such with
the Mozambican government, and copies of documents must be authenticated by a notary or
official recognised by the Mozambican government.
vi. Consortia and Associations
Bidders are permitted to form consortia and associations. Individual members of a
consortium or association may not bid separately or as part of more than one consortium or
association on the same tender126.
The constitution of an association is regulated by specific legislation governing the creation
of associations127. The documents submitted as part of the bid and demonstrating the
creation of a consortium must include128:
 The name and qualifications of each individual member of the consortium, including
their proposed role in the bid;
 The identity of the representative of the consortium in respect of the tender,
including demonstration that the representative has the right to act on behalf of all
members of the consortium;
 A declaration by each of the members of the consortium of their joint acceptance of
responsibility for acts undertaken by or in the name of the consortium;
 Proof that the consortium has been constituted or a documented statement to the
effect that the consortium will be legally constituted if the tender is won129.
Each individual member of a consortium must submit documents demonstrating compliance
with the legal, financial, technical and fiscal criteria outlined above. The requirements in
respect of income, social capital and liquid assets may be fulfilled as a function of the
combined income, social capital and liquid assets of the members of the consortium130. The
technical qualifications requirement may be met by a combination of the qualifications of the
various members of the consortium, and is held to apply to the consortium overall not to
each individual member131. Where provisional financial guarantees are required as part of the
bid these may be put up by one member of the consortium or in the form of separate
contributions by each of the members of the consortium132.
vii. Listing on the Single Register
In addition to the foregoing bidders wanting to participate in government tenders may be
registered on the Single Register (Cadastro Único) though in practice inclusion on the Single
Register is not yet a prerequisite for bidding on government tenders. However one of the
benefits of registration is that in registering the bidder submits all of the documents listed
above in respect of the various criteria. In future tenders the registered bidder is not then
required to re-submit these documents, but can instead refer to their registration number (in
Limited Tenders the bidder can submit their registration application right up until the closing
date of the tender)133. On application to join the register the applicant receives a number and
a notification that their application has been received. These are sufficient to permit the
applicant to tender without submitting all the documents already presented to UFA for the
purposes of registration. Having been added to the register the applicant receives a certificate
which is valid for one year.
The register is managed by UFSA which is responsible for regularly inviting bidders to
register and for automatically updating the register to include successful bidders that are
contracted on the basis of tenders134. In addition to the Single register, UFSA also maintains
a register of bidders that are specifically excluded from bidding on public procurement
It is the responsibility of bidders to ensure that the details recorded on the Single Register
are up to date136, and it is the responsibility of UFSA to ensure that the register is freely
available to anyone who wants to consult it137.
Application for inclusion on the register is carried out by completing a form and submitting
the relevant proofs of compliance with the various criteria listed above. Applications may be
submitted directly to UFSA in Maputo (in the 33 Storey Building, 7th floor, doors 701 and
702) or at the Provincial Directorate of Finance in each province. Forms and further
information on the types of documents required can also be downloaded from


The Procurement Regulation provides for a number of different types of tender in different
circumstances. These are described below. However, the procedures for each type of tender,
and for bidding on them, are, unless otherwise noted below, the same for each type.


The General Regime of Public Tender is envisaged by the Procurement Regulation and the
Procedures Manual as the standard form of conducting a procurement process. Both
documents are clear in stating that this is the method that should always be used unless other
exceptional circumstances apply138.


The General Regime as regulated by the Procurement Regulation, is considered compulsory
for all state and municipal institutions and state-owned companies139. However in certain
circumstances the Procurement Regulation is held not to apply140. These circumstances are141:
in the case of contracts arising from treaties or international agreements between
Mozambique and another state or international organization, where the agreement made
requires a specific type of procurement contracting to take place; or where the procurement
contracting will completely or for a substantial part of the contract, use funds donated by an
official international cooperation agency or multilateral funding agency, where the use of
specific procurement contracting criteria form part of the funding agreement.
In both of these cases the applicant entity must first seek approval from the Ministry of
Finance and the tender announcements must make specific reference to the type of
procurement procedures that will be followed142. This does not exempt bidder form the need
to fulfil all the standard requirements listed above, in addition to any extra requirements
resulting from the special type of procurement procedure to be used143.


This regime is followed whenever the General Regime is not the most appropriate method
for undertaking the procurement144. Adoption of any of the types of tender process provided
by this regime is based on prior approval from the relevant authority145. All the standard
requirements for public tenders under the general regime apply to tenders under the
exceptional regime, unless a specific provision to the contrary is made in the Procurement


A pre-qualified tender is used when the nature of the procurement is sufficiently technically
complex to warrant the use of a short-list of potential bidders147. The tender is undertaken in
two stages, with bidders being invited to put forward documents which demonstrate their
qualification to compete based on the technical specifications. Bidders are then short-listed
and invited to formally bid148. For the first stage of the process bidders have no more than
twenty days to present their expressions of interest and demonstration of qualifications149. A
short-list is prepared and excluded bidders have the right to appeal150. The second stage of
the pre-qualified procurement process follows the norms established for the public tender as
described above.


A limited tender is restricted to the procurement of public works of less than 1,750,000Mt
and goods and services of a value less than 875,000Mt151. It is limited to those registered on
the Single Register by a given date152. Other than this, the limited tender procurement
process follows the norms established for the public tender as described above.


A two-stage tender process is used when the nature of the works, goods or services to be
procured is not sufficiently clear to enable the applicant entity to define the exact nature of
the tender document153. In this case bidders are invited to submit a provisional technical
proposal as a first phase. On the basis of this more detailed tender documents are prepared
and bidders are then invited to submit a definitive technical proposal along with the standard
documentation required for a standard tender process, as described above154.


This type of process is restricted to goods and services which are required immediately.
Bidders compete in a form of open public auction at which bidders compete to offer the
best technical offer at the lowest price155. The use of this method remains to be specifically


A direct award may be used when other procedures are considered inconvenient or nonviable157.
The following circumstances justify the use of this method158:
 When the object of the contract can only be provided by one bidder;
 When the objective is the renewal of an existing contract and there are
substantial benefits to continuing to use the same supplier;
 In an emergency, or situation of war or public disorder;
 If in a previous tender process no one bid or all the bidders were declassified,
but the tender cannot be repeated;
 In cases of national security;
 Where the estimated contract value is less than 87,500Mt for public works or
43,750Mt for goods or services.
Direct awards must wherever possible ensure that the cost of the contract is in accordance
with standard market rates, and UFSA must always be advised of the use of this type of


Small-scale tenders are a simplified form of procurement process and are designed for use
where the values involved are low and the items being procured are not technically
complex160. A small-scale goods procurement process is undertaken when the value of the
work to be undertaken is estimated by the applicant entity to be not more than 131,250Mt161.
A small-scale public works procurement process is undertaken when the value of the work
to be undertaken is estimated by the applicant entity to be not more than 262,500Mt162. This
type of tender is also used to promote the involvement of national companies, particularly
Small and Medium Enterprises in procurement.
Small-scale tenders allow for the possibility of, among other things:
 Dispensing with some or all qualification documents163;
 Substituting tax registration with payment of withholding tax164;
 Announcing the tender by radio165;
 Evaluation solely on the basis of lowest price166;
 Use of simplified contracts and simplified tender documents167;
 Dispensing with the need for a definitive guarantee168;
 Direct oversight of the work169.
In general however these tenders follow the same procedures and stages as those outlined
above for standard procurement processes.


The contracting of consultancy services must usually follow a short-list process like the one
described above for pre-qualified tenders170. Both individuals and organisations can provide
consultancy services171. The Procurement Regulation provides a number of conflicts of
interest which must be avoided, these include those applied to standard procurement
processes along with the prohibition of those involved in the development of terms of
reference bidding on the work to which the terms apply172.
In the case of consultancies the terms of reference form the basis for the tender
document173. Invitation to bid is based on a short-list of between three and six consultants,
one third of which must be national wherever possible174. Selection of the winning bid may
be based on quality, qualifications of the bidders or on maximum or minimum price. Each of
these criteria is dealt with in greater detail in the regulation, but in general corresponds to the
requirements of the standard procurement process175.


Transparency and ethics are considered fundamental principles guiding the implementation
of the Procurement Regulation176. In addition the application of the regulation is supported
by Mozambique’s anti-corruption legislation and legislation governing the behaviour of state
employees (see Section 3.2 above). Both public sector staff and bidders may be subject to
sanction for infractions under the Procurement Regulation177.
If however a bidder believes that a procurement process has not been conducted fairly the
regulation provides a right of appeal. Bidders may appeal against the classification or
declassification of bidders in a given process. This must be done in writing within three days
of notification of the classification or declassification. During the period in which appeals
can be made all bidders have the right to openly inspect the bids submitted. The Tender
Committee must forward the complaint and their opinion on it to the applicant entity within
three days of receiving the appeal. The applicant entity then makes a decision within three
days of having received the appeal. While an appeal is pending the tender process is
In order for the appeal to be accepted the complainant must put up a guarantee of 0.25% of
the estimated contract value as stipulated in the tender document, up to a maximum value of
125,000Mt. If the appeal is successful the guarantee is returned to the complainant, and if the
appeal is not, the value deposited is forfeit in favour of the applicant entity179.
In cases where the norms of the Procurement Regulation, or the contents of the tender
document are believed to have been violated or where there is thought to have been an
abuse of administrative law the complainant may appeal within three days to the hierarchical
superior of the applicant entity. This must be done within three days of the applicant entity
communicating the result of the tender process. The appeal suspends the contracting of the
winning bidder for five days. In this case the hierarchical superior of the applicant entity
(usually the line ministry responsible for the sector) may request support from UFSA to
resolve the matter. As with an appeal to the applicant entity in order for the appeal to be
accepted the complainant must put up a guarantee of 0.25% of the contract value as
stipulated in the tender document, up to a maximum value of 125,000Mt. If the appeal is
successful the guarantee is returned to the complainant, and if the appeal is not, the value
deposited is forfeit in favour of the applicant entity180