1. The restricted procedure is a procurement procedure consisting of two stages in the first stage of which, that of participation, the contracting authority decides, in line with the provisions set out in Article 69, whether or not the candidates are suitable for the performance of the contract. No offer may be made by the candidate in the participation stage. In the second stage, that of tendering, only those candidates qualified suitable and invited to tender by the contracting authority may submit a tender.
2. The restricted procedure shall start with an invitation to participate and, in the course of the participation stage of the procedure, any interested economic operator shall have the right to submit a request to participate, except in the case provided for in paragraph 3.
3. Sub-central contracting authorities may use a prior information notice as a call for competition in a restricted procedure. In this case the contracting authority shall not publish the invitation to participate, it sends the invitation to participate directly, at the same time to the economic operators who submitted their declaration of interest within the time limit set in the prior information notice and invites them to confirm their interest by submitting their request to participate (hereinafter referred to as ‘direct invitation to participate’). The direct invitation to participate shall be sent within twelve months from the date of publication of the prior information notice.
4. In the invitation to participate or, in the case set out in paragraph 3 in the prior information notice or in the direct invitation to participate, the contracting authority may set the range of the number of tenderers, and state that, in the second stage of the procedure, it will send an invitation to tender only to a number of candidates , selected from the candidates which are suitable and also submitted a valid request to participate falling within the upper limit of that range. The range must include at least five tenderers and shall provide for genuine competition.
5. If the contracting authority sets a range, it shall also define in the invitation to participate or, in the case set out in paragraph 3 in the prior information notice or in the direct invitation to participate, a ranking method in case the number of suitable candidates exceeds the upper limit of the range. The contracting authority shall provide the objective criteria, which are in line with the basic principles laid down in this Act, on the basis of which the tenders are ranked. The contracting authority may indicate which certificates shall be submitted by the economic operators, according to Article 69, regarding compliance with those objective criteria, in order to support the self-declaration included in the ESPD.