Expression of interest procedure

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The expression of interest procedure is a procedure to survey the market as to whether a state service cannot also be provided by private providers.

Legal bases

The term is laid down in Section 7 (2) of the Federal Budget Code (BHO). It says here:

“Appropriate economic studies must be carried out for all financially effective measures. The risk distribution associated with the measures must also be taken into account. In suitable cases, private providers must be given the opportunity to demonstrate whether and to what extent they cannot perform state tasks or economic activities serving public purposes as well or better (expression of interest procedure). "

In five federal states there are parallel provisions on expressions of interest in the state budget regulations, in Berlin § 7 Paragraph 2 LHO Bln., In Brandenburg § 7 Paragraph 2 LHO Bbg., In Hamburg § 7 Paragraph 3 LHO HH, in Thuringia § 7 Paragraph 3 Thür. LHO and since 2007 in Schleswig-Holstein § 7 Abs. 2 LHO SH.

scope of application

In the process of expressions of interest, private providers are to be given the opportunity "in suitable cases" to demonstrate whether and to what extent they cannot perform state tasks or economic activities serving public purposes as well or better ( Section 7 (2) sentence 3 BHO). "In appropriate cases" is intended to make it clear that an expression of interest procedure does not have to take place if the fulfillment of the task in question by private individuals is not possible for factual or legal reasons.

Procedure implementation

How expressions of interest are to be carried out is not regulated in detail in the Federal Budget Code. The administrative regulation No. 3 to § 7 BHO contains clues . According to her, the expression of interest procedure requires in a first step an exploration of the market according to competitive principles. The result of the market research must be compared with the variants of government solutions in order to ensure an economic assessment. If the decision has been made in favor of a (more economical) private solution, a public procurement procedure can be carried out in a second step (e.g. a tender ).


An example of the application of an expression of interest procedure is the collection of offers for local rail passenger transport on the Hamburg-Lübeck route, which will be provided by the formerly state-owned Deutsche Bahn until 2008 as part of a general transport implementation contract .

Further examples are the expression of interest procedures for the historic center of Berlin (1997/98), for BOS digital radio (2001), for HafenCity Hamburg (2003), for the Reichstag pavilion (2004), for the FIFA fan festival World Cup fan mile Berlin (2006), for the lido Wannsee (2007) and the single authority number “115” (2007).


  • Christof Schwabe: Competitive dialogue, negotiation procedure, expression of interest procedure - application requirements and procedure implementation in a functional comparison. 1st edition. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2009, ISBN 978-3-8329-5013-2 .

Individual evidence

  1. BT-Drs. 12/6255 BC November 26, 1993, p. 21 f.