There are a number of cases where there may be costs to access documents for, or to participate within, a tender process.

Potential bidders will want to be aware of the fees that a process might involve.

Procurement monitors may wish to ensure that participation fees are within legal parameters (often set as a fixed maximum, or a percentage of total contract value), or to monitor how participation fees are being used.

Extension fields

This extension adds a participationFees field to the tender section of OCDS and introduces a new participationFee building block.

The participationFees field is an array of participationFee building blocks.

The participationFee building block is made up of three fields:

  • type - a value from the participationFeeType codelist, describing the type of the fee
  • value - the amount and currency of the fee
  • description - an optional field with more information on the fee requirements. For example, sometimes a document fee is only applicable to the hard copy of the documents.
  • methodOfPayment - an optional field providing information on methods of payment accepted for the documentation. This is currently an array of strings, but an open codelist may be introduced in future.

Extension codelists

This extension adds closed participationFeeType codelist with the following codes:

  • document - a fee payable for access to bidding documents
  • deposit - a refundable fee payable for the submission of bids
  • submission - a non-refundable fee payable for the submission of bids
  • win - a fee payable by the winning bidder


The following JSON snippet models a contracting process where fees are applicable for both access to documents and submission of bids:

  "tender": {
    "participationFees": [
        "type": "document",
        "value": {
          "currency": "GBP",
          "amount": 8.00
        "description": "Fee payable for both soft and hard copies of documents.",
        "type": ["submission"],
        "value": {
          "currency": "GBP",
          "amount": 10.00
        "description": "Fee payable within e-procurement system.",

Usage notes

In some cases, a fee may be levied for 'official copies' of procurement documents (although copies may also be available freely online), and bidders required to prove they have paid for an official copy of the documents as part of their submission.

In this case, the fee should be modelled as a submission fee, as submission is only possible when this document access fee has been paid.


Report issues for this extension in the ocds-extensions repository, putting the extension's name in the issue's title.



  • Update mergeStrategy property to wholeListMerge property
  • Update extension.json for Extension Explorer


  • Disallow ParticipationFee.type from having null in its array of strings
  • Allow ParticipationFee.description to be null
  • Add field
  • Add description to ParticipationFee
  • Add title and description to ParticipationFee.value
  • Add participationFeeType.csv codelist for ParticipationFee.type
  • Add tests and tidy code