Czech Republic: Benefits of the new Public Procurement Act
At the beginning of October this year, the ministry for regional development (MMR) presented the cabinet with an updated version of the draft bill for a new Public Procurement Act. This marks the beginning of the final stage of preparations of this bill, which is to be written into law no later than by 18 April 2016 so that it may replace the current Public Procurement Act (Act No. 137/2006 Coll.) and the Act on Concession Contracts and Concession Procedures (Act No. 139/2006 Coll.).
It may well be the case that the draft bill will undergo further changes in the course of the approval procedure, as it is being debated in Parliament, but such changes should leave the fundamental principles of the bill untouched.
Above all, the new Public Procurement Act is conceived to be short and well-structured. Contract awarding authorities should always be able to conduct the process for awarding, overseeing, and implementing public contracts by themselves. For this reason, the MMR has undertaken to provide broad methodological assistance. The MMR’s memorandum on methodology is not merely designed to “fill in the details” with respect to the new law itself, but will moreover contain a guide that leads the contract awarding authority through the individual steps prior to the announcement of the tender procedure (something which the current Public Procurement Act has largely neglected), and through the steps after the tender procedure has been brought to a close. Further, the new method description will also contain tender documentation templates for the various types of contract awarding procedure. Implementing these methodological guidelines will not only save taxpayers’ money (by doing away with the need for external advisors), but should also increase legal certainty throughout the contract awarding procedure: presumably, as long as the methods in the said memorandum are being observed and followed, the parties are acting in compliance with the new Public Procurement Act.
From among the planned new concepts in the Public Procurement Act, we would like to mention the following examples:
The contract awarding authority may disqualify bidders from participation in a given tender procedure if that bidder has been found guilty of serious or on-going misconduct towards a public principal during the past three years.
Contract awarding authorities will newly have the option to determine in advance what kind of bid price will be considered extraordinarily low.
Bidders will be allowed to supplement missing documents or samples to complete an already submitted bid, as long as the missing documents or samples are not themselves the subject matter of the bid evaluation.
Source: Draft bill for a new Public Procurement Act