Reviews of public tenders now more costly

Czech Republic: A „technical” amendment to the Public Procurement Act came into force on 6 March 2015

In response to new procurement directives (2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU), the ministry for regional development has begun work on an all-new Public Procurement Act. Although the Act is still in its nascent stage, the new procurement directives already have manifest impact, as can be seen from a recent amendment to the existing Public Procurement Act. Although the amendment has been presented as being of a merely technical nature, in fact it introduces a number of fundamental changes.

For instance, far-reaching modifications have been made with respect to the review procedure in which the Office for Protection of Competition reviews actions taken by the contracting authority. Above all, the upper limit for the security deposit, which complainants must make along with their request for a review procedure, has been raised. The current maximum of CZK 2,000,000 (approx. EUR 73,260) has been moved to the CZK 10mn mark (approx. EUR 366,300). Also, the amendment introduces streamlined procedures, in that it will no longer be possible (save for certain exemptions) to make later changes or additions to a request for commencement of review proceedings against the contracting authority. Rather, evidence may only be introduced, and proposals may only be made, within 15 calendar days from the day on which the notice of commencement of proceedings was served. The Office for Protection of Competition will disregard any later filings.

By way of a partial transposition of the new procurement directives, the individual evaluation criteria for determining the economically most advantageous offer have been broadened.

Finally, the amendment remedies certain previous changes to the rules of public procurement which missed their target. It has thus again become permissible to evaluate even single bids without having to repeat the tender procedure. In this respect, the lawmaker is conceding that it was a mistake to prohibit evaluation of single bids, which brought no practical benefits but on the contrary made it more difficult and expensive to procure specialized equipment.

Source: Act No. 40/2015 Coll. amending the Public Procurement Act (Act No. 137/2006 Coll.)

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