Public procurement is one of the biggest driving forces of the economy. Contract performance during the epidemic may be impeded, but ongoing public procurement proceedings should not be stopped just because people are currently working mainly at home.
In Poland, the National Appeal Chamber upholds the effectiveness of the rules guaranteeing transparent and non-discriminatory access to public procurement contracts within the EU. Member states are required to ensure contractors the consideration of review procedures concerning the award of public contracts, as is clear from the Remedies Directive.
The coronavirus pandemic is already affecting contractors carrying out public projects and other contracts under the public procurement regime. With the dynamic development of the situation, there is a risk that negative consequences will go even further. The current situation affects not only the performance of contracts but also ongoing and future public procurement procedures.
A numbering system known as Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) codes has been in force across the EU since 2008. The system was designed to identify the subject matter of public contracts in various member states and thus encourage contractors from throughout the EU to bid in tenders of interest to them. For years the CPV codes fulfilled this role, but recently it was noted that contracting authorities were increasingly assigning erroneous CPV codes to contracts. Thus the European Commission decided to tighten the CPV code system. Contract announcements assigning erroneous codes will no longer be published on the TED platform (Tenders Electronic Daily supplement to the Official Journal of the EU).
EU thresholds and the average EU exchange rate for conversion of EUR thresholds into PLN will be lower from 1 January 2020, which means that some current contracts in Poland will exceed the EU thresholds.
The award of an in-house procurement satisfying the conditions laid down in Art. 12(1)(a)–(c) of Directive 2014/24/EU is not necessarily consistent with European Union law, the Court of Justice of the European Union held in the judgment of 3 October 2019 in Case C-285/18, Kauno miesto savivaldybè. This ruling is not controversial, nor does it change the principles developed over the years for excluding internal procurement from the regime of the procurement directives. Nonetheless, it gives contractors an additional argument for challenging contracting authorities’ decisions ignoring such basic principles as transparency.