Tales from the National Appeal Chamber: Does the contractor suffer the consequences of an error in the documentation by the contracting authority?
In procurements, minor errors often creep into the terms of reference or the forms for bids. Can these errors exert negative consequences on contractors? An important statement on this issue was made by the National Appeal Chamber (KIO) in its ruling of 13 March 2020 (KIO 423/20). The chamber stressed that if there are differences between the description of the subject of the contract and the offer form, the description of the subject matter will control, and contractors cannot be penalised for errors committed by the contracting authority in its own documentation.
Tales from the National Appeal Chamber: A contractor does not have to submit documents issued by the contracting authority
The number of declarations and documents submitted by contractors during the contract award procedure forced the Parliament to introduce mechanisms to cut red tape. One of the key provisions in this aspect is Art. 26(6) of the Public Procurement Law, the purpose and practical application of which was explained by the National Appeal Chamber in its ruling of 13 March 2020 (KIO 439/20).
The pandemic requires immediate response and rapid launch of solutions for combating the coronavirus and its socio-economic impacts. Thus the Anti-Crisis Act includes provisions allowing contracts for fighting the pandemic to be awarded without following lengthy formal procedures.
As a result of the pandemic, many planned and existing contracts have been paralysed. The uncertain situation forces the parties to cease performing contracts or at least poses barriers to performance. In this situation, can they change the contract? Will they have to pay contractual penalties and damages? The Anti-Crisis Act comes to their aid.
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.