procurement

European Commission calls on Austria to eliminate barriers to oversight in public procurement

On 25 January 2018 the Commission sent a formal summons to Austria to eliminate irregularities in national law limiting contractors’ rights to seek review of actions by authorities conducting public procurement procedures.

In-house procurement occurs when a public contract is not awarded

Even when work was underway on an amendment to the Public Procurement Law in 2016, there was some controversy surrounding the question of in-house procurement. In late 2017, the National Appeal Chamber rejected the first contracts concluded under the new provisions between local government authorities. It would be unfortunate if at this time a practice emerged in Poland stifling cooperation between public authorities working together to carry out their duties.

Award of a contract co-financed using EU funds by a private entity

A private entity carrying out a project co-financed using EU funds makes use of public money, and therefore is required to comply with rules on fair competition and equal treatment of contractors. Accordance to government guidelines, to do this it should use market research or comply with competition requirements. And if it becomes a contracting authority, it must apply the Public Procurement Law.

How to monitor whether contractors hire workers under an employment contract?

A year ago we reported that an amendment to the Public Procurement Law required contractors and subcontractors to hire workers under an employment contract if they fell under Art. 22 §1 of the Labour Code. But it was not clear how contracting authorities could check whether contractors were complying with this requirement without infringing the personal data of the contractor’s staff. These doubts have now been resolved in a joint opinion issued by the president of the Public Procurement Office (UZP) and the Inspector General of Personal Data Protection (GIODO).

Additional work without a written agreement

During the course of construction projects, issues often arise involving additional work or substitute work. Contractors perceive even minor departures from the original plans as additional work and demand an increased fee, while investors not only expect all their instructions to be followed within the agreed price, but treat any opposition by the contractor as a breach of contract. This dynamic works similarly between the general contractor and subcontractors. But the realities of the real estate development process often require work to be done even when the parties take different views of the work and do not sign a separate contract covering it. Is an additional fee nonetheless owed for performing such work?

Who can perform a public contract? Absurdities of the ban on reference trading

The ban on trading in references was supposed to cure the ills of the public procurement market. But every drug has side effects—in this case, disorientation of contractors and absurd conclusions when verifying fulfilment of the conditions for participation in public tenders.