Guidelines for amendment of the Public Procurement Law

Proposed changes to the Public Procurement Law are designed to cut the red tape in filing offers in public tenders, but prices will be subject to closer scrutiny.

In order to comply with the formal requirements for participation in a public procurement procedure in Poland, a bidder must now submit a number of documents, such as a certificate demonstrating that the managers have a clean criminal record (issued by the National Criminal Register) and certificates that the bidder is not arrears in payment of social insurance contributions or taxes. The experience cited by bidders must also be backed by references. The Public Procurement Office seeks changes in the law that would simplify the procedure by requiring bidders at the stage of submission and assessment of offers to submit only declarations in order to demonstrate that they qualify for the tender. The formal documents supporting the declarations would then be required only from the contractor whose offer is found to be the most favourable.

Additionally, in procurements at a value exceeding EU thresholds, apart from declarations on fulfilment of the conditions, the contracting authority would have to require submission only of a certificate from the National Criminal Register. A requirement by the contracting authority to submit additional certificates would be optional.

The Public Procurement Office also seeks to limit the practice of low-balling in public tenders. Under the proposal, a bidder would be required to explain itself if the price it offers is more than 50% below the average of the other offers, or more than 20% below the next best price. The burden of proving that the price offered is not too low would lie with the bidder, not the contracting authority.

Infrastructure, Transport & Public Procurement (PPP) practice, Wardyński & Partners