Public consultations have begun on a draft bill to replace existing public procurement law, with the intention that it (and all secondary legislation) will come into force by the end of 2015.
The bill is intended to bring Bulgarian law into line with EU public procurement law (directives 2014/24 and 2014/25 on public procurement concerning public contracting authorities and sectorial contracting entities, respectively).
Individuals and organisations have to submit their comments, suggestions and opinions on the bill until 11 May 2015. Submissions are expected from many business organisations and associations after canvassing opinions from their members.
Once the consultation period has ended, the Government will finalise the text of the bill, after taking into consideration the public opinions received, and propose it for adoption by Parliament. There will then be at least one more chance for public discussion of the bill within a designated Parliamentary Commission before it is finally voted on and adopted as law.
At first glance, the bill is a good attempt to incorporate all provisions of the directives, with only a few minor inconsistencies that can hopefully be corrected as the bill proceeds through Parliament.
Even though the bill incorporates all EU rules on e-procurement, they are not expected to become binding until the mandatory deadline of 18 October 2018. However, their inclusion will enable contracting authorities or other entities to operate them before then on a voluntary basis.
We will provide further updates as the bill moves towards adoption into law.