The long awaited Rules for Application of the Public Procurement Act (the “Rules”) were finally adopted by a decree of the Council of Ministers on 5 April 2016. The Rules provide more detailed regulations on certain public procurement matters addressed in the new Public Procurement Act (the “PPA”). Both the Rules and the PPA will enter into force on 15 April 2016.
Of note, the Rules address:
- Procedures and conditions for the conduct of some public procurement procedures not regulated in detail by the PPA, e.g. design contests, direct negotiations and negotiation procedures without prior notice;
- Green public procurement;
- Some rules related to the planning phase of public procurement tenders;
- A methodology for assessing the financial standing of bidders based on their ratio of assets and liabilities;
- Procedures and conditions for sending and publishing information about public procurement in the Public Procurement Agency, the Public Procurement Registry, the Official Journal of the European Union and the contracting authorities’ buyer profiles;
- Content required for offers and applications for participation and rules governing their submission;
- Rules governing the tender committee in charge of carrying out the procurement procedure and assessing bids;
- The minimum content of public procurement contracts;
- Supervisory functions of the Public Procurement Agency;
- Additional details about contracts exempted from the PPA.
The Rules also address matters not been previously regulated, such as:
- Opportunities and conditions for branches of foreign companies to participate as bidders;
- Increased flexibility of amending and renewing existing contracts;
- Conditions for awarding of lots of lower value;
- Use of the Single European Procurement Document.
A new – significantly lower – tariff for appeals related to public procurement procedures was also adopted by the Council of Ministers. PPA appeals before the Competition Protection Commission and the Supreme Administrative Court will be charged between approximately EUR 400 to 2,500, depending on the value of the public procurement contract.
Implementation of the Rules and the PPA mark Bulgaria’s completion of the process of implementation of the new EU Directives on public procurement.