On 1 September 2013, new Cabinet Regulations No. 299 “On the procurement procedure and how to apply it to projects financed by the contracting authority” come into force; these will specify a more flexible procedure for organising procurements for companies and other contracting authorities that implement projects with funds from the European Union (EU) or a non-EU foreign country or the Republic of Latvia. Nevertheless, state and municipal institutions, as well as other contracting authorities and providers of public utilities, will still have to follow the Public Procurement Law, the Law on Procurement of Public Service Providers, and the Law on Procurement in the Field of Defence and Security.
In the new regulations, the Cabinet of Ministers has taken into account that funding is usually received by companies that are used to striving for maximum efficiency. Thus the new order is completely different from the previous one by providing a flexible procedure for granting rights to enter contracts.
The most significant innovations in the regulations are as follows:
- The procedure set in the regulations for granting rights to enter contracts will apply when the expected contract price for supplies or services is LVL 50,000 (EUR 71,177) or more, and the expected contract price for construction works is LVL 120,000 (EUR 170,824) or more.
- The minimum term for submission of bids is extended to 10 business days in procurement of products and services and to 15 business days in procurement of construction works.
- The significance of pre-drafted detailed technical specification has decreased in favour of substantiation of economic benefit in the procurement. Further, upon announcing the procurement procedure the procurement object should be described to a degree of detail that allows suppliers to understand the procurement object and make the initial bid.
- The new order is based on organising negotiations with those who submit initial bids, allowing supplementary information and improvement of offers. Moreover, rights are granted to recipients of funding to invite other suppliers to submit an initial bid and start negotiations at any time until it has been decided to choose the supplier.
- Includes a requirement for the recipient of funding to substantiate the chosen contractual price and comply with the market situation upon a request from the institutions in charge.
- Prevention of conflicts of interest is regulated in more detail.