The month of July was a very busy month for the Public Procurement Act in terms of implementing legislation and interpretative opinions. The Czech Ministry for Regional Development issued three decrees implementing recent radical changes to the Public Procurement Act and a methodology for the public procurement process.

1. The Decrees

The newly issued decrees cover the following areas, (i) delineation of the subject-matter in construction tenders, (ii) commercial terms for construction tenders and (iii) the reasoning behind public tender s. All decrees shall enter into force on 1 September 2012.

1.1 Definition of the subject-matter in construction tenders

The decree No. 230/2012 Coll. requires that the tender documentation clearly specifies its subject-matter in terms of technical, technological, dispositional and operating characteristics, appearance and quality. Further, it specifies the content of an inventory of works, supplies and services, and statement of measurements.

1.2 Commercial terms for construction tenders

The decree No. 231/2012 Coll. specifies the commercial terms that the contracting authority has to provide for the construction tenders. The contracting authority may specify other commercial terms beyond the set ones, but they have to always be reasonable and duly justified with respect to the subject-matter of the tender.

1.3 Reasoning behind public tenders

The decree No. 232/2012 Coll. establishes the amount of detail that should be included by a public authority when outlining the reasoning behind a particular public tender (i.e. the needs that are to be satisfied by the tender, expected date of tender performance etc.).

2. The Methodology

The methodology for the public procurement process under the amended Act focuses on the interpretation of procedures and institutes mainly from a practical point of view; it supports the correct application of the Act and clarifies its requirements. The document is available for download on the website of the Ministry for Regional Development.

The introduction of implementing legislation and the release of interpretative opinion is an important step in introducing the changes to the Public Procurement Act in practice. Before the decrees were introduced, there was a period of uncertainty for several months, when the Amendment had already been effective, but the implementing legislation clarifying the new statutory requirements had not yet existed. However, it should be noted that some other fundamental decrees have still not been prepared (e.g. a decree on the e-auctions).