On 15 November 2019, the Public Procurement Regulations (Subsidiary Legislation 174.014 of the Laws of Malta) were amended (by means of L.N. 301 of 2019) to require that any application filed by an interested economic operator to challenge any aspect of a procurement procedure before its closing deadline must be accompanied by the payment of a forfeitable deposit.

This application, also referred to as an application for a pre-contractual remedy, could have been previously filed without the payment of any such deposit.

This monetary deposit will be equivalent to 0.5% of the estimated financial value of the prospective public contract, but it cannot exceed the cap of €50,000.

It is the competent tribunal, the Public Contracts Review Board, which will decide, after hearing the relative application, whether the deposit is to be refunded to the claimant, usually, in case that the claimant’s application is well founded.

A similar requirement to pay a monetary deposit is already in place in the law for any application filed to challenge a decision of a contracting authority AFTER the closing deadline of a procurement procedure, such as, a decision to disqualify a bidder or to recommend the award of a contract to another.