The EU directives regulating public procurements are being amended. Finnish procurement legislation is based on EU directives, so the amendments to the directives will at the same time set a framework for future national procurement legislation.

The new directives will mean a complete overhaul of procurement legislation, replacing the old procurement directives – the Public Procurement Directive and the Utilities Directive – with new directives. The Commission also intends to enact completely new legislation in the form of a directive on the award of concession contracts.

The Commission’s aim with the new legislation is to make procurement processes more flexible and less onerous. However, the amendments seem unlikely to make the processes substantially lighter for procurement units or parties submitting tenders. Indeed, some of the suggested amendments may even make the process less flexible. For example, in its present form the suggested procurement direction would limit the possible topics subject to negotiations in a negotiated process. Such a change would be a significant setback in complex procurement procedures.

The Commission originally intended for the directives to be set forth by the end of 2012, and for them to be implemented in national legislation by 30 June 2014. However, the amendment will not proceed quite so quickly. According to current information, the directives will not be approved until early 2013.