Recently, a number of amendments to the Mandatory Tenders Law (amendment no. 25) were published concerning matters of great importance to the conduct of tender committees (and an additional amendment was published within the framework of the Public Bodies Transactions Law):
The first amendment is important for a significant number of Israeli tenders
For tenders involving engagements valued at less than NIS 50 million, the tender organizer may not condition receipt of tender documents or participation in the tender upon payment for tender documents or for the cost of operation of the tender, except for specific circumstances and amounts, as determined by the Minister of Finance. (Section 2A(a1)).
Moreover, the draft of the law noted that "many small and mid-sized businesses do not participate in tenders due to the payment required for receiving tender documents or as a condition to participate in the tender, since the payment is often too large for these businesses, and even though these requirements are permitted under the Mandatory Tenders Regulations 5753-1993 they pose a significant barrier to such businesses who are interested in participating in public tenders. Therefore, it is established that one may not require any payment as a condition for participating in the tender or as a condition for receiving tender documents, unless such a condition was made in accordance with the specific circumstances and amounts established by the Minister of Finance and the Knesset's Economics Committee."
The second amendment is relevant to the work of tender committees in all Israeli tenders
- As an additional medium for encouraging and involving small and mid-size businesses, tender committees have been obligated to consider, for each engagement, the possibility of conducting the engagement with very small, small, and mid-size businesses.
- The legislator has clarified that the committee must consider whether such involvement (as defined in the amendment) will harm the likelihood of actually receiving the product, work, or service.
- The amendment's wording may lead to the conclusion (which should be further
- considered) that the requirement to examine and adapt the tender's provisions to such businesses also applies to existing tenders which were published but which have not yet received offers.
- In the future - government bodies will be required to publicize data on their involvement of very small, small, and mid-size businesses in their engagements. (Section 2C(c)).
The third amendment is also relevant to the work of tender committees and has been executed in the framework of the Public Bodies Transactions Law
Another important amendment was executed in the Public Bodies Transactions Law (Amendment No. 11), 2016, which is meant to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive adequate representation. The law obligates every public body to be convinced, by receipt of an affidavit, that the body that it intends to engage with fulfills (or is exempt from) the law's provisions concerning the relevant issue.
All that is described above is only a summary and it is preferable to review the attached wording of the law.