Bulgarian lawmakers have approved at first hearing a Bill for Amendment and Supplement of the Bulgarian Public Procurement Act, which covers options for amendments within a concluded public procurement contract and introduces additional rules related to a centralised electronic platform for public procurement.

Firstly, the Bill specifies the requirements of EU legislation concerning significant changes to public procurement contracts, which are generally prohibited with minor exceptions. The new wording of the article concerning changes to public procurement contracts is closer to Directives 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU, which emphasise the prohibition of amendments to contracts that make them substantially different in nature from the original contracts. Also, the scope of the prohibition is extended in cases where the amendments modify the economic balance of contracts in favour of contractors in ways not provided for in the original contract.

Since the clauses were vague, they were subject to great interest by stakeholders who submitted their statements at the public discussion phase preceding the bill's entry to parliament. Still, these clauses were not successfully amended during that phase although the possibility of further specification remains open at the National Assembly's second hearing.

Secondly, the Bill introduces additional rules related to the implementation of a centralised electronic platform for public procurement, which was expected since the electronic platform for public procurement is part of the state’s internal policy for modernisation of procedures. With the “construction” of the platform in its final stage and already in operation, there is a need to specify the obligations of users working with it. As a result, two new provisions have been proposed in this regard. The Bill specifies the actions the contracting authority and the contractor are obliged to perform through the platform, while other amendments indicate the functions that these entities can exercise at their own discretion.

Lastly, the Bill obliges contracting authorities to examine and assess evidence submitted by a candidate for whom there are grounds for exclusion in relation to any measures taken by the candidate to overcome these grounds.