After being returned by the Senate on 19 April 2016, the new draft Act on Public Contracts that we wrote about in the February issue of Legal Update was approved by the Chamber of Deputies and signed into law by the President on 22 April 2016 as Act No. 134/2016 Coll. The bill was adopted in the wording we reported on in February, i.e. there were no changes with the exception of the altered effective date of 1 October 2016.

Pursuant to the new law’s transitory provisions, procurement procedures begun before its effective date are to be completed in accordance with the existing (“old”) Public Procurement Act. However, changes in obligations ensuing from public contracts under the “old” law will be governed by the new law.

We should add that the deadline for implementing the European guideline on which the new Act on Public Contracts is based passed on 18 April 2016; in the spirit of the principles of European case law, with the lapse of time for implementation of a directive (i.e. without the respective national legislation implementing the directive entering into effect by this deadline), the beneficiaries of the rights ensuing from the directive may theoretically claim these rights based directly on the directive.