At the end of July this year the Ministry of Justice submitted to the Council of Ministers a draft law on the prevention of abuses in road investments. According to the current content of the draft, the new solutions would concern road investments with a value exceeding PLN 1 million, in which the General Director of National Roads and Motorways is the investor. The draft’s proponents say that the proposed law would aim at ensuring fair payment to subcontractors.

The solutions envisaged in the draft include introducing supervision over road investments by a road investment inspector. This function would be performed by the District Inspector for Construction Supervision. The inspector’s task would be primarily to issue road certificates to the participants of an investment process after the completion of each individual stage of the investment process. The certificates would confirm the compliance of the scope and quality of the completed works with the material-financial schedule and the contract, as well as the value of the completed works, constituting the basis for payment of remuneration for the performance of the contract or parts of the contract. The draft provides for a special procedure for handling appeals and complaints against road certificates, by establishing a Road Investment Commission and regulating its structure and procedures.

A road certificate, once issued with a declaration of enforceability by the road investment inspector, would have the force of an administrative instrument and would be the sole evidence of the circumstances covered by its content. It would be binding on the courts adjudicating in civil and administrative proceedings, as well as on public authorities in proceedings pending before them.

Another proposed solution is the introduction of a road trust account to collect funds from the investor to pay to the contractor, subcontractor and further subcontractor.

Moreover, the draft imposes on the general contractor and the contractor an obligation to submit for the investor’s approval the tariff of contractual penalties that may be applied to the subcontractor.

The draft also provides for penal provisions, according to which a subcontractor’s remuneration cannot be withheld for any reason other than those provided for in the contract or in legal regulations. There are also sanctions for failure to comply with information obligations towards the road investment inspector.