On Thursday 19 October, Spanish Congress approved a new Public Procurement Law, rejecting all of the amendments that had been included by the Senate (to articles 122.2, 149.4. penultimate paragraph and 202.2. third paragraph, which would have allowed successful tenderers to give preference to company-wide collective bargaining agreements over those applicable sector-wide). This concludes the legislative process for approving the Public Procurement Law.  

The approved text of the law is composed of 347 articles, 53 additional provisions, 5 transitional provisions, 1 derogatory provision, 16 final provisions and six annexes, and transposes European public procurement directives into Spanish legislation, in particular Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 26 February 2014, on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC; as well as Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 26 February 2014, on the award of concession contracts – provisions of Directive 2014/23/EU had already been included in a law governing public procurement in the water, power, transportation and postal service sectors. The deadline for transposing the directives expired on 18 April 2016.

The new law will regulate public procurement processes with the aim of ensuring that they adhere to the principles of freedom of access to tenders, publicity and transparency, and non-discrimination and equal treatment among tenderers. It also aims to ensure – in connection with the sought budget stability and expenditure control, as well as the principle of integrity – an efficient use of funds allocated for the performance of the works in question, the acquisition of resources and the engagement of services by requiring that project needs be properly defined beforehand. It also aims to safeguard free competition and to make sure that the financially most beneficial bid is ultimately chosen.

The new law establishes a legal framework applicable to the effectiveness, performance and termination of administrative contracts, on the basis of the public objectives sought by engaging them.

The law will enter into force within four months of it being published in the BOE (except for certain articles), which is expected to take place imminently. It also contains several transitional provisions which take into account, for example, the tender processes started and the contracts that have been awarded before it enters into force.