The procurement procedures

Fundamental principles

Does the relevant legislation require compliance with certain fundamental principles when designing and carrying out a contract award procedure?

The Public Procurement Code (PPC) and the Legal Regime of Administrative Contracts (LRAC) provide for basic underlying principles, such as public interest, good faith, competition, equality, proportionality, transparency, impartiality, economy and efficiency, protection of the environment, stability, responsibility, annual programming and confidentiality. These principles are relevant as they provide guidelines to interpret rules and, consequently, identify possible obligations or limits on the activity of the contracting authorities.

Independence and impartiality

Does the relevant legislation or case law require that a contracting authority is independent and impartial?

The PPC does not have a specific provision referring to the independence and impartiality of contracting authorities; however, the fundamental principles of the PPC and the LRAC provide for this.

Conflicts of interest

Does the legislation address expressly the issue of conflicts of interest?

Members or staff of contracting authorities, members of juries or any other entities involved in a procurement procedure must comply with the general rules regarding conflicts of interest of holders and agents of the public administration.

In addition, the members and staff of entities involved in a procurement procedure should disclose any personal interest towards a bidder or potential bidder and, if that is the case, request the suspension of their involvement in the procedure.

Bidder involvement in preparation

Are there any restrictions on the ability of a bidder to be involved in the preparation of a contract award procedure?

Anyone who has participated in the preparation of a public procurement procedure is not allowed to participate as a bidder in that procedure.

Procedure

Which procurement procedure is primarily used for the award of regulated contracts?

The prevailing type of competitive procurement procedure used by contracting authorities is the public tender.

However, contracting authorities often choose to award contracts on a direct award basis, as it is the most time-saving procedure available.

Award criteria

Does the relevant legislation specify the criteria that must be used for the evaluation of submitted tenders?

The PPC determines two different award criteria for the evaluation of the proposals: the lowest price and the most economically advantageous tender. At each procurement procedure, the criteria to be used must be disclosed in advance.

Regarding the latter (the most economically advantageous tender), many factors can be taken into consideration when evaluating the proposals, such as:

  • quality;
  • price;
  • technical merit;
  • aesthetic and functional characteristics;
  • environmental characteristics;
  • running costs;
  • cost-effectiveness;
  • after-sales service and technical assistance;
  • delivery date; and
  • delivery period or period of completion.