On 11 July 2016 the President signed an amendment to the Public procurement law introducing changes as required by the new EU Directives on public procurement (Directive 2014/24/EU) and utilities contracts (Directive 2014/25/EU).

Ultimately, Poland has decided to implement the new Directives as an amendment to the existing Public procurement law, in force since 2004, and not as an entirely new Act.

As we have mentioned in our Law-now alert on 28 April 2015 and Law-now alert on 27 March 2015, the most important changes include:

  • the introduction of e-procurement,
  • a limitation of bureaucracy in tendering procedures, e.g. by introducing a European Single Procurement Document,
  • easier application of competitive negotiated procedures,
  • introducing innovation partnerships,
  • improving the access of small and medium-sized enterprises to public procurement, e.g. by encouraging the division of orders into smaller parts, as well as
  • changes in the contract award criteria, including an emphasis on the selection of the most economically advantageous tenders (MEAT) and the introduction of life cycle cost (LCC) as an available criterion.

The new provisions also introduce easements in making amendments in public contracts as well as terminating them.

Some interesting solutions adopted in the new provisions include the regulation of so-called in-house procurements, whereas contracting authorities will – in certain circumstances – be able to award contracts to entities they control in single source procurement. Another novelty is an obligation for the contracting authorities to describe in the tender documentation a requirement for the potential contractor or subcontractor to employ persons performing certain parts of the procurement on the basis of employment contracts – provided that the execution of these tasks fulfills the criteria for an employment relationship established in the Labour Code.

Most of the new provisions will come into force within 14 days of their publication in the Journal of Laws (presumably at the turn of July and August). Full electronisation of Polish tenders will be obligatory starting from 18 October 2018 and, for central purchasing bodies, from 18 April 2017.