Law 14/2013, of September 27, on support of entrepreneurs and their internationalization, has also brought outstanding new developments in the sphere of public contracting. Chapter II, Title IV of the Law amends Legislative Royal Decree 3/2011, of November 14, which approved the Revised Text of the Public Sector Contracts Act, in order to eliminate obstacles to entrepreneurs' access to public contracting, so as to provide true leverage for expansion and consolidation for many companies. To accomplish these goals:

  • The new Law allows entrepreneurs to form Temporary Unions of Companies (UTE) and register them in the Official Registry of Bidders and Classified Companies, so as to facilitate their achieving, together with other entrepreneurs, the conditions required in the specifications for contracting.
  • The Law raises the economic thresholds for contracts requiring the bidder to have the relevant Company Classification, which has been an important obstacle for many companies to gaining access to public contracts, especially smaller companies and new start-ups. The threshold has been raised from € 350,000 to € 500,000 in construction contracts and from € 120,000 to € 200,000 for service contracts.
  • The Law allows bidders to constitute the guarantee in construction, supply, service, and public service management contracts by means of a retention in the price (for public service management contracts, when these are paid by the contracting administration).
  • In order to reduce administrative charges, the Law provides that the contracting bodies may replace the submission of certain documents for a bidder's responsibility statement, indicating that it meets the conditions established legally to contract with the public administration.
  • To allow new companies access to public contracting the Law holds null and void the provisions, acts, and resolutions granting advantages directly or indirectly to companies which have previously contracted with any public administration.
  • In certain cases in which the awardee of a public contract is a small or middle-size company, the deadlines for the return of guarantees are reduced from 12 months to 6 months from the end of the contract.
  • Finally, as a measure to avoid default, the term for default is reduced from 8 months to 6 months, so that the contractor may request termination of the contract and compensation for the damages caused. Furthermore, greater control by the public administrations is established on payments to be made by contractors to subcontractors, and possible fines are imposed for breach of such obligations.