On August 31, 2017, Decree-Law No. 111-B/2017 was published, which proceeds to the ninth amendment to the Public Procurement Code, approved by Decree-Law no. 18/2008, of January 29, and implements the Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU, all from the European Parliament and of the Council, of February 26, 2014 and Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 16, 2014.

In this sense, in compliance with the obligations of legislative implementation to which Portugal was bound, and in accordance with the preamble of the diploma, the innovations introduced in the Code are essentially focused on simplifying, reducing bureaucracy and making the contract formation procedures more flexible to increase the efficiency of public expenditure and to promote better and easier access to those contracts by economic operators.

With regard to the most significant changes, the following are highlighted:

i)  the creation of a new procedure for the acquisition of innovative products or services - the partnership for innovation;

ii) the consignation, as an award criteria, of the most economically advantageous proposal, based on the best value for money and the price or cost, and the environmental or social sustainability of the contract execution, using a costeffectiveness analysis, in particular life-cycle costs, while still allowing for the lowest price criteria where appropriate;

iii) the amendment to the abnormally lowest price setting, eliminating its indexation to the base price;

iv)  the introduction of the concept of complementary works or services, which replaces the former «extra-works» and «errors and omissions suppression works» expressions; 

v)  the foreseen that the value of 5% of the guarantee is now a maximum amount, not being a fixed amount anymore and the establishment of a gradual release of the guarantee;

vi)  the inclusion of small public works contracts under the simplified direct adjustment scheme (up to € 5,000) and the extension of the urgent public tender procedure to works contracts whose estimated value of the contracts to be concluded does not exceed € 300,000;

vii) the limitation of the use of the direct adjustment procedure with consultation to only one entity, again giving autonomy to the prior consultation procedure, with consultation to three entities, provided for the acquisition of goods and services between € 20,000 and € 75,000 and for public works contracts between € 30,000 and € 150,000.

According to article 13 of this diploma, it enters into force on January 1, 2018.