In brief

The year has ended with important new developments for companies that contract with the public sector, new developments that have come into force on January 1. Both the State and Catalan’s budgetary laws contain provisions on this matter. Also, as each year, the new thresholds applicable to harmonized contracts have been published.

  • Law 22/2021, of December 28, on State General Budgets for 2022 includes several provisions related to the contracting of the public sector, such as, for example, in its additional provisions seventeenth and eighteenth, it regulates the hiring of personnel by state-owned companies, public business entities and public sector foundations. Its one hundred andtwenty-ninth additional provision includes measures to encourage vegetarian dining in the dining halls of public institutions.

However, the most notable provision is, without a doubt, the twenty-ninth final provision amending Article 159.4 of Law 9/2017, of November 8, on Public Sector Contracts (“LCSP”). This precept regulates the simplified open procedure that, as is known, requires the registration of the bidder in the Official Register of Bidders and Classified Companies of the Public Sector (“ROLEC”). Therefore, with the new regulation, bidders may submit an offer in the simplified open procedures proving that they have submitted the application for registration in the aforementioned Registry. That is, since January 1, it will no longer be necessary to be formally registered in the ROLEC, but it will be sufficient to have processed the application for such registration in order to be able to bid in simplified open procedures.

  • In turn, Law 1/2021, of December 29, on the budgets of the General Government of Catalonia for 2022 also includes new developments in matters of public procurement. As of January 1 of this year, the contracting body’s profile must also publish the awards and formalizations of the contracts processed through the emergency procedure by the Government’s and its public sector’s Administration, as well as those entered into by public universities and the entities dependent on them. This publication must occur within 30 calendar days from the award or formalization.
  • Update of the thresholds of harmonized contracts: Order HFP/1499/2021, of December 28, has published the new thresholds set by the European Commission to determine which contracts are subject to European law, that is, they are considered harmonized contracts. The following table summarizes the changes and indicates the thresholds applicable as of January 1, 2022:

           Undoubtedly the most significant novelty is the one relating to the simplified open procedure that will facilitate the participation of bidders. Until now, these companies had to deal with the slowness of the administration itself, which sometimes meant significant delays in the registration procedure in the ROLEC and frustrated their chances of participating in the simplified open procedures.

Click here to access the Spanish version of the full alert.