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Public Contracts: Implementing Regulations Finally Arrive

Public Contracts: Implementing Regulations Finally Arrive

6.9.2012 16:17

Although the amendment became effective on 1 April 2012, the Ministry of Regional Development has taken its time completing the implementing regulations. What is more, we still do not know which goods must be purchased via e-auctions.

The first regulation, effective from 1 June 2012, has now been joined by three others – decrees that took effect on 1 September 2012. The June decree defines in detail where and how contracting authorities should announce tenders and how their special tender web page (profile) should look. At the same time, and quite redundantly (since it is already summarized in the Act itself), the June decree summarizes the information and documents that contracting authorities are required to publish on their tender web page. Last but not least, the decree outlines how the information on the tender web page should be presented.

The contracting authorities’ biggest concern so far was the lack of a decree setting forth what details are needed to justify a public contract. The long sought-after decree, however, has finally arrived. Although the Ministry did in fact issue certain instructions before the decree was adopted, the instructions were very brief. As a result, a number of contracting authorities simply ignored the requirement entirely or provided only a very brief justification. The new decree defines more clearly the justification requirements and provides details on how the justification should be formulated.
Nevertheless, I continue to believe that contracting authorities will still have too much freedom in choosing how detailed their justification will be. What will be considered by law to be sufficient, however, has not yet been decided by the courts.

Details on Construction Work
The latest two decrees apply to public contracts for construction work. The first one imposes mandatory requirements for business terms and conditions, such as deadlines for releasing and accepting the construction site, and for completing the construction work and releasing and accepting the final work, as well as principles on how to inspect the contractor’s work, and more. The second decree describes what the term relevant documentation means according to the Act and how the list of construction work, floorage records, and auxiliary and miscellaneous costs should look. Since the list of construction work must be in electronic form, the decree addresses that as well. The Ministry of Regional Development has also issued recommendations for the decrees, which are available on the Ministry’s public contracts website.

Unfortunately, the implementing decree that states which goods contracting authorities are required to purchase via e-auctions still appears to be locked away in the Ministry’s filing cabinet. Hence, the sections of the April amendment act that address e-auctions are still of no use.

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