In the State Gazette, issue 107 of 18.12.2020, the Law for amendment and supplement of the Public Procurement Act was promulgated.
The amendments align the Public Procurement Act with requirements of European legislation in this area.
The amendments regulate the creation and issuance through the Centralized Automated Information System “Electronic Public Procurement” (“CAIS EOP”) of individual administrative acts by the contracting authorities, and their requisites are specified. It is stipulated that the resolutions for opening and terminating procedures are individual administrative acts. They are issued through CAIS EOP and are considered electronic documents. The date of issue will be considered to be on the date of the electronic signature, and for more than one contracting authority, the date of the last electronic signature. The resolution number will be generated by CAIS EOP. An integral part of the resolutions will be a separate electronic form, which will certify the date of the resolutions and their number.
The amendments introduce an obligation for the contracting authorities to use CAIS EOP in:
- Issuing resolutions, announcements, announcements for collection of offers and invitations to certain participants;
- Publication of all documents subject to publication in the Public Procurements Register;
- Sending Invitations;
- Requesting and providing clarifications;
- Submission of applications for participation, offers and competitive projects;
- Serving resolutions of the contracting authorities in the cases specified in legislation;
- Exchange of information and documents in connection with the review of applications for participation, offers and competitive projects.
Тhe scope of amendments to contracts that are identified as substantial is being extended. The changes are aimed at reducing the number of deviations from and amendments to the originally signed contract.
Contracting authorities are obliged from now on, through CAIS EOP, to send announcements for completion of public procurement contracts for publication, these announcements contain information regarding the execution of the public procurement contract.
There is also an optional opportunity for use of CAIS EOP, by the contracting authorities, in planning, selection of candidates or participants, evaluation of bids, signing of the contract, preparation and submission of requests for contracts, submission and acceptance of electronic invoices, preparation and sending electronic appeals and in other cases according to the possibilities provided by the platform.
An optional opportunity has been introduced, according to which the term for receiving offers can be determined by agreement between the contracting authority and the persons entered in the qualification system, as all persons will be given the same term for preparation and submission of offers.
The provision on conditional contracts has also been supplemented, according to which, where no funding is provided at the time of opening the procedure, the contracting authority shall indicate this fact in the announcement, the invitation to confirm interest or in the resolution for opening the procedure. In this case, either party may request termination of the contract without notice after the expiration of three months from its signing. The contracting authority should always include in the draft contract a clause for deferred performance.
An obligation has been introduced to extend the deadline for receiving offers under procedures for collection offers with an announcement and invitation to certain persons. The deadline for receipt of offers is extended when clarifications on the terms of the public procurement are requested and they cannot be made on the next working day after the receipt of the requested clarifications. There is an optional possibility for extension of the term, at the choice of the contracting authority, when no offers have been received in the initially determined term or only one offer has been received.
Limits have also been introduced in determining the size of sanctions that the Commission for Protection of Competition imposes when establishing infringements, as a minimum threshold has been introduced, unlike the previous regulation, which provided only a maximum threshold.