April 2, 2020

Covid-19: EU Commission Guide Lines on Public Procurement

by Studio Valaguzza in Deepening

In the EU Official Journal of 1st April 2020, it has been published the Commission’s Communication on “Guidelines of the European Commission on the use of the public procurement framework in the emergency situation related to the Covid-19 crisis”.
The Commission explains the options and possible actions within the EU public procurement framework for the purchase of supplies, services and works needed to deal with the epidemiological crisis. The aim is to find “quick and smart solutions” to the huge increase in demand for goods and services needed to tackle the health crisis caused by Covid-19.
The Commission’s Communication outlines three main means of action.
1.The reduction of terms to speed up open or restricted proceedings. In the open proceedings, the minimum term for submission of tenders may be reduced to 15 days (instead of 35 ordinary days) in duly justified cases of urgency; in the restricted proceedings, the minimum term for submission of requests to participate may be reduced to 15 days (instead of 30 ordinary days) and the minimum term for submission of tenders to 10 days (instead of 30 ordinary days). This time limit should enable the contract to be awarded quickly in accordance with the principles of equal treatment and transparency.
2.The use of the negotiated procedure without prior publication of the tender notice or direct award. In cases of extreme urgency, where it is not possible to wait for the normal, even fast-track, proceedings to be carried out, the negotiated proceedings may be used without prior publication of the tender notice. In these proceedings, public purchasers are allowed to negotiate directly with potential contractors and there are no publication requirements, deadlines, minimum number of candidates to be consulted or other procedural requirements. Alternatively, a direct award to a pre-selected economic operator is permitted, provided that the latter is the only one capable of delivering the necessary supplies in accordance with the technical and time constraints imposed by the extreme health emergency.
3.The search for alternative solutions and interaction with the market. In order to meet their needs, public purchasers may need to look for alternative and possibly innovative solutions, which may already be available on the market or potentially available in a (very) short time. Public purchasers will need to identify solutions and interact with potential suppliers (in a process of matching supply and demand) in order to assess whether these alternatives meet their needs.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]