Public Procurement – Small Changes – Big Effects

One of the major problems in Romania is keeping up with the changes in law. How do we do this many Clients ask? How do we keep up to date?

As an emerging economy the laws are updated often without notice (Government Emergency Ordinances), or an important law is blocked in Parliament, and then suddenly passed as a deadline approaches.  All this is very frustrating to the Client and their lawyers.

A recent example has been the changes in the Public procurement law, again by Emergency Government Ordinance.  To assist those interested I am setting out some pointers.  These points are not exhaustive and anyone interested must review the whole Ordinance.

By the Ordinance certain Autonomous administrations and/national companies are no longer classified as “contracting authorities” and therefore do not have to apply in totality the public procurement rules.  They must though have internal rules for the purchase of services where the value exceeds 30,000 Euro and for works that exceed 100,000 Euros.  Such internal rules must ensure that they observe the general principles of the public procurement legislation.

The maximum contract value threshold for which the “contracting authority is exempt from the public procurement rules has been increased.  For services the value must not exceed 30,000 Euro and for works the maximum value is 100,000 Euros.

The conduct of the contracting authority relating to the documentation has been detailed. There will be a breach on the part of the contracting authority if it drafts the documentation in such a way that clarifications are needed and such clarification modifies the information already published, such amendments must be provided at least six days before the deadline for the submission of offers.

There have been amendments in respect of documents supporting the offer. The requirement for the authenticated form of the third party’s firm commitment to prove both the economic and financial or technical and professional support has been eliminated. This seems to imply that a private document should satisfy the conditions.

Another amendment concerns the competency of the National Authority for Regulation and Control of Public Procurement (ANRMAP). The express possibility for ANRMAP to render null and void those contracts that were concluded with the breach of the contracting authorities obligations under the awarding procedure has been repealed.  Further, the competence for hearing such disputes, which had been exclusively attributed to the Bucharest Tribunal and Bucharest Court of Appeals, was repealed.

So how do you keep up to date?  That is the issue which we face day to day.  So make sure you have around you advisers who know and understand your business in Romania and are able to supply you with the necessary information to run your business within the law.

About Nicholas S Hammond

Nicholas is an English solicitor who has been practising in Romania since 1990. He has been a partner in a number of law firms in Romania as the principal partner. Hammond and Associates trading as Hammond Partnership is the culmination of many years experiance.

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