European Parliament approves three new public procurement directives, effective 2016

European Parliament approves three new public procurement directives, effective 2016

January 21, 2014  |  E-procurement, Europe, Legal

On 15 January 2014, the European Parliament adopted a package of three new public procurement directives (“Directives”) replacing the Public Sector Directive (Directive 2004/18/EC), the Utilities Directive (Directive 2004/17/EC) and introducing a directive on concessions.

The new EU rules on public procurement and concession contracts  will ensure better quality and value for money when public authorities buy or lease works, goods or services. They will also make it easier for small and medium-sized firms to bid and include tougher provisions on subcontracting.

The new legislation, already agreed with Council in June 2013, overhauls the current EU public procurement rules and for the first time sets common EU standards on concession contracts to boost fair competition and ensure best value for money by introducing new award criteria that place more emphasis on environmental considerations, social aspects and innovation.

Some key changes

Some of the most key changes introduced by the new Directives are:

  • MEAT (most economically and advantageous tender) becomes the sole award criterion
  • Greater flexibility and simplification of negotiated procedure
  • Elimination of distinction between priority and non-priority services
  • Establishment of SME-friendly measures
  • Incorporation of in-house (Teckal) and inter-authority cooperation (Hamburg) exemptions
  • Clarification and extension of exclusion grounds
  • Clarification on rules for modifying existing contracts
  • Introduction of the “Innovation Partnership”
  • Move towards e-procurement
    Contracting authorities will required to make procurement documents freely available by electronic means from the date of publication of the notice. It will also be mandatory to submit notices in electronic form and fully electronic procurement, including all communication and submission, must be in place latest until 2018.

Transposition until 2016

The new Directives are expected to enter into force end of March 2014. Member States are required to transpose the Directives by making national implementing regulations within 2 years from the date of EU adoption (hence most probably by March 2016). Once implemented, the rules will only bite on new procurement exercises commenced after the date when the new national rules take effect.

Sources: Lexology and European Parliament News


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