Changes to Bulgaria’s Public Procurement Act Move Forward
Bulgaria’s parliamentary regional policy and local self-government committee adopted at first reading the new Public Procurement Act.
The bill was approved on Wednesday by the legal affairs committee, the European affairs committee, the budget and finance committee and the economic policy committee of the Bulgarian Parliament, according to reports of investor.bg.
The government expects that the bill will be conclusively approved by Parliament by end-2015.
The bill introduces four EU Directives into Bulgaria’s domestic law, including the ones on the rules for the conduct of procedures by public contractors, sectoral contractors awarding sensitive contracts in the fields of defence and security, and the appeal of public procurement.
The bill lays down rules for the award of public procurement in cases when the value of the contract is low, meaning that it falls outside the scope of the EU Directives.
The bill also introduces e-tenders through a special centralized electronic public procurement system.
The provisions also provide the opportunity for joint awarding of public procurement by two or more contractors, including other contractors from the EU.
Companies with debts owed to the State will not be allowed to take part in public procurement procedures, unless a deferred payment scheme has been arranged.
The thresholds applicable to public procurement are increased to become equal to those applied in the EU.
The appeal procedure remains the same, with the Commission for Protection of Competition being the first instance and the Supreme Administrative Court (VAS) the second instance.
The time limits for the procedures become shorter.
According to Ivo Katsarov from the Public Procurement Agency, a surcharge may be introduced for appealing a tendering procedure in a bid to prevent unmotivated appeals, which obstruct the implementation of key EU-funded projects.
According to reports of econ.bg, the bill envisages changing the principal of the Public Procurement Agency from the Economy Ministry to the Finance Ministry.
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