Good Practice
EU Public Procurement Reform Guide 2016 – Differing Status of Transposition in EU Countries

Eversheds is a leading international law firm and is represented in all world regions. It operates in many sectors but in terms of the public sector it is recognised as one of the leading providers of legal services to central government, local authorities and other public bodies, with many of its lawyers having worked in the public sector themselves and with local presence. It advises on transformational projects, governance and structures, collaboration with the private sector and third sector, regeneration developments, major outsourcing, procurement, investigations and public sector pensions.

It has just published an “EU Public Procurement Reform Guide 2016” which looks at the status of implementation of the new procurement directives in the European Union. It covers 19 EU countries in which its public procurement practice teams are present, is aimed at contractors looking at participating in public contracts outside their own borders and furnishes them with details of public procurement law transposition in different EU countries.

Even though the deadline for implementation is passed, as it says, “…the manner of actual transposition of directives and the practice of application of the rules often differ from country to country.” So the guide describes “.. the current status of the implementation of procurement directives in the member states, and presents the specifics of implementation in each of the countries. The guide also provides information on legal remedies in individual countries, as successful application for public contracts requires knowledge of the options for appealing decisions by the contracting authorities.”

Given that some countries have had to adopt an entirely new public procurement law, or that some have amended existing regulations, and subsequently encountered problems, the guidance is a useful source of understanding each country’s new procedures to help them bid for and win public tenders. It takes the form of one page per country, split into two areas: National Implementation of EU Public Procurement Directives and National Public Procurement Remedies. In the latter is gives an outline of that country’s approach to dealing with breaches of procurement regulations.

So for example, in the UK, it explains that while there is no specialist procurement tribunal system, there are central government initiatives put in place so contractors can advise government of breaches in regulation, which can then be followed up. It explains how many of those have actually reached the courts, and gives the time-frames for proceedings and of course associated costs that can be expected. It does this for each of the 19 member states (and adds Switzerland), so this guide is probably worth a quick look if you are interested in, or about to engage in, public tenders within a specific country in the EU.

The guide is available to download here EU Procurement Reform Guide 2016 free on (short) registration. It is compiled by Tomasz Zalewski, a partner at Wierzbowski Eversheds, who heads the Intellectual Property, E business and Public Procurement teams.

(Do note the disclaimer on the website that “This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice …)