The Administrative Court issued a decision that deals with the degree of detail necessary in relation to the reasons for a certain award decision within public procurement procedures. The court considered it crucial that it be possible for the bidder to file easily a reasoned appeal against the contract award decision without the knowledge of additional, more detailed justification elements.
Following comprehensive reform of the Austrian administrative jurisdiction, the Federal Procurement Authority is due to be replaced by the newly established Federal Administrative Court. This reform also requires amendments to the Federal Public Procurement Act and the Federal Public Procurement Act for Security and Defence. The federal government is thus about to introduce two bills for this purpose to Parliament.
The 2012 amendment to the administrative procedural laws, which will soon enter into force, provides for a comprehensive legislative reorganisation, including the establishment of new types of administrative court at the provincial and federal level. In connection with the introduction of these new courts, the existing public procurement review bodies will be dissolved with effect from the same date.
During the course of an award procedure, it is not unlikely that the contracting authority will be requested to amend the tender documents during the participation or tender period. This can happen for various reasons, but in a large number of cases bidders request amendments because they feel discriminated against by strict requirements set out in the tender documents.
For the first time an Austrian public procurement authority has clarified what enterprises must do in order to be allowed to participate in tender proceedings despite previous misconduct. The regulatory authority's decree shows that absolution from unreliability requires sustainable personnel consequences, and it is not enough simply to take any organisational or technical steps.
A new law was recently published in the Federal Law Gazette, comprising the Defence Procurement Act and the 2012 Amendment to the Federal Public Procurement Act. The Defence Procurement Act includes the introduction of a relaxed regime for the award of contracts below certain thresholds. The amendment includes a new direct award procedure and greater transparency for award decisions.
In a recent landmark decision the Federal Public Procurement Office held that award decisions with respect to non-priority services must now contain the same information as all other such communications. Hence, even in the case of non-priority services, the contracting authority must inform unsuccessful bidders of the characteristics of the winning tender, the name of the successful tenderer and the award sum.
A new regulation was recently introduced on eligibility to participate in public procurements. Previously, candidates or tenderers that were interested in public tenders had to prove through various documents that they were suitable. Now, in many cases, a so-called 'self-declaration' should be enough to qualify for the assignment. However, the crux is that this kind of declaration is only enough 'fundamentally'.
The amendment to the Federal Public Procurement Act 2006 recently entered into force. The main focus of the amendment is to implement the EU Remedies Directive, which was issued to improve the effectiveness of review procedures concerning the award of public contracts.
Including: Relevant Legislation; Application of Law to Entities and Contracts; Procedures; Exclusions and Exemptions; Remedies and Enforcement; Changes During and After a Procedure.
The EU Public Contracts Directive allows recourse to accelerated procedures where such recourse is justified on grounds of urgency, and the European Commission has recognized that the current economic situation can justify the use of such procedures. As a result, the contracting authorities are to reduce the deadlines for restricted procedures with prior notice and negotiated procedures with prior notice on grounds of urgency.
The Federal Chancellery recently introduced a new draft bill regarding an amendment to the Federal Public Procurement Act 2006. The main objective of the draft amendment is to implement the EU Remedies Directive, which was issued to improve the effectiveness of review procedures concerning the award of public contracts.