Publicly owned companies, public authorities and suppliers of the EU Member States are obliged to apply the European public procurement regulation when purchasing goods, services and public works above the defined European thresholds. Even when announcing below the thresholds, they need to follow the EC Treaty principles of transparency and non-discrimination. All actors involved are forced to ensure transparent procedures and fair conditions of competitions for suppliers.
Public companies and authorities as well as their suppliers face a rather complex system of public procurement procedures. Officials responsible for public procurement need to get familiar with the recent legal changes in the field of public procurement as well as the best pre and post award phase strategies to ensure their public institution gets the goods or services they need.
The competitive dialogue and the competitive procedure with negotiation as compared to the open or restricted procedures can be advantageous tools to purchase complex contracts: they make it possible for public buyers to refine requirements, develop a detailed evaluation matrix and purchase works, services, and goods (e.g. research products) tailored to their needs and budgetary constraints.
During the public procurement process a contracting authority puts a lot of time and effort into identifying reliable business partners, negotiating favourable terms, and ensuring a strong basis for the award decision. Despite the best preparations, however, existing contracts often require amendments.
The new EU Directives on Public Procurement implicate a number of modifications and bring in some significant changes, particularly to the range of contracts subject to the EU public procurement regime.