The Slovenia Times

Sceptical glance at pending changes to rules on tender appeals


"Effective public procurement and more accountability for everybody involved - this would be a real miracle and we don't believe in miracles," the paper says in the commentary entitled Will There Be Any Less Pettifoggery in Tenders?

No changes so far have managed to prevent never-ending appeal in review demands in deals were millions are at stake, Finance says in response to proposed new changes drawn up by the Public Administration Ministry.

Public procurement is a major industry, with Slovenia annually seeing more than 6,000 public contracts worth close to EUR 5 billion. The procedures are complicated, violations are established by the Court of Audit with practically everybody and the reviews and lawsuits are a gold mine for lawyers.

The new changes now proposed are meant to bring more responsibility for the contracting authorities, bidders and the National Review Commission, speed up proceedings, secure more autonomy for the Review Commission and additional legal protection.

A key provision highlighted by the paper is the possibility to take the Review Commission before the Administrative Court. However, this would only become possible in 2021, which is a delay that will not be to the liking of those offering goods, services, construction etc. and failing to challenge the Review Commission.

They will be even less pleased with the fact that the administrative challenge will not stay the procedure and that the Administrative Court will not be deciding on potential damages claims but refer the plaintiffs to a regular court.

The ministry insists the change makes sense - the judgements will be declaratory and contribute to the formation of case law and thereby to greater legal security.

Another major change singled out by Finance is that those asking for a review by the Review Commission will no longer be able to list the same violations in further proceeding in case they have withdrawn the review demand or the demand has already been processed. This is meant to prevent the repeated filing of requests, a form of abuse that has been stalling procedures.

One more novelty is that the Review Commission will have to secure priority treatment for all review demands involving projects valued at over EUR 10 million.


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