The Chamber of Deputies has approved an amendment to Act No. 137/2006 Coll., on public procurement (“APP”), including changes proposed by the Senate. The purpose of this latest amendment is essentially to simplify the award of public contracts by contracting authorities. The changes affect several fundamental issues, including increases to the limit for additional work, the admission of bids under new criteria and cancellation of the commissioning process in cases where only one bid is received. 

Under the existing law, a public contract  may be awarded to the current provider without any public announcement so long as the subject of the contract is extra construction or service provision and the total value of that additional work does not exceed 20% of the price of the originally awarded public contract. 

The recent amendment raises this limit to 30%. Despite this increase, the Czech regime remains rather strict when compared with some other European countries that take full advantage of the EU Directive options and set their limits for extra work at up to 50% of the price of the originally awarded public contract. Other innovations include the extension of possible criteria for evaluating bids under Art. 78 para. 4 of the APP. It will now be possible to assess bids based on the organisation, qualifications and experience of the employees of a provider involved in implementing the public contract. This option will apply to parties that have a significant influence on the fulfilment of the public contract; in practice, it will affect creative professionals and also, for example, legal service providers, etc. 

Another important change concerns the removal of the public authority’s duty to cancel the commissioning process in the event that only one bid is received. If an electronic auction is used in these cases, it will also be possible to take into account an exceptionally low bidding price at the end of the e-auction. The rules of the Office for the Protection of Competition’s review process will also change.

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