Brussels, 21 November 2012
Public procurement: Commission requests Greece to ensure fair access to public contracts for the provision of software services
The European Commission has decided to refer Greece to the Court of Justice because it has failed to ensure full compliance with EU rules on public procurement as regards the purchase of an information system for the Social Security Foundation (IKA). In particular, Greece has failed to fulfil its commitment, made under Directive 2004/18/EC in February 2012, to launch a new tendering procedure for the award of the above contract, without the illegal clauses included in the original call for tender.
EU rules are designed to ensure fair and transparent competition for public contracts in Europe, thereby creating opportunities for European companies while ensuring the best value for public money. If the rules are not respected, there is a risk not only of less competition but also of inefficient expenditure of public money. The Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Greece in October 2011 asking it to comply with EU law (see IP/11/1263). As the final reply of the Greek authorities was not satisfactory, the Commission has decided to refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.
In their initial reply to the Commission's October 2011 reasoned opinion, the Greek authorities undertook a commitment to launch a new tendering exercise without the aforementioned illegal clauses. However, the new call for tender was not launched; instead, the Greek authorities informed the Commission that they had decided to extend the current contract.
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