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European Commission - Press release

Public procurement: the Commission acts to safeguard procedural transparency and ensure equal treatment of applicants in connection with a public works contract for the modernisation of road infrastructure in Bucharest

Brussels, 26 January 2012 – The European Commission has today called on Romania to comply with EU rules on public procurement in connection with a contract awarded by the municipal authorities of sector 3 of the city of Bucharest. The contract, worth around €110 million, has been awarded in the form of a four-year framework agreement.

The Bucharest sector 3 authorities did not allow potential applicants sufficient time to prepare their bids. Furthermore, during the procedure they made changes to a number of mandatory conditions in the procurement notice, including the selection criteria, which were not published in the Official Journal of the European Union, but merely announced at national level.

The Commission also considers that the authorities could not have performed an objective evaluation of the bids. The framework contract was in fact awarded to an applicant whose bid included a large number of anomalies in terms of the prices and deadlines tendered. In the Commission’s view, the further explanations provided by the successful tenderer did not clarify those anomalies.

For these reasons the Commission considers that Romania has failed to comply with European public procurement rules. Its request to Romania takes the form of a reasoned opinion, the second stage of EU infringement proceedings. If Romania does not take the measures necessary to ensure compliance with EU public procurement rules within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

What is the aim of the EU public procurement rules?

Public procurement is where public authorities spend public money on infrastructure construction or the purchase of goods and services, covering everything from computer systems to waste water plants, through shipbuilding and consulting. It is estimated that total public procurement expenditure in the EU represents around 18% of GDP. The open and transparent tendering procedures required under EU public procurement rules mean more competition, stronger safeguards against corruption, and better services and value for money for taxpayers.

If essential terms and conditions of a public contract are modified without giving all bidders the opportunity to compete for it, there is a serious risk of distorting competition, deterring potential new bidders and wasting taxpayers' money.

For more information:

Public procurement:

Latest information on infringement proceedings against Member States:

For more information on infringement proceedings, see MEMO/12/42

Contacts :

Chantal Hughes (+32 2 296 44 50)

Carmel Dunne (+32 2 299 88 94)

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