Public contracts - Germany
There is no single law on contract awards. Rules can be found in various national and EU texts. These include:
Public procurement prices are also subject to specific conditions: In theory all such public contracts – with the exception of building works – are subject to Regulation PR No 30/53 on pricing for public contracts (VO PR No 30/53), according to which public contracts are in principle to be awarded at market prices (market price precedence).
Types of public procurement
The thresholds for compulsory tenders, as published in the EU Official Journal, correspond to the thresholds in the EU public procurement directives.
For goods and services:
- Federal authorities: EUR 125.000
- Sectoral customers: EUR 387.000
- Other public customers: EUR 193.000
- For public works contracts: EUR 4.845 million
There are various possible ways of tendering for public procurement projects:
- Public tendering (known across Europe as the ‘open procedure’) – an unlimited pool of companies can be invited to tender for contracts
- Restricted tendering (known across Europe as the ‘restricted procedure’) – the pool of companies invited to tender is determined through candidate pre-selection (there are two exemptions in the case of national calls for tender)
- Private tender (known across Europe as the ‘negotiated procedure’) – private tenders are the only procedure permitting negotiations with companies
- Competitive dialogue (invitation to participate, and subsequent negotiations with selected companies on every contract detail)
National public procurement authorities
Under Germany’s federal structure, public procurement is decentralised, i.e. organised by the Federal Government, the federal states (Länder) and local authorities. Examples of Federal Government procurement agencies include the following:
The Federal Government’s tender platform includes invitations to tender from the Federal Government itself along with many federal states, metropolitan areas and districts (some of which operate their own tender platforms) that can be processed electronically.
The ‘bund.de - Verwaltung Online’ portal also provides details of current invitations to tender from the Federal Government’s contracting authorities and selected tender platforms in the federal states (Länder).
Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) has an internet presence that provides a wealth of information on public procurement and its legislative foundations:
Check also the legislation on this topic in: