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Poland

Public contracts

Updated 10/2012

Legal requirements

Regulations on public procurement apply to contracts whose value expressed in PLN is equivalent to more than EUR 14 thousand.

Polish law does not impose any limitations on access to public procurement by foreign entrepreneurs.

Publication of procurement notices and threshold amounts

The Contracting authority publishes public procurement notices in the Public Procurement Bulletin, which is released in electronic form on the Public Procurement Office portal.  The notices are published in the PP (Public Procurement) Bulletin if the value of the contract exceeds EUR 14 thousand but is less than EU thresholds which account for as follows:

for deliveries and services:

  • EUR 125,000 (for central government authorities);
  • EUR 193,000 (for the remaining standard contracting authorities);
  • EUR 387,000 (for sector contracting authorities);

for construction works:

  • EUR 4,845,000

Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) is an online version of the ‘Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Communities’, which publishes public procurement notices exceeding the above mentioned threshold amounts.

Basic procedures

The following are the basic forms for awarding contracts:

  • open tender - a tender which, in response to a public procurement notice, is open to all interested contractors, 
  • restricted tender - a procedure for the awarding of a contract which, in response to a public procurement notice, involves contractors submitting applications for participation in the tender, whilst the bids themselves are submitted by those contractors who have been invited to tender by the contracting authority.

It is only in the cases specified by the Public Procurement Act that the contracting authority may award a contract in accordance with the following procedures:

  • negotiation with publication - following a public procurement publication, the contracting authority invites the contractors admitted to participate in the procedure to submit an initial bid which does not include the price and then engages in negotiations with the contractors and extends an call for tenders; 
  • competitive dialogue - following a public procurement publication, the contracting authority engages in a dialogue with selected contractors and next invites them to submit their bids; 
  • negotiation without publication - the contracting authority negotiates the terms of the public procurement contract with selected contractors  and then invites them to submit their bids;
  • single-source procurement - the contracting authority awards a contract after negotiations with one contractor only; 
  • request for quotation the contracting authority requests a price quotation from selected contractors and invites them to submit bids;
  • online auction - using an online application form that allows the data required to be entered during a direct connection with contractors. Contractors submit successive and increasingly favourable bids (progression), which are categorised automatically.

Types of contracts

Public procurement procedures are procedures initiated by way of a public procurement notice or by sending a call for tenders or by sending an invitation to negotiate with the purpose of selecting the bid of a contractor, with whom an agreement will be signed for the award of a public contract, or – when dealing with a single-source procurement – negotiating the terms of such a contract.

Below there are the different types of public contracts:

  • public supply contract - acquisition of items, rights and other goods, in particular on the basis of a contract of sale, supply, hire, rental or lease; 
  • public service contract – this means the acquisition of all services which are not the subject of construction works or supplies, but are services defined under provisions issued on the basis of Article 2a of the Public Procurement Act – and also appear in the Regulation of the Prime Minister of 28 January 2010 on the list of priority and non-priority services (Journal of Laws No. 12, item 68);
  • public works contracts – this means the performance, or design and performance, of construction works in the meaning of the Building Act, and completion of a structure in the meaning of the Building Act, with the use of any resources, in accordance with the requirements of the contracting authority.

National public procurement authorities

The competent central government administration authority which deals with public procurement issues is the President of the Public Procurement Office, who:

  • draws up draft legislative acts on procurement;
  • takes decisions on individual matters as provided for by the Act;
  • issues an electronic version of the Public Procurement Bulletin, which contains publications as specified by the Act;
  • manages and publishes on the Public Procurement Office website a list of organisations entitled to seek legal remedies;
  • manages, publishes and updates on the Public Procurement Office website a list of contractors who had caused damage by failing to perform a contract or had unduly performed a contract, provided such a damage is validated by a final court decision, and deletes contractors from the list;
  • ensures that the legal remedies are applied;
  • prepares training programmes, organises and inspires training on procurement;
  • prepares and disseminates examples of assessment criteria on the content of training;
  • disseminates specimen public procurement contracts, regulations and other documents used for awarding contracts;
  • oversees compliance with the principles of the procurement system, and in particular controls the public procurement process in keeping with the Act;
  • disseminates the principles on ethics to those performing procurement system tasks;
  • strives to guarantee the uniform application of the provisions on procurement, whilst taking into account court judgments and the decisions of the Constitutional Tribunal, and in particular disseminates the decisions of the National Board of Appeal, of the courts and of the Constitutional Tribunal, in matters relating to procurement; 
  • engages in international cooperation in matters relating to procurement;
  • analyses functioning of the procurement system;
  • draws up and presents to the Council of Ministers and the European Commission annual reports on the functioning of the procurement system; 
  • presents to the Prime Minister annual information on the functioning of the National Board of Appeal, taking into account matters stemming from court judgments;   
  • proposes candidates for the office of President and Vice President of the National Board of Appeal;
  • requests the appointment of the disciplinary proceedings representative at the National Board of Appeal;
  • takes steps towards computerising the public procurement system;
  • each year by 31 March, submits to the European Commission the judgments of the National Board of Appeal concerning appeals lodged in the previous year relating to public procurement procedures that were not declared null and void because of important public interests, as referred to in Article 192 of the Act, giving the grounds for such decisions.

The Public Procurement Office provides assistance to the President.

Legal remedies

Contractors, bid participants and other entities, provided they have or had an interest in the contract and suffered or may suffer damage arising from violation of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act by the contracting authority, are eligible to legal protection remedies.

Informing the contracting authority

A contractor or bid participant may, within the deadline for lodging an appeal, inform the contracting authority that they have acted in a way that breaches the provisions of the Act or that they have omitted to carry out an action which by law they must perform, and against which there is no right of appeal.

In the event of recognising the legitimacy of the information provided, the contracting authority shall repeat the action or perform the omitted action, and shall inform the contractors of this fact in the manner provided for under the Act for such actions.

Appeal

The right of appeal applies only to those actions of a contracting authority that are undertaken during a public procurement procedure and are contrary to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, or failure to perform actions that the contracting authority is obliged to perform under the Act.

If the value of the contract is below the EU thresholds, an appeal can only be lodged against the following actions:

  • choice of negotiation without publication, single-source procurement or request for quotation;
  • description of the way in which compliance with the conditions for participating in procedure will be evaluated;
  • exclusion of the appellant from procurement proceedings;
  • rejection of the appellant’s bid.

The appeal should indicate the action of the contracting authority, or the action that was omitted, which is deemed non-compliant with the provisions of the Act; it should also contain a brief description of the charges and specify what is being requested as well as the factual and legal circumstances justifying the appeal.

The National Board of Appeal, which cooperates with the President of the Public Procurement Office, considers appeals relating to public procurement procedures.  Appeals are considered by a one-person Board.  The President of the Board may rule that a case be considered by three persons if it is particularly complex or will set an important precedent. In such cases the President of the Board appoints a chairperson for the adjudicating Board from amongst its members.

Complaint to a court of law

Parties and participants to the procedure may appeal against the judgment of the Board through a court of law. Appeals are lodged with the competent district court having jurisdiction over the registered office or place of residence of the contracting authority.

 

Administrative procedures

Submission of bids

Deadlines for the submission of bids and applications to participate in tender procedures vary depending on the type of procedure and the value of the contract.

Open tender

If the value of the contract is below the EU thresholds, the contracting authority sets a deadline for the submission of bids that takes into account the time required for the preparation and submission of the bids, however the deadline cannot be shorter than:

  • 7 days from the day of publishing the tender in the Public Procurement Bulletin, in case of supplies and services,
  • 14 days from the day of publishing the tender in the Public Procurement Bulletin, in case of construction works.

If the value of the contract is equal to or exceeds the EU thresholds, the deadline for the submission of bids cannot be shorter than:

  • 40 days from the day on which the tender publication notice was submitted to the EU Office for Official Publications by electronic means, in accordance with the format and procedures provided on the website specified in the Directive; 
  • 47 days from the day on which the tender publication notice was submitted to the EU Office for Official Publications by other means.

If the value of the contract is equal to or exceeds the EU thresholds and information about the contract was provided in an initial publication, the contracting authority may specify a time period for the submission of bids no shorter than:

  • 22 days from the day on which the tender publication notice was submitted to the EU Office for Official Publications by electronic means, in accordance with the format and procedures provided on the website specified in the Directive; 
  • 29 days from the day on which the tender publication notice was submitted to the EU Office for Official Publications by other means.

Restricted tender

Deadlines for the submission of applications to be included in tender proceedings.

If the value of the contract is lower than the EU thresholds, the contracting authority sets a deadline in the tender publication for the submission of applications to be included in the proceedings, taking into account the time required for the preparation and submission of the required documents. This deadline cannot be shorter than 7 days from the day on which the publication notice appears in the Public Procurement Bulletin.

If the value of the contract is equal to or exceeds the EU thresholds, the deadline for the submission of applications to take part in the restricted tender cannot be shorter than:

  • 30 days from the day on which the tender publication notice was submitted to the EU Office for Official Publications by electronic means, in accordance with the format and procedures provided on the website specified in the Directive;  
  • 37 days from the day on which the tender publication notice was submitted to the EU Office for Official Publications by other means.

If there is an urgent requirement for the contract to be awarded, the contracting authority may specify a shorter deadline for the submission of applications to take part in a restricted tender:

  • the 30-day deadline may be reduced to a deadline of no less than 10 days;
  • the 37-day deadline may be reduced to a deadline of no less than 15 days.

Deadlines for the submission of bids

If the value of the contract is below the EU thresholds, the contracting authority sets a deadline for the submission of bids that takes into account the time required for the preparation and submission of the bids, however the deadline cannot be shorter than:

  • 7 days from the day of sending the call for tenders, in the case of supplies and services; 
  • 14 days from the day of sending the call for tenders, in the case of construction works.

If the value of the contract is equal to or exceeds EU thresholds, the deadline for the submission of bids cannot be shorter than 40 days from the day on which the call for tenders was sent. The contracting authority can specify a deadline shorter than 5 days provided that the procurement terms of reference appear on their website from the day of publication of the contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union to the expiry day of the deadline for the submission of bids.

If the value of the contract is equal to or exceeds EU thresholds and information about the contract was contained in an initial notice, the contracting authority can specify a deadline of no less than 22 days for the submission of bids.

If the value of the contract is equal to or exceeds EU thresholds and if there is an urgent requirement to award the contract, the contracting authority may specify a deadline for the submission of bids of no less than 10 days.

Negotiation with publication

Deadline for the submission of initial bids

The contracting authority specifies the deadline for the submission of initial bids, taking into account the time required for the preparation and submission of initial bids. The deadline cannot be shorter than 10 days from the day on which the call for initial bids was sent.

Deadline for the submission of bids

The contracting authority specifies the deadline for the submission of bids, taking into account the time required for the preparation and submission of bids. This deadline cannot be shorter than 10 days from the day on which the call for tenders was sent.

Competitive dialogue

Deadline for the submission of applications requesting participation in a competitive dialogue.

If the value of the contract is lower than the EU thresholds, the contracting authority sets a deadline in the tender publication notice for the submission of applications to be included in the proceedings, taking into account the time required for the preparation and submission of the required documents. This deadline cannot be shorter than 7 days from the day on which the publication appears in the Public Procurement Bulletin.

If the value of the contract is equal to or exceeds the EU thresholds, the deadline for the submission of applications to take part in the restricted tender cannot be shorter than:

  • 30 days from the day on which the tender publication notice was submitted to the EU Office for Official Publications by electronic means, in accordance  with the format and procedures provided on the website given in the Directive; 
  • 37 days from the day on which the tender publication notice was submitted to the EU Office for Official Publications by other means.

Deadline for the submission of bids

The contracting authority specifies the deadline for the submission of bids, taking into account the time required for the preparation and submission of bids. This deadline cannot be shorter than 10 days from the day on which the call for tenders was sent.

Negotiation without publication

The contracting authority specifies the deadline for the submission of bids taking into account the time required for the preparation and submission of bids.

The Public Procurement Act does not specify the minimum deadline for the submission of bids.

Request for quotation

The contracting authority specifies the deadline for the submission of bids taking into account the time required for the preparation and submission of bids.

The Public Procurement Act does not specify the minimum deadline for the submission of bids.

Resources

SIMAP (European Union public procurement portal) contains standard public procurement forms.

Information about training services for entrepreneurs on the public procurement market in Poland is available in the KIGNET Consulting Services section in the catalogue of services for entrepreneurs published by the National Chamber of Commerce and its network of regional chambers.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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