Updated 04. 2010
Public procurement is governed by the Public Procurement Act.
This safeguards the basic freedoms made possible by the EU single market - the free movement of goods, services, people and capital - and adherence to the various resulting principles - non-discrimination, equal treatment, transparency and effectiveness.
These principles contribute in a complementary way to the aims of the various operational programmes approved in the National Strategic Reference Framework for the programming period 2007 - 2013.
They also apply to the Operational Programme 'Competitiveness and Economic Growth' (OP CEG).
The EU has set targets related to "environmentally-friendly public procurement ", which aims to incorporate environmental principles into procurement procedures. Slovakia took on obligations resulting from the multi-lateral Government Procurement Agreement - GPA - when it became a member of the EU.
Types of public procurement
The performance of public procurement is the responsibility of the applicant, who carries out the public procurement through professionally competent persons recorded in a register of persons professionally competent to carry out public procurement.
Procurement may take the following forms:
- open procedure,
- restricted procedure,
- negotiated procedure,
- competitive dialogue.
Tendering procedure: a step-by-step guide
A contracting entity usually participates as a tenderer, i.e. a business entity that delivers supplies, carries out building works or provides services to the market and has submitted a tender within the specified timeframe. This is governed by the provisions of the:
The Act applies to any entity which uses public funding (the contracting authority) or which has a natural monopoly (a contracting entity), or an entity to which a contracting entity provides more than 50% of the funding for carrying out building works or providing services.
Public procurement bodies must:
- announce open procedures in accordance with the law,
- make the conditions available in the tender documents or in other documents that are provided during the period for submitting bids,
- clearly state the conditions of tender in the tender applications during the period for submitting bids,
- publish an invitation to submit bids or applications,
- select the applicants for a restricted procedure,
- assess the bids or applications.
In case there is a suspicion that the legally-defined procedure and conditions have not been followed, it is possible to file an objection to the Public Procurement Office concerning the running of an open procedure or the conditions thereof.
Review procedures consisting of a request for a remedy or for supervision of the public procurement procedure may be included in the public procurement process. A decree issued by the Office for Public Procurement regarding contract notices used in public procurement is published on the website:
Types of public procurement
Public procurement regulates the procedure for awarding contracts to provide:
- supplies - of products, equipment and other items offered on the market
- construction work - all work connected with the construction, alteration, adaptation or demolition of buildings, or work such as preparing the land, earth-moving work, installation work, finishing work and so on; this does not include building-related work such as planning, engineering work and so on.
- services - financial, legal, craft-related and other services (e.g. cleaning, security, catering, translating services, planning, authorial supervision and others).
- It also regulates concessions and design competitions.
A contract may be above-limit or below-limit, below-threshold or of low value in relation to the expected contract value. Current limits are published on the Office of Public Procurement website under the Bulletin and Limits section.
National public procurement authorities
The Office for Public Procurement has a list of companies which have demonstrated that they are suitable for entering into public procurement contracts or framework agreements.
The public procurement process uses the following notices:
- preliminary notices - providing information as to whether a given institution is intending over the next 12 months to publish within the framework of public procurement,
- notices of declaration - specifying the requirements of an open procedure,
- notices of results - providing information on the criteria for awarding, the number of bids accepted, names and addresses of successful applicants and the price level; they must be sent within 48 days of signing the contract at the latest.
The contracting authority or entity is obliged to publish contract notices in the Supplement to the EU Official Journal and the Journal of the Office of Public Procurement (Vestník Úradu pre verejné obstarávanie), depending on the selected procedure and the financial limit.
The contracting authority may request guarantees in order to secure a tenderer's bid. This may take the form of a bank guarantee for the tenderer or the depositing of funds by the tenderer in an account of the contracting authority.
Bids must be delivered within the deadline for submitting bids in a sealed envelope marked with the:
- trade name and registered office of the applicant,
- place of business with the word "tender" and the title of the tender.
The details are set out in Section 41 of the Act on Public Procurement.
The Act also sets out the deadlines for submitting bids:
The contracting authority must set up a commission with at least three members to assess a bid. The members of the commission must have professional training or professional experience relating to the subject of the procurement.
The placing of orders and signing of contracts, in other words the outcome of the public procurement, may be based on one of two principles:
- lowest price,
- most advantageous bid from an economic perspective.
After assessing the bids, the contracting authority must immediately send all tenderers a notice of the outcome of the bid assessment.
The contracting authority may sign a contract with the successful tenderers no sooner than the tenth day after the day on which the notices of the outcome of the bid assessment were sent to all of the tenderers.
The Act on Public Procurement also sets out procedures for:
- the below-threshold method of public procurement with the highest price,
- the below-threshold method of public procurement with the lowest price.