Last checked: 13/11/2018

Reporting irregularities

UK decision to invoke Article 50 of the TEU: More information

As of 30 March 2019, all EU law will cease to apply to the UK, unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date, or the European Council and the UK decide unanimously to extend the two-year negotiation period. For more information about the legal repercussions for businesses:

If you have taken part in a public tender and feel that you have been discriminated against, or you noticed irregularities in the procedure, you have several possibilities to seek redress.


Anybody who has submitted an offer in a public tender has the right to ask for a review of the whole procedure. EU countries can require that you should first ask for a review by the public authority that ran the procedure - in this case your request for a review will immediately suspend the contracting procedure.

When an independent body is examining your review request, the public authority cannot conclude the contract before the end of the review.

You must have at least 10 days from the day when you received a rejection decision via fax or e-mail (15 days if the decision was sent by post) to ask for a review. This is the standstill period during which the public authority cannot conclude the contract.

There is no standstill period when:

  • no prior publication of the contract notice was required
  • the sole tenderer was awarded the contract
  • the contract was based on a framework agreement.

Ineffective contracts

The independent review body will declare an already awarded contract ineffective if:

If you want a procedure to be reviewed and possibly declared ineffective, you must have at least 30 calendar days (this period can be set at maximum 6 months) after the publication of the contract award notice to inform the review body.

In certain EU countries a contract might still remain valid even if the review body finds irregularities and would ordinarily declare the contract ineffective - for example when the review body considers it to be in the general public interest that the contract be maintained. In such cases alternative penalties (such as a fine) should be imposed on the public authority, or the duration of the contract may be shortened.

Related topics

EU legislation

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

Local business support - Do you have questions on operating a business cross-border, for example exporting or expanding to another EU country? If so, the Enterprise Europe Network can give you free advice.

Share this page: