Amendments to the Public Procurement Law came into force on 13 March. The main changes to be noted:
Exceptions to application of the procurement procedure
In Section 5, the amendments provide an exemption from the statutory procurement procedure for the following services, if the contract price under the procurement contract is less than 144,000 EUR:
- expert services by a group of experts during accreditation of a study line or licensing a course of a higher education establishment or college (Section 15 amended);
- services provided during assessment of a line of study carried out by the Academic Information Centre or a quality assurance agency included in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) (a new Section 18 has been introduced).
Procurement of investigation and security services
The amendments impose a mandatory obligation to apply the rules on excluding candidates and applicants in cases of procuring investigation and security services with CPV code 79710000-4 within the framework of the simplified procurement procedure under Section 9 (so-called “small procurement”) and Section 10 (procurement of social and other special services listed in annex 2 of the Law). Until now, the Law did not impose this obligation, which applies to procurement of investigation and security services initiated or announced after 13 March 2019.
Procedure for calculating the expected contract price
Amendments to Section 11(2) and new paragraph (21) specify a procedure for determining the expected contract price if the procurement is carried out by an employer consisting of several structural units. New paragraph (21) states that an employer consists of several structural units with independent responsibility for procurements if ‒ following the scope of powers determined in regulatory enactments ‒ the employer’s structural unit independently procures and enters into a purchase contract or general agreement and finances the procurement with its own funds earmarked for the particular procurement. In this case, the expected contractual price is determined separately for contracts concluded by each structural unit instead of by reference to the total sum of all contracts concluded by the separate structural units as a whole.
Publicity of procurement contracts, general agreements, and their amendments
Amendments to Section 60(10):
- specify the term when procurement contracts and their amendments are available on the buyer’s profile (setting up a buyer’s profile at the Electronic Procurement System is obligatory since 1 January this year eis.gov.lv), so the term has been aligned with the procurement documentation storage term of 10 years (previously, this term was shorter);
- in the case of applying publicly available and copyright-protected model contracts (for example, FIDIC contracts), these contract provisions do not need to be published; however, a reference to the model documents and amendments and supplements to the respective model contracts must be published.
The new regulations apply to procurement contracts, general agreements, and their amendments that are entered into after 13 March 2019. Amendments to a procurement contract or general agreement, as well as procurement contracts concluded on the basis of general agreements entered into before 13 March 2019, must be published in the buyer’s profile together with the main text of the particular procurement contract or general agreement.