The new rules will make it easier for small and medium-sized firms to bid and include tougher rules on subcontracting.
Public authorities buy goods, works and services by establishing the criteria for awarding contracts, these rules are managed by Public Procurements.
They ensure that public purchases are made in a transparent manner so as to ensure fair competition and that contracting authorities get the best value for taxpayers' money.
In a nutshell:
1. What is public procurement?
Public procurement rules exist at both national and EU level. All public contracts must be advertised regardless of what is being bought, above a certain threshold. The thresholds for EU procurement are higher than the national thresholds, which means that only the largest contracts have to be advertised across the EU.
Under public contracts, the authorities remain economically liable for all works, goods or services procured. This is not the case for concession contracts, which public authorities use to engage private firms to supply services or to perform works.
2. What will the new rules cover?
The new EU public procurement rules are part of a legislative package comprising three directives and one regulation. Two of the directives deal with "classic" and "utilities" public procurement, and the third with concession contracts.
3. What are the aims of the new rules?
The new rules seek to open procurement contracts up to more innovative solutions to ensure that the money that goes into procurement is spent in a way that stimulates development. The rules will also cut red tape for companies bidding and make it easier for small and medium-sized firms to participate.
4. What are the thresholds?
The thresholds remain unchanged from the current directives meaning that, at today's prices, calls for tenders will have to be made for all contracts costing more than:
EUR 134 000 for supply and service contracts as well as for design contests
EUR 5 186 000 for works contracts
EUR 750 000 for contracts for social and other specific services such as health care, educational, cultural or religious services.
source EU Parliament press