Informative Note

Coronavirus: Law 1-A/2020 and the Exceptional Rules on Public Procurement

23/03/2020
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Decree-Law 10-A/2020 of 13 March created exceptional public procurement rules on spending authorisations and administrative authorisations. These rules are intended to ensure the immediate availability of the goods and services needed to respond to the current state of emergency. 

However, under article 7(6)(c) of Law 1-A/2020 of 19 March, it seems that all administrative time limits in favour of private parties are suspended. There is little doubt that this will include at least the suspension of the time limits to submit proposals and to present a defence in preliminary hearings. 

In fact, under the letter of the law, the scope of this rule would cover all administrative procedures (the only exceptions are in tax matters). This would mean the suspension of all procurement procedures by all contracting authorities. At worst, the procedures arising from the exceptional public procurement rules on spending authorisation and administrative authorisation would also be suspended. This would obviously mean a shut-down of the State. This imposes a special duty of diligence on interpreting those rules.

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