On 11 September 2019 the Polish legislature introduced a new bill to the Public Procurement law which shall take effect as of 1 January 2021 and will replace the current Public Procurement Act from 29 January 2004, which has been in force in Poland for over 15 years. Many discussions were carried out in public between interested parties prior to the enactment of the new law. The new bill is designated to regulate the procedure for procurement by contracting authorities in a complex and detailed manner, whereby a procurement assignment shall be deemed a public contract for pecuniary interests concluded between authorities and economic operators subject to the execution of services and/or supply of products. The preparation of the new law meets long-term expectations of entrepreneurs. In addition, the new bill also implements EU–directives in this area in order to tailor the procurement law in Poland better to EU–requirements and standards as well as to regulate the subject matter of awards of public contracts in a more transparent and conclusive way. The Polish legislator was also determined to establish new regulations in particular to support small and medium sized enterprises within public procurement proceedings, simplify conditions for selection of enterprises below and above the EU-threshold amounts, to equal parties’ rights within contractual relationships subject to public services / products supply, to impose an obligation to estimate the value of a contract, to improve the system of appeals against the decision of the National Body of Appeal (Polish Abbreviation “KIO”1) and the system of controls over public procurement proceedings, to implement the possibility of out of court settlements of disputes arising from public contracts and finally to strengthen the function of the public procurement sphere in Poland.
The outbreak of the Covid–19 Pandemic has already had a significant impact on the execution of public contracts already concluded under the present public procurement law. On 7 May 2020 a new Act on Special Regulations related to the Prevention, Counteracting and Combating of Covid-19 and other Transmissible Diseases within Crisis Situations was introduced in Poland to help current economic operators to meet their obligations under public contracts by way of conclusion of supplemental agreements with contracting authorities and to avoid the payment of any penalties due to delays in performance.
We have already written a comprehensive article about the new Polish Procurement Law which will be published in the Legal Magazine WiRO (www.wiro-zeitschrift.com) soon.