Our last article devoted to the new public procurement in the Czech Republic is concentrated on the possibilities how an economic operator may protect against illegal practices of the contracting authority during the public procurement procedure pursuant to the new law, which is embodied in the Act No. 134/2016 Coll., on public procurement, effective as of 1st October 2016.
PROTECTION AGAINST ILLEGAL PRACTICES OF THE CONTRACTING AUTHORITY
The basic protection against illegal practices of the procurement authority is represented by the institute of objections (Sections 241 – 247 of the Public Procurement Act). The objections may be submitted by any entity, whose rights are at risk of being harmed or have been harmed by the practices of the procurement authority made in connection with the public procurement. The objections shall be submitted within 15 days from the day, when such party had found out about the alleged infringement of the law (unless the law provides other statutory period). The procurement authority must decide about the objections within 15 days from notification.
If the procurement authority fails to comply with the objections, the next possible step is to file a request for review with the Office for the Protection of the business Competition (Sections 249 – 267 of the Public Procurement Act).
Further instrument for protection is a new institute of the ban on the execution of the tendered contract (Section 246) setting down that the procurement authority must not execute the tendered contract with the winner:
- during the time limit set for the submission of any objections against the decision about an exclusion of a tender participant or against the decision about the selection of the winning party, or against the voluntary notice regarding the intention to conclude the contract;
- during the time set for the delivery of the decision about the objections (if applicable),
- during the time limit set for the filing of the request to review practices of the procurement authority with the Office for the Protection of Business Competition (if applicable),
- during the time limit of 60 days following the day, when the proceeding reviewing practices of the procurement authority by the Office for the Protection of the Business Competition has been opened, (if applicable).