In the coming months, Poland will face serious changes in the public procurement law, which could be dangerous for entrepreneurs and the economy. A lot depends on what its final shape is – in its current form it has prompted many objections from employers.
– The public procurement law is one of the most important factors shaping the manner and quality of the spending of public funds and has a direct impact on entrepreneurs, the economy and the quality of life – points out Zbigniew Kmicic, Vicepresident of Employers of Poland.
Attorney Marian Mazurek of the Mazurek and Partners Legal Office adds that this regulation pertains to a large area of the economy.
Meanwhile, in the next couple of months (by April next year at the latest) the public procurement law is in for another revolution. The changes will be related to the implementation of EU directives with regards to public procurements and are intended to simplify and unify procedures, strengthen legal competition and protect the interests of small and medium companies. Theoretically, because – as we all know – the devil is always in the details. The directives have to be translated to the language of particular domestic regulation in such a way that their effects would not be contrary to intentions.
These issues were the focus of the debate Opportunities and threats connected to the new public procurement law. Are we implementing the 2014/24/UE directive the right way? which was held at the offices of Employers of Poland on June 11th. Apart from Marian Mazurek and Zbigniew Kmicic, participants included a.o.: Dariusz Piasta – Deputy Chairman of the Public Procurement Office; Marek Gębski PhD – Member of the Board, Remondis Sp. z o.o.; Anna Banaszewska – Managing Director at the Polish Hospital Federation, Chairwoman of the Economy and Health Initiative Foundation; Jakub Pawelec, LL.M. PhD – attorney at law, public procurement expert, M. Mazurek and Partners Legal Limited Partnership and Monika Pianowska – representative of the Construction Platform of Employers of Poland, Strabag Sp. z o.o.
Dariusz Piasta admits that the Public Procurement Office, which elaborated the draft of the amendment, had serious problems with reformulating the directives into an act.
Entrepreneurs are most concerned about the amendment giving public institutions (such as local governments) the right to place the so-called “direct procurements”, sometimes also referred to as in-house procurements. According to the participants, this would be harmful for private entities and competition, as well as for taxpayers.
Employers are also critical of a.o. the regulations which can be seen as weakening the contractors’ position, as well as the removal of transparency principles, the unclear formulation of premises for disqualification from a tender, leaving too much freedom to the procuring entities in some respects and of several other issues. At the same time they are satisfied with the digitalization of public procurement procedures and the declaration that there will be less formalities.
Dariusz Piasta states that these remarks will be taken into consideration in further works on the draft. According to employers, the final document should take all voices into account and reconcile often divergent interests as much as possible. Marian Mazurek declares employers’ readiness to participate in discussions, while Zbigniew Kmicic emphasizes that it is of utmost importance that the new law is not only simple and clear for everybody, but also that it takes economic interests into consideration.
The debate was organized within the framework of the “Establishment of the Research and Analysis Center” project, Human Capital Operational Program, Sub-activity 5.5.2.