What are government contracts?

Public contracts are contracts that the government concludes with private or public parties for the supply of goods, services or works. Public authorities must take into account a number of rules and procedures when awarding public contracts to promote competition, ensure transparency and achieve best value for money.

One of the most important aspects of public procurement is the distinction between national and European contracts. This depends on the value of the contract and the sector in which the contract is placed. If the value of the contract exceeds a certain threshold amount, then the contract is subject to the European regime. This means that the contract must be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and that the client must comply with the European procurement directives. These directives include rules on the choice of placement procedure, selection and award criteria, deadlines and legal protection.

The placement procedure is the way the principal awards the contract to a suitable candidate or tenderer. There are different types of placement procedures, such as open procedure, restricted procedure, negotiated procedure, competitive procedure with negotiation, competitive dialogue and innovation partnership. Each procedure has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the nature and complexity of the contract. The client must choose the most appropriate procedure based on a number of criteria, such as the size of the market, the degree of competition, the need for prior dialogue, confidentiality and urgency.

The outcome of the tender is the principal's decision whether or not to award the contract to a particular candidate or tenderer. The principal must justify and communicate this decision to all parties involved. The client must also observe a waiting period before it can finally close the contract with the chosen party. This waiting period gives the other parties a chance to possibly appeal the award decision to the competent court.

Public procurement is an important tool for the government to achieve its policy objectives and to stimulate the economy. Therefore, it is essential that the government award public contracts in an efficient, effective and fair manner. To achieve this, in addition to complying with legislation, the government must also take advantage of available online tools and platforms, where government and businesses can communicate and exchange documents electronically about public procurement.

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