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27 November 2011 | Paul Snell
The European Commission (EC) has warned Greece and Malta to bring their
domestic procurement legislation into line with EU rules.
The EC said it was concerned about the
ability of Greek contracting authorities to declare that certain infrastructure
projects – such as the construction of roads and bridges – have a “special
nature” without explanation and award contracts without a competitive tender
process. This type of exemption is in conflict with EU procurement regulations.
It has also warned Malta that its national
laws conflict with the Remedies Directive,
an amendment to the regulations that gives suppliers greater power to challenge
contract awards. It claims a number of elements of the directive, such as time
limits and sanctions, have not been introduced correctly.
Both nations have been sent a reasoned
opinion, which is the second stage of the EU’s process for dealing with
infringements. The countries have two months to reply to the notice, explaining
their corrective action, or will be referred to the European Court.
* The European Commission has also closed
its investigation into claims the Czech government awarded a €132 million
(£113.7 million) deal for four military transport aircraft without a tendering
process. The Czech Republic had argued the deal was a national security
purchase, which would usually allow it to circumvent procurement rules, but the
But the government has now agreed that this
exception will only be used in “exceptional cases” of matters of national
security and understood the necessity to prove this when questioned.