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Public Procurement

All urban projects may only be implemented in compliance with the Public Procurement Act (the “PPA”). Good-quality urban development requires having no fear of new methods.

Public procurement is a means of promoting community prosperity and the environment. Environmental sustainability, social responsibility and innovation are one of the fundamental objective EU procurement directives (2014) and hence the Czech Public Procurement Act.

The contracting authorities should not only want to meet current needs and have a perspective limited to one term of office. They should also strive for long-term vision and generally beneficial urban management for sustainable development.

Until now, public procurement has been mainly a means of pushing down purchase prices and hence the current expenses of the contracting authorities. In many sectors, prices have reached a level that does not allow the required quality to be maintained. In particular, this applies to the purchase of professional services, such as those of designers and consultants. Selection based on quality is facilitated mainly by tendering procedures using a Best Value evaluation as well as the acceptance of bid variants or Design & Build contracting, design competitions or innovation partnerships.

To achieve sustainability, the contracting authority should consider the life-cycle costs of each investment, and not just the acquisition costs. The most advanced form pursuing this purpose is long-term public-private partnership (PPP) contracts.

The city as a contracting authority faces a number of new challenges. Standard performance and the needs of the contracting authority are constantly undergoing technological development and the contracting authority must follow gradual trends, new strategies (such as leasing instead of ownership) and innovations, and respond to this by enhancing their own tender procedures. To facilitate understanding of the issues and market conditions, the contracting authority can make use of communication with the market, particularly preliminary market consultations and “Meet the Buyer” events. At the same time, they enable the contracting authority not only to inform potential contractors of their plans, but also to hold discussions about available solutions and to obtain suggestions for the correct definition of the tender conditions.

In many cases, communication between contracting authorities and contractors during project preparation is desirable or even necessary, as stated by the European Commission as well. The communication can prevent unnecessary misunderstandings, ambiguities in the tender conditions and resulting objections and disputes. Communication between the contracting authority and the contractor must, of course, be conducted in an open and transparent manner so that consulting contractors do not enjoy unjustified advantages.

The PPA provides contracting authorities with a wide range of specific measures that can be used in award procedures. The measures are reflected in particular as:

technical requirements relating to the subject of the contract;

the qualification criteria that must be met by the tenderer to be selected for the performance of the public contract;

tender evaluation criteria for the selection of the most suitable tender; and

contractual terms defined by the contracting authority for the performance of the public contract together with the appropriate control and sanction conditions.

The contracting authority can also support reliable, high-quality and sustainable performance by awarding “bonuses” to contractors. The contracting authority may stipulate in advance that, subject to certain conditions, in the future it will award other public contracts to the contractor under an option or include the contractor in the list of entities contacted in respect to small-scale contracts awarded outside the procurement procedure.

It is also advisable to communicate the investment projects of the contracting authorities to the public so that they would understand their importance and positive impact. This is also a way to get feedback from the public.

In the Czech Republic focus on public procurement

Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs addresses the topic by means of the Socially Responsible Public Procurement project. For this purpose, it also uses the Socially Responsible Public Procurement platform, which is a free and informal association of entities committed to a strategic approach to public procurement and implementing public procurement in their practice.

Ministry of the Environment

As part of socially responsible public procurement, the Ministry of the Environment deals with environmentally friendly public administration and publishes methodologies and methodological sheets for selected product categories on its website

Ministry of Regional Development

In cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry for Regional Development, as the body responsible for Act No. 134/2016 Sb., on Public Procurement, as amended (the “PPA”), it participates in the development of methodologies for socially responsible procurement aimed at ensuring its full compatibility with the PPA.

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Josef Hlavička

Josef Hlavička

Guarantor for public procurement, expert in the public sector, regulation and legislation

Partner of HAVEL & PARTNERS s.r.o., advokátní kancelář

Adéla Havlová

Adéla Havlová

Expert in public sector and regulation

Partner of HAVEL & PARTNERS s.r.o., advokátní kancelář

Csaba Csorba

Csaba Csorba

Expert in the public sector and regulation

Senior Associate at HAVEL & PARTNERS s.r.o., advokátní kancelář

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