Commission calls on Greece to review award of one public contract

The European Commission has decided to formally request Greece to review the tendering procedure launched by the Health Procurement Committee for the award of a public services contract concerning the management of hazardous medical waste in the 1st Regional Health service in Attica (1 DYPE ATTIKIS). In the Commission's view, the award of this contract was done on the basis of a negotiated procedure without prior publication of a contract notice. This formal request takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion', the second stage of the infringement procedure laid down in Article 258 TFEU. If there is no satisfactory reply within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

In the Commission's view, the use of a negotiated procedure without prior publication of a contract notice constitutes an infringement of Article 2 of the Public Procurement Directive 2004/18, which concerns the principles of transparency and equal treatment of the participants, as interpreted by the relevant jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice. Also, the contracting authority is in breach of the obligations provided for in Article 28 of this Directive, since the conditions stipulated in relevant provisions of the Directive which justify the use of the exceptional procedures have not been met.

Total public procurement in the EU – i.e. the purchases of goods, services and public works by governments and public utilities – is estimated at about 16% of the Union’s GDP. The open and transparent tendering procedures required under EU public procurement law mean more competition, stronger safeguards against corruption, and better service and value for money for taxpayers.

The European Commission has powers to take legal action – known as infringement procedures – against a Member State that is not respecting its obligations under EU rules. These procedures consist of three steps. The first is that the Member State receives a letter of formal notice and has two months to respond. In case further compliance with EU legislation is needed, the Commission sends a reasoned opinion. Again the Member State has two months to reply. If there is no satisfactory reply, the Commission can refer the matter to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. It can also request that the Court impose a fine on the country concerned if it does not comply with the Court's ruling.

Source : European Commission