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New Law on Public Procurement to Enter into Force on 1 May 2016

The new law no. 131 (adopted on 3 July and published on 31 July 2015) transposes into the national legal system several EU Directives regarding public procurement (EU Directive 004/18/EC of 31 March 2004, EU Directive 2014/24/EU of 24 February 2014 and EU Directive 89/665/EEC of 21 December 1989) and changes the procedures with respect to the award of public supply and public works contracts. It enters into force on 1 May 2016, and repeals the existing Law on public procurement no. 96-XVI dated 13 April 2007.

The new law applies to all public procurement contracts in respect of goods exceeding MDL 0.8M and in respect of services and works exceeding MDL 0.1M. In addition, certain provisions of the law institute specific rules for public procurement contracts in respect of goods and services exceeding MDL 2.3M and in respect of works exceeding MDL 90M.

According to the Public Procurement Agency in 2015 Moldovan public authorities procured goods and services amounting to MDL 6.4B (or 40% less than in 2014) based on over 32,000 procurement contracts.

As opposed to the current law, the new law establishes more detailed rules on information regarding bidders, as well as sets out a detailed list of specific requirements regarding tender announcements and tender-related documents. Public authorities initiating public procurement operations are now required to submit tender-related documents to the Public Procurement Agency, which will review such documents prior to publication of the announcement regarding the tender. Additionally, under the new law, each public authority must institute specialized internal working groups for public procurement procedures. Civil society representatives are entitled to participate in such groups and are granted a consultative vote.

The new legal framework sets out more stringent requirements regarding the level of reasoning that public authorities have to provide for any decisions adopted as part of the public procurement procedure, and sets out deadlines for challenging the decisions and actions of public authorities (of 10 days or 5 days, depending on circumstances).

Another novelty of the law is the reassignment of review and challenging powers from the Public Procurement Agency to the newly created Agency for Examination of Contestations. The Agency must be instituted under the Ministry of Finance and its decisions may be challenged in court.

Should you have any questions or require any additional clarifications, do not hesitate to contact: Vladimir Palamarciuc, Associate,