Public procurement accounts for approximately one fifth of our GDP. By procuring works, goods or services, the state acts as a role model and shapes society and the economy. As it enters into public agreements, the state makes use of public budgets. Therefore, the constitutional duty of gender budgeting applies.
The date of 8 February 2017 marked the kick-off for the consultation phase of a legislative draft on the Austrian Public Procurement Law 2017 (Bundesvergabegesetz) and an amendment of the Austrian Public Procurement Law for Procurement in the field of Defence and Security (Bundesvergabegesetz Verteidigung und Sicherheit). The legislative revision is based on EU directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU und 2014/25/EU which entered into force on 28 March 2014 and ought to have been transposed into national law by 18 April 2016 (save for some exceptions). So far, only a small amendment has been made to the Public Procurement Law in force (referred to as “small amendment 2015”). The legislative draft now aims to implement European law by adding and revising provisions on:
- New forms of procurement such as cross-border procurement
- Stronger consideration of ecological, social and innovative aspects
- Compulsory e-procurement
- Codification of ECJ casuistry
The European directives have put ecological, social and innovative aspects on the front burner. As public procurement law can be a major tool in creating intelligent, sustainable and integrative growth – in other words: a social market economy – it is time to discuss how to transpose mandatory and facultative stipulations at national level.
Statements can be submitted until 3 April 2017. The draft law as well as further information can be found at the Parliamentary website.
Please note that Austria chose not to amend the existing law but to opt for total revision. Also, a new regulation on thresholds will be released by the time the law has been adopted.
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