Danish regulation of public procurementsDownload PDF version
Directive 2004/18/EC on the coordination of procedures for the award of public work contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts and Directive 2004/17/EC coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal service sectors are both implemented into Danish law.
In addition hereto, a special military segment is regulated by Directive 2009/81/EC on the coordination of procedures for the award of certain work contracts, supply contracts and service contracts by contracting authorities or entities in the fields of defence and security. This area is also regulated by the amending Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC.
Please note that procedural differences between Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC may occur.
For which Contracts must Tenders be invited?
The question of whether tenders for a contract must be invited and according to which rules is generally answered by looking at the value of the contract in question. If the contract is equal to or exceeds certain thresholds, the rules of the above directives apply. The thresholds vary according to the type of contract and also depend on the authority in question.
In certain situations, a contract may be extended without a new tender procedure. Minor amendments may also be agreed upon without initiating a new tender procedure if this is provided for in the contract in question.
What is the Procurement Procedure if the Contract is Subject to the EU Directives?
If a contract exceeds the relevant EU threshold value, the procurement procedure must be in compliance with the rules in the EU public procurement directives.
In order to initiate the procurement process, certain information regarding the contract must be released to the public using a specific process. After the release, the public authorities have several different procedures available to invite tenders. One of the following procedures must be used:
The open procedure, where all interested parties are allowed to tender
The restricted procedure, where only those companies invited by the contracting authority may submit a tender
The dynamic purchasing system procedure, where any contractor who satisfies the selection criteria and has submitted an indicative tender which complies with the specifications is allowed to submit a tender by an electronic process
The design contest procedure, where the submission of plans and designs to be judged is invited
The negotiated procedure, where the terms of the contract are negotiated between the authority in question and the potential contractor(s) chosen by the authority without any formal tendering procedure. The contractor(s) is either found by way of advertisement or chosen by the authority
The competitive dialogue procedure, which may only be used in relation to particularly complex contracts. A limited number of potential contractors are invited to a dialogue for the purpose of developing one or more suitable solutions which may address the needs of the contracting authority. Following this dialogue, the chosen candidates are invited to submit a tender
The accelerated procedure, which uses shorter time limits than the open, restricted or negotiated procedures and may only be used if urgency makes the use of restricted or negotiated procedures impractical
Please note that some of these procedures only apply in specific cases.
Which Authorities are Subject to the Obligations to invite Tenders?
State, regional and local authorities are obliged to invite tenders. Accordingly, private entities are generally under no such obligation. However, in some cases, private entities are obliged to follow rules on public procurement, e.g. in cases regarding concessions, a private entity must follow rules regarding public procurement when dealing with building and construction work, but not when buying goods or services. The obligations of the directives also apply to other bodies governed by public law, provided that they:
are established with the specific purpose of meeting needs in the public interest and do not have an industrial or commercial character
have legal personality and
for the greater part are financed by state, regional or local authorities or other bodies governed by public law, are subject to management supervision by those bodies or have an administrative, managerial or supervisory board, more than half of whose members are appointed by state, regional or local authorities or by other bodies governed by public law.
Which Criteria may be considered when an Authority decides on an Offer following a Tender Procedure?
A public authority may choose the contractor who provides the cheapest or most economically advantageous solution when choosing a contractor. The latter criterion involves a number of criteria other than price, leaving the assessment of other the criteria to the public authority.
Is the contracting Authority allowed to cancel a Tender Procedure?
Provided that a satisfactory reason exists, an authority may cancel the tender procedure and/or decide not to choose any of the offers received.
What is the Procurement Procedure if the Contract is not Subject to the EU directives?
If a public work contract is below the threshold value determined by the directives, the procurement procedure is instead regulated by the Danish Act on Tender Procedures for Public Work Contracts. In such cases, more flexible procurement methods are provided by Danish legislation. Of particular importance is the option of using either the negotiated procedure or negotiation within other procedures.
As regards service and supply contracts, no specific Danish legislation governs the procedures relating to public procurement for contracts below the EU thresholds.
However, the EU provisions and principles on free movement, equal treatment, transparency, proportionality and mutual recognition still apply to such tender procedures. Also, a circular letter provides that central government authorities must invite tenders for contracts exceeding DKK 500,000.
How are Violations of the Procurement Procedures handled in Denmark?
A complaint may be filed with either the Danish Competition Authority or the Complaints Board for Public Procurement.
The Danish Competition Authority handles complaints concerning both Danish and foreign procurements. If a contract has already been awarded, the case is usually referred to the Complaints Board for Public Procurement which has a number of remedies at its disposal, including the possibility of awarding compensation. A decision made by an authority may be annulled, or the authority may be ordered to make sure that the procurement procedure is changed to conform to the relevant legislation. In connection with the Danish implementation of Directive 2007/66/EC amending Council Directives 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC with regard to improving the effectiveness of review procedures concerning the award of public contracts with effect as of 1 July 2010, the Complaints Board for Public Procurement is entitled to cancel an already concluded contract. The decision of the Complaints Board for Public Procurement may be appealed to the courts.
A complaint may also be brought directly before the courts. However, the procedure of the Complaints Board for Public Procurement is generally faster and less costly, often making it non-preferable to bring the case directly before the courts instead of bringing it before the Complaints Board for Public Procurement.
The above does not constitute legal counselling and Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen does not warrant the accuracy of the information. With the above text, Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen has not assumed responsibility of any kind as a consequence of a reader’s use of the above.