According to a report by the President of the Public Procurement Office, the average duration of a procedure for awarding a public contract with a value below the EU thresholds was 40 days in 2022. This is a slight increase compared to the previous year, when the procedure took 39 days, but it is still present.
At the same time, the share of bids from SME economic operators increased in 2022, reaching approximately 81 % (compared to 58 % from the previous year).
In an effort to facilitate and speed up procedures, and to increase the participation of SME economic operators, Polish legislators have decided to start work on the certification of public procurement.
What is the certification of economic operators in public procurement
One of the main activities carried out by contracting authorities in the course of their procedures is the verification of the eligibility of economic operators (qualification). In this context, contracting authorities check whether a given economic operator is subject to exclusion from the procedure and whether it fulfils the conditions for participation (if the contracting authority has specified the latter in its documentation).
For the purpose of verifying eligibility, economic operators are required to provide many different types of documents, such as:
- Certificate of good conduct
- Certificate of no arrears in the payment of taxes and other public charges
- Lists and references
The certification of economic operators for public contracts is intended to simplify the verification of eligibility: the certificate will confirm the absence of grounds for exclusion from the procurement procedure or the capacity of the economic operator to perform the contract properly – or both. The scope of the certificate will depend on the economic operator concerned.
The submission of a certificate in a public procurement procedure will be understood as confirming the information contained therein. It should only be possible to challenge this information in the event of ‘reasonable doubt’.
In accordance with the bill, certification will be carried out by bodies designated by the minister in charge of economic affairs and accredited by the Polish Centre for Accreditation (Polskie Centrum Akredytacji).
Will the certification of economic operators in public procurement contribute to the development of the public procurement market in Poland, in particular to the simplification and acceleration of procedures and the increase in the number of bids? Only time will tell. However, it seems to be a step in the right direction.
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