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Contracts awarded

 
General information about contracts awarded

The Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Union, and the Rules of Application for it, set out the principles for implementation of the budget, including the principle of transparency. There are various rules on the appropriate publication of information (particularly ex-post information) about implementation of the budget, including about contracts awarded, the relevant provisions here being Article 103 of the Financial Regulation and Articles 123 and 124 of the Rules of Application. Contracts are deemed to have been ‘awarded’ either when the award decision is taken or, failing that, when the first contract (which may be a framework contract) is signed. Article 35 of the Financial Regulation and Article 21 of the Rules of Application provide only for the publication of information on contracts awarded over the past two years: earlier information will be available on request with due regard for Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 (see legal opinion on this website).

Publication of information on contracts awarded in 2016 and 2017

With effect from 1 January 2016, the Financial Regulation and the Rules of Application for it were radically amended, in particular as regards public procurement, in order to bring them into line with the new Public Procurement Directive (2014/24/EU).

Accordingly, as regards publication of information, under the new provisions in Articles 123(6) and 124(3) of the Rules of Application, notices must now be published on ongoing contracts the value of has been modified without a new procurement procedure, as laid down in Article 114a of the Financial Regulation.

Contracts covered by Directive 2014/24/EU

In the case of contracts awarded in 2016 and 2017 and in accordance with Article 123 of the Rules of Application, the provisions on ex-post advertising of contracts covered by Directive 2014/24/EU stipulate that an award notice must be sent to the Publications Office of the European Union no later than 30 calendar days after the conclusion of the procedure, i.e. the signing of the contract or framework contract.

The award notice must also be sent to the Publications Office in respect of a contract with a value equal to or greater than the thresholds laid down in points (a) and (b) of Article 4 of Directive 2014/24/EU (Article 118(1) of the Financial Regulation) that has been awarded following a negotiated procedure without prior publication of a contract notice. In that instance, the contracting authority must publish an award notice:

(a) before signing a contract or a framework contract with a value equal to or greater than the thresholds laid down in Article 118(1) of the Financial Regulation that has been awarded pursuant to the procedure under Article 134(1)(b) of the Rules of Application for the Financial Regulation;

(b) after signing a contract or a framework contract with a value equal to or greater than the thresholds laid down in Article 118(1) of the Financial Regulation, including where it has been awarded pursuant to the procedures under points (a) and (c) to (f) of Article 134(1) of the Rules of Application for the Financial Regulation.

The deadline for sending the notice must be long enough to ensure that publication takes place before the contract or framework contract is signed, in accordance with the terms and arrangements laid down in Article 171(1) of the Rules of Application for the Financial Regulation.

On 31 December 2017 the thresholds under Directive 2014/24/EU (Article 118(1) of the Financial Regulation) were as follows:

  • EUR 135 000 for the supply and service contracts listed in Annex XIV to Directive 2014/24/EU;
  • EUR 5 225 000 for works contracts.

Contracts not covered by Directive 2014/24/EU

Article 103 of the Financial Regulation and Article 124 of the Rules of Application stipulate, with regard to ex post advertising of contracts not covered by Directive 2014/24/EU, that contracts ‘shall be advertised by appropriate means’. Advertising includes publication no later than 30 June of the following financial year - for contracts with a value greater than EUR 15 000 - of a list containing the name of the contractor, the amount awarded and the subject matter of the contract.

However, Article 124(3) of the Rules of Application stipulates that the contracting authority must publish, on its internet site, a list of contracts below the thresholds laid down in Article 118(1) of the Financial Regulation and contracts awarded in accordance with points (h) and (j) to (m) of Article 134 of the Rules of Application.

Article 114a(3)(a) to (c)of the Financial Regulation

The contracting authority may modify a contract or framework contract without a fresh procurement procedure in the cases listed in paragraph 3. Under Article 124(3) of the Rules of Application, however, a list of such modified contracts must be published where the value of the modification concerned is below the thresholds laid down in Article 118(1) of the Financial Regulation, which are the Directive 2014/24/EU thresholds given above.

Specific contracts based on framework contracts

Information relating to the value of and contractors for specific contracts based on a framework contract during a given financial year must be published on the contracting authority’s website no later than 30 June of the following financial year.

Under Article 124 of the Rules of Application, as a result of the amendments to the Financial Regulation and those rules, that information must be published for the cumulative value of each framework contract, even where it is below the directive’s thresholds but is more than EUR 15 000.

The publication arrangements are therefore as follows:

Publication on Parliament’s website, no later than 30 June of the following year, of:

  • a list of all contracts worth more than EUR 15 000 awarded in the previous year (except for building contracts and contracts declared to be secret) even if some of them were also published in an award notice in the Official Journal; that provision, which entered into force in 2008, goes beyond regulatory requirements, but ensures that it is easier to access all the contracts awarded by Parliament;
  • a list of the contracts modified under Article 114a(3)(a) to (c) of the Financial Regulation where the value of the modification is more than EUR 15 000 but below the thresholds laid down in Article 118(1);
  • a list giving information on the value of and contractors for specific contracts / order forms based on a framework contract, following the conclusion of a specific contract / order form or on the basis of the aggregate value of the specific contracts / order forms signed, regardless of the cumulative value of each framework contract (above EUR 15 000);
  • a list of the experts selected on the basis of Article 204 of the Financial Regulation and Article 287 of the Rules of Application.

Building contracts and contracts declared to be secret, referred to in Article 134(1)(g) and (i) respectively of the Rules of Application, are no longer published separately on the internet; rather, they are included in the annual report on contracts awarded that is submitted to Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control.

Further information:
  • List of contracts worth more than EUR 15 000 awarded in 2017, 2016
  • List of framework contracts covered by the provisions of the Rules of Application in 2017, 2016
  • List of experts in 2017, 2016
  • List of modifications to ongoing contracts under Article 114a(3) of the Financial Regulation in 2017, 2016