The new bill of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks regarding the ‘Reform of the system of award and execution of study contracts and public work contracts’ is expected to be submitted to the Parliament for voting, after the completion of the public consultation process. The new bill introduces changes to the method of award and execution of public work contracts in order to promote transparency and objectivity in public procurement.

Specifically, with regard to the system of conduct and award of studies, the following changes, inter alia, are made to the Law 3316/2005:

a) the separation of preliminary studies from the other stages, and the introduction of mandatory monitoring of the studies throughout the course of their development and particularly prior to approval by an independent service provider; b) the number of the members of the award committee is increased from tree to five, with the participation of certified engineers; c) the removal of the statutory minimum wage levels and the modification of the Studies Registry; d) introduction of the draw by lot for the award of small studies and service contracts.

Regarding the framework of public works, the following main reforms are made to the ‘Code of Public Works’ (Law 3669/2008):

a) two new bidding systems are introduced: the system that includes a combination of multiple criteria and the system that offers a flat rate price with a guaranteed project budget; b) a precursor stage of the project is created which will be auctioned separately and during which actions and processes (environmental permits, expropriation) will be ensured in order to guarantee the smooth operation of the main work; c) the competitive dialogue is introduced in order to ensure compliance with Directive 2004/18/EC; d) the concept of ‘maturity’ is introduced which is supervised by the Control Authority of Studies and Public Works.

Finally, the bill establishes an independent body, the ‘Control Authority of Studies and Public Works’, which will control both the pre-contractual and contractual stage of the contracts that are conducted for the development of a public study, as well as the provision of technical services, and will also monitor the performance of public enterprises and private projects.

The proposed reforms are necessary in order to overcome the irregularities that have been observed during the execution of public work contracts, and thus to ensure better management of the procurement, production of quality studies and unimpeded implementation of the projects based on the basic economic principle of achieving the maximum result with the lowest possible cost. An important element is to provide adequate information to contractors who wish to undertake a project about the real conditions of operations and about the sub-contract elements, in order to achieve the most realistic and economically advantageous bid.

Edited by: Tina Koutsopoulou