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PUBLIC PROCUREMENTS IN POLAND


1.  Public Procurement Law
Rules and priciples of Polish public procurement system can be found in the Public Procurement Law of 29th January 2004 (Prawo zamówień publicznych, Dz.U. 2015, poz.2164); the Law has replaced a previous one which was introduced on 10/06/1994  (Ustawa o zamówieniach publicznych, Dz.U. 1994, Nr 76, poz.334). The present Law has introduced relevant European directives to Polish law system, particularly Directives 2004/18/EU, 2004/17/EU, 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC.

Provisions of the said Law are obligatory for state and local administration entities wishing to use public financial resources to purchase goods, services or construction works. In Poland however, also private business firms, particularly large ones, do also purchase things and services by public procurement procedure in order to be transparent in their business.

The Polish Public Procurement Law has been grounded on European directives so procedures are either identical or very close to those being employed by other EU states and by the Republic of Croatia as well. Additionally to the Law, there are executory regulations where some details are set, such as announcement form, way of preparation and of publishing required documents, tender opening procedure, training, order checking. All these documents are available at www.uzp.gov.pl in the English language.

2.  Polish institutions of public procurement system

2.1.  Public Procurement Office
(Urząd Zamówień Publicznych)
It is a main organ of State administration founded to deal with public procurement system in line with provisions of the said Law of 29/01/2004. Its mission is to keep the procedure transparent and assure non-discriminatory access to public orders.

Among others, the Office performs the following actions:
- inspection and control
- analyse the system
- publish an electronic Public Procurement Bulletin (Biuletyn Zamówień Publicznych) where both invitation and decision announcements are printed.

2.2.   National Appeal Chamber
(Krajowa Izba Odwoławcza)Its aim is to make decisions in contested cases of the public procurement procedures. Members of the Chamber make judgements in the said cases and can also decide on annulment of an interdiction of conclusion of the contract to the date of making final decision in the case. Members of the Chamber are independent and bound exclusively by provisions of law. When performing statutory duties, thay are public officers.

3.  Obligation of public procurement in Poland

Public procurement procedure is obligatory in Poland for projects of or exceeding  net value (without V.A.T.) which is called a 'EU Threshold' and can be found at relevant law (Dz.U. 2015, poz.2263). The EU Thresholds are sums which are tied with specified and required types of proceeding; they must be obeyed by State and local administration units, by subjects of public law and enterprises of public utility sector. Thresholds are used to supply of goods, to services and construction works. There are also some exclusions from general rules of the public procurement law.

4.  EU Thresholds

Since 1st January 2016, tho following public procurement limits have exist in Poland:
EUR 135,000.00 for supplies and services ordered by public finance units;
EUR 209,000.00 for supplies and services ordered by other units; these are local self-government units, universities, cultural and other public institutions;
EUR 418,000.00 in case of supplies and services required  by WETT units (Water-Energy-Transport-Telecommunication) and by public safety and national defense entities. They all are treated by the State as the ones of strategic importance, so special procurement procedures and special privileges apply to them.
EUR 5,225,000.00 for construction projects being ordered by all of above-mentioned entities.

5.  Announcements of public procurement projects

Each procurement project of the value equal to or greater than EU thresholds must be registered with the Offcial Journal of the European Union. The Journal, where all cases of public procurement are revealed, is available in every member state. So, each and all such Polish cases are known all over Europe as well.

Lower-value projects (under the EU threshold) are published by the above-mentioned Public Procurement Bulletin (Biuletyn Zamówień Publicznych).

6.  Currency rate of exchage at the public procurement procedures

Due to the fact that Polish Zloty (PLN) is used in Poland, the EU thresholds are converted and shown in PLN. Since the 1st January 2016, an average rate of exchange - serving as the base for money convertion within public procurement issues – has been EUR 1.0 = PLN 4.1749. (See the Law at Dz.U. 2015, poz.2254).

7.  Modes (procedures) of giving orders within the public procurement system

The mode of giving order means the way the public procurement procedure is employed and used by specified subjects under specified conditions. There are several modes and each of them has detailed requirements related to procedures and other circumstances.
The most often used procedures are as follows:
1. Open Tender (Przetag nieograniczony) – all interested entities have the right to take part in the procedure;
2. Restricted Tender (Przetarg ograniczony) – all interested units are entitled to file a motion for an access permit, but only invited ones may take part in the procedure.

The other procedures are:
3.  Negotiate Procedure with Publication (Negocjacje z ogłoszeniem) – the requesting party (purchaser), having published a notice, does invite selected entities to file preliminary offers where no prices are given, then negotiates terms and conditions and invites participants to submit offers;
4  Negotiate Procedure without Publication (Negocjacje bez ogłoszenia) – the requesting party, having first selected prospect entities, does negotiate terms and conditions with them and invite them to file offers;
5. Competitive Dialogue (Dialog konkurencyjny) – the requesting parrty, after publication of an announcement, talks with all selected entities and then invites them to make offers;
6.  Free Order (Zamówienie z wolnej ręki) – the requesting party  makes the order after talking with only one contractor;
7.  Price Request (Zapytanie o cenę) – selected entities are asked for their prices and invited to file offers;
8.  Electronic Auction (Licytacja elektroniczna) – by means of a form (sheet) placed on a home page (a form where required data may be typed in), contractors give their offers which usually are more and more advantageous for requesting party and are automatically rated and classified.

8.  SIWZ – What is it ?

SIWZ (Specyfikacja Istotnych Warunków Zamówienia) – Specification of Essential Terms of Order – one of necessary documents of all public procurement procedures. It contains requirements that must be met by interested parties, such as: offer delivery date, offer valuation procedure, date of announcement of the procedure result, bank guarantee, reference letters, financial ability to perform and complete the project, technical details and parameters, time limit for completion of the project, final acceptance procedure, etc.

9.  Milestones of a typical public procurement procedure in Poland
9.1. Open Tender
1. Step One

Requesting party does elaborate SIWZ documentation with detailed description of the order included
2. Step Two
Requesting party prepares announcement and publishes it on his internet site and at his office where interested parties may read it;
- in case of orders under the EU threshold – the announcement is delivered to  Public Procurement Bulletin (Biuletyn Zamówień Publicznych);
- in case of orders equal to or higher than the EU threshold – the notice is sent to EU Offcial Journal.
3. Step Three

Requesting party decides on the period for delivering offers. For EU tenders, 14 days is the minimum period; for home (Polish) orders, 7 days will be enough. However, it is a good practice to set longer time for greater-value works.
4. Step Four

Contractors deliver their offers followed by requested statements and other documents.  In most cases, these include financial guarantee and reference letters which confirm the contractor's ability and professional experience.
5. Step Five

After the time set in the SIWZ documentation, requesting party opens received offers and selects the best one.
6. Step Six

Each contractor, in case he does not agree with the requesting party decision, is entitled to appeal the result of procurement procedure and file motion to the National Appeal Chamber (Krajowa Izba Odwoławcza) and, if not being satisfied with the Chamber decision, to a competent court of justice.
9.2.  Restricted Tender

This procedure is different from the open tender exlusively at one point: requesting party has the right to invite only those contractors, who meet requirements given in SIWZ documentation; there must be 5 to 20 invited contractors. More details can be found in the above-mentioned Law (Dz.U. 2015, poz.2263).
10. Additional Remarks

It should be kept in mind that tenders most secure for contractors  (where payment is guaranteed in the most reliable way) are those published in the EU Official Journal.


We invite all Croatian business entities  to take part at public procurement procedures
and wish them earn good contracts in Poland.

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