On 14 December 2020, the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic presented a new law on judicial protection in public procurement for inter-departmental review. The new law is supposed to react to problems arising in judicial review of failures and breaches of law in public procurement to speed up the process and make it more effective.
The new law will transfer the provision of protection in the public procurement process from the Office of Public procurement to administrative courts. It will also lower the number of the public procurement process review instances, but the Office will retain its right to fine any law breach. Decisions on the impositions of fines can still be appealed to through administrative action.
It is proposed to introduce two instances of judicial proceedings instead of the four-stage or five-stage judicial review under current legislation. A novelty is a special type of procedure to guarantee immediate judicial review of the public procurement process, the subject of which is "judicial protection in public procurement." The new legislation of the judicial protection of public procurement introduces an inquiry procedure, which corresponds to today's opposition proceedings, a determination procedure, which partially corresponds to today's proceedings for the annulment of a contract, interim measures, and action against inaction.
This new legislation can be seen as part of the extensive judicial reform currently underway in the Slovak Republic. This step cannot be seen as a positive change right from the start, as it will depend mainly on the courts how quickly and professionally, they will proceed in the proceedings. On the one hand, it is possible to argue that multi-instance proceedings may ultimately lead to a better and more professional decision. Still, we must bear in mind that the timely protection of rights is equally important. However, if the courts are sufficiently equipped for this agenda in terms of personnel, as well as professionally, their decisions will lead to the Public Procurement Act's better application practice.
Falath & Partners
T: +421 905 866 438