Public procurement law tender consultant Netherlands

In the Netherlands the European procurement directives 2014/23/EU (concessions), 2014/24/EU (classic public contracts) and 2014/25/EU (utilities) have been implemented in the Public Procurement Act 2016 (Public Procurement Act 2016) entering into force 1 june 2016. This provides a single framework for all contracting authorities and for all public and utilities contracts, not only for European procurement law but also for ‘national’ public contracts, or contracts not covered by the directives such as those with or without a clear cross-border interest. Call or email public procurement law tender consultant Netherlands for a free quick scan and quote / estimate on consultancy or litigation.

Public procurement law tender consultant Netherlands

Comprehensive experience in procurement & tender litigation in The Netherlands ensures swift and tangible advice and support on all aspects of EU and Dutch procurement procedures in the Netherlands.

Assisting companies and enterprises from European member states (mainly UK, Germany, Belgium France and Finland) with all Dutch legal and language aspects of tendering:

  • bid management & strategies and all details concerning submission of tenders in The Netherlands in accordance with all Dutch legal regulations and formalities
  • legal and practical scan of descriptive documentation or request for tender /proposal (RFT/RFP) / tender documents and contracts in Dutch language
  • proactively drafting the right questions, complaints and suggestions to be adressed to the contracting authority during the procurement procedure before submitting the tender (neglecting this usually results in a future claim or complaint in court to be dismissed)
  • checking the rightfulness of the award decision in time for possible complaint or summons within the standstill period

We are associated with tender consultants that will manage all aspects of your bid / tender in the Netherlands in the Dutch language according to local regulations and formalities.

All EU and national announcements for public and utilities contracts are combined and published on the national government site: Tenderned: Six steps to bidding for public procurement contracts online through TenderNed

Public procurement law tender consultant Netherlands

Procurement lawyer dispute resolution & litigation

(EU directives concerning remedies for utilities & public contracts)

Interlocutory / summary proceedings for interim relief measures

These proceedings can serve to efficiently remedy breaches of procurement rules that affect the RFP or award decision. In this way interim relief measures (or an injunction) can be requested:

  • before submission of tender to prevent the contracting authority (CA) from proceeding with the procurement procedure, or
  • after submission of tender and subsequent award decision to prevent the CA from concluding the contract

Tenderers who object to the award decision, must ultimatly initiate such proceedings (by means of a formal summons) within the standstill (Alcatel) period of 20 days after receipt of the award decision, or they will lose the right to do so. Tenderers with objections to the RFP should in some cases initiate proceedings as soon as possible even before submission of tender. Afterwards only a possible claim for damages on the merits remains.

If the judge rules the procurement procedure to be unlawful, the verdict will be an injunction ordering the CA to rectify and repeat the procurement procedure. If the judge rules the award decision unlawful, the injuction could imply that the claimant / plaintiff should be awarded the contract if the CA still intends to award a contract. However, if the CA does not intend to award the contract anymore, then the CA is not allowed to repeat the procurement procedure for the same contract.

When questions or complaints have been submitted proactively to the CA during the procurement procedure before submission of tender, proceedings can often also be initiated after the award decision, in case questions and complaint have not been adequatly adressed by the CA, and have turned out to have adversly affected the rightfulness of the award decision.

An interim ruling (injunction) can usually be obtained within six weeks after summons / filing the case in court. It is not required to follow-up with other / main (merits) proceedings for the interim judgment to have permanent binding force: if all parties resign themselves to the verdict, as is often the case, and do not initiate merits / main proceedings or appeal the interim judgement, it will be the sole and final ruling on the procurement dispute.

Damages

Procedures on the merits / main proceedings concerning breaches of procurement rules seeking compensation for damages. Damages can be sought if the contract should have been awarded to the plaintiff (unlawful award decision) or in case that is uncertain and plaintiff simply missed the chance to tender and win the contract.

Claims for damages are usually possible in case for some reason an interlocutory / summary proceedings within the 20 days was not initiated. Claims for damages expire after five years.

Annulment

Annulment by court declaration is possible in case the CA has violated the EU procurement directives by concluding a contract without a public announcement of the contract (in the Official Journal of the European Union) and as such without a EU procurement procedure.

This could also apply to a contract that was initially (in accordance with the EU procurement directives) concluded after a proper public announcement and the following EU procurement procedure, but that was subsequently substantially changed such, in fact resulting in a completely different or new contract that was in fact never publicly announced and concluded following a EU procurement procedure.

A summons for a merits case concerning annulment must be served (to CA as well as service provider / contractor) within the limitation period of six months after (secretly) concluding that contract, or within four weeks of a voluntary EU public announcement (Official Journal of the European Union) of the concluding of that contract (by which voluntary act the six months can be reduced to the said limitation of four weeks.