introduction

National Review Commission for Reviewing Public Procurement Award Procedures (shortened: National Review Commission) is a specific, independent, professional and expert state institution providing legal protection to tenderers at all procedural levels of the award of public contracts.

National Review Commission for Reviewing Public Procurement Award Procedures (shortened: National Review Commission) is a specific, independent, professional and expert state institution providing legal protection to tenderers at all procedural levels of the award of public contracts.

First institution for legal protection during the award of public contracts was established in 1997 with the Public Procurement Act - a Commission competent for reviewing public procurement award procedures. This Commission was resolved by the end of 1999, when National Review Commission was established.

Status and competence of the National Review Commission have been defined in the Auditing of Public Procurement Procedures Act (1999, am. 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), whereby formal conditions were fulfilled for the establishment and operation of the Commission as an independent expert institution. In 2011 new Act on Legal Protection in Public Procurement Procedures was adopted (am. 2013, 2017).

National Review Commission consists of 5 members, of which one is acting as a President and one as Deputy-president; all members are appointed by the Parliament. Expert support to the work of members offer 15 consultants.

Review of public procurement award procedure is a two-stage procedure: 1st stage procedure is before the Contracting Authority and the 2nd stage before the National Review Commission. It should be emphasised that the submission of a review claim does not have an ex lege suspension effect. Proceedings before the National Review Commission can be initiated only a) after an unsuccessful 1st stage review before the contracting authority; b) when the aggrieved party does not consent (partially or entirely) to the decision of the contracting authority on the review claim or c) if the contracting authority does not decide in due time.

In all cases a received review claim is assigned by the President of the Commission to a Senate of 3 Members of the National Review Commission, based upon the alphabetical order of surname initials of the Commission members (the so called natural judge principle). The National Review Commission decides within the limits of the review claim. In case of violation of the basic principles of public procurement the Commission has the competence to examine all evidence considered relevant for the clarification of the subject matter of the claim and those necessary for adoption of a legally correct decision.

National Review Commission decides on the claim authoritatively. There are three types of decisions it can adopt: 1) it can reject the claim as unsubstantiated, 2) it can sustain the claim and invalidate the procedure in question partially or entirely, or 3) it can merely establish the infringement if the latter can not be abolished in review procedure.

In connection it should also be noted that the National Review Commission only has the competences of an appellate body, i.e. to annul decisions of contracting authorities. But the Commission can advise a contracting authority on how to implement the procedure regarding the invalidated element. Such advice can be binding on the authority and in case of a breach the Commission can report to the supervisory body of the contracting authority or to the Government.

When all procedural requirements are fulfilled the Senate is obliged to decide on the claim and issue a decision within 15 days (at the latest) from receipt of the claim and all necessary documentation. The 15 days time frame can - in justified cases - be extended upon an elaborated request by the President of a Senate for a maximum of 15 days.