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Organizers of public procurements can spot bid-rigging features faster than others



The Competition Council draws attention to the possibilities of procurement organizers to be the first to spot suspicious coincidences in tenders of applicants, which may indicate to possible prohibited agreements of companies. In such cases it is significant for procurement organizers not to be indifferent and report about such suspicious coincidences to the Competition Council.

Within the last five years, the Competition Council has adopted 20 decisions, detecting bid-rigging or prohibited agreements among applicants of procurements. As a result, bid-rigging in procurements is the most frequently detected and, at the same time, one of the most severe infringements of competition law, which is often compared to theft from the public.

The role of procurement organizers in prevention of such infringements of competition law is extremely significant, because exactly these persons can be the first to detect suspicious coincidences in tenders submitted by applicants. If procurement organizers have suspicions concerning prohibited agreements of applicants, they shall inform the Competition Council, continuing the procurement procedure and without disclosing this information to applicants.

The Competition Council draws attention to the fact, that in the last year the European Council changed the conditions on financial corrections for infringements, including prohibited agreements, within the projects of the European Union funds; therefore, involvement of procurement organizers in identifying these agreements is particularly important – if the customer reports to the Competition Council and thus helps detecting an infringement, there is a possibility of reduction or non-application of financial correction.

Whereas in cases, where customers have suffered loss as a result of prohibited agreements of companies, the Competition Council calls to claim compensation of incurred loss. At the end of the last year, amendments to the Competition Law and the Civil Procedure Law came into effect, establishing a facilitated mechanism for proving such loss, so that the suffered parties can address the court and claim from infringers compensation of loss incurred as a result of the prohibited agreement.