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Competition law in public procurement

Various irregularities can occur in public procurement procedures resulting in breach of both public procurement law and competition law. One of the most serious breaches of this type is bid rigging. This kind of illegal practice harms not only competition on the market or for a market, but also all participants. Due to the far-reaching negative effects of this type of conduct, combating bid rigging has become one of the priorities of many authorities, including the President of the Competition and Consumer Protection Office (UOKiK), the President of the Public Procurement Office and law enforcement agencies.

Effective advice on bid rigging in public procurement procedures requires expertise in the area of antitrust law and public procurement law at both national and EU level. The combination of experience in these two areas of the law enables comprehensive advice to be provided to entities participating in the public procurement market. DZP's experts in antitrust and public procurement law understand the interconnectedness of their specialisations. An interdisciplinary team led by Katarzyna Kuźma (public procurement) and Jarosław Łukawski (competition law) provides advice to contractors and contracting authorities in the following areas:

  • analysis and assessment of structures involving joint bidding (consortia, cooperation with third parties, subcontracting) and other planned business activities in terms of their potential to be deemed bid rigging,
  • detection of bid rigging and identification of other anti-competitive behaviour,
  • support in procedures where there is suspicion of bid rigging, including vertical bid rigging (economic operator with contracting authority),
  • preparation of applications to the UOKiK for proceedings to be initiated over suspicion of bid rigging,
  • assessment of the consequences under public procurement regulations and competition law of an undertaking being deemed a participant in bid rigging,
  • support in corrective measures (self-cleaning) and strategy for participating in future public procurement procedures in connection with suspicion of the undertaking's participation in bid rigging,
  • representing undertakings before the UOKiK in proceedings involving a charge of bid rigging,
  • representing economic operators or contracting authorities before the National Appeal Chamber and common courts,
  • claiming compensation in connection with bid rigging,
  • advice during public procurement inspections, including in the case of possible financial adjustments in projects implemented with EU funds,
  • training on competition law in public procurement,
  • support for an undertaking or its capital group in developing and implementing internal procedures to prevent competition law breaches in connection with participation in public procurement procedures.

 

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