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The EFTA Surveillance Authority recognises the need for an accelerated procurement procedure



The EFTA Surveillance Authority recognises the need for an accelerated procurement procedure In line with the statement of the European Commission pursuant to the conclusions of the European Council of 12 December 2008 (see the Commission's Press Release of 18 December 2008 (IP/08/2040)), the EFTA Surveillance Authority agrees that the exceptional nature of the current economic situation can justify the use of the accelerated procurement procedure, reducing considerably the overall time limit of the procedure from 87 days to 30 days. A presumption of urgency should therefore apply throughout 2009 and 2010 for all major public projects.

The Authority considers that speeding up procurement procedures can significantly support the EFTA States' action to bolster their economies through rapid execution of major public investment projects. Such action should be based on the existing internal market rules.

The time limits set out by the public procurement Directive 2004/18/EC include a certain time frame for potential bidders to decide whether to participate and to draw up their tenders. Furthermore the Remedies Directive 2007/66/EC provides for a standstill period between the award decision and the conclusion of the contract to allow for review of the award decisions. In the restricted procedure, bidders first have to request to participate before selected candidates are invited to submit their tenders.

Under the accelerated restricted procedure, which the Authority considers justified in the light of the financial crisis, contracting authorities can shorten the time limit for requests to participate from 37 to 10 days if the contract notice was sent by electronic means and the subsequent time limit for the selected candidates to submit their tenders from 40 to 10 days. With the remaining standstill period of 10 days, time limits for the restricted procedure can therefore be ultimately shortened from 87 to 30 days in total. 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Steven Verhulst
Officer, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 58,


Mrs. Lorna Armati
Senior Officer, Legal and Executive Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 39

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