Legal basis of public procurement law

Table of contents

The legal basis of public procurement law is extensive. It is based on a large number of regulations, distributed among decrees and directives, federal laws, state laws and EU directives. There is at least no uniform procurement law in Germany.

Federal laws governing public procurement in Germany include:

The Fourth Part of the Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB) - It represents the central set of rules in public procurement law and contains the general principles for awarding contracts and for legal protection by way of the award review procedure. It applies to the award of public contracts above the EU thresholds.

The Regulation on the Award of Public Contracts (VgV) - The Regulation on the Award of Public Contracts serves to implement EU Directive 2014/24/EU. It includes basic provisions on the procedure for awarding contracts and the review procedure in public procurement law. It is applicable to the award of public contracts above the EU thresholds, except for the award by sector contracting authorities, the award of defense and security-specific public contracts or the award of concessions. Only Section 1 and parts of Section 2 of the VgV apply to the award of construction contracts; otherwise, the Procurement and Contract Regulations for Construction Works apply.

German Construction Contract Procedures (VOB) - These apply to the award and execution of construction contracts and are divided into three parts. Part A contains general provisions for awarding contracts, with the 1st section in Part A containing regulations for national procurement procedures, while the 2nd section contains provisions for EU-wide procurement procedures. Part B contains the general contract conditions for the execution of construction work, and Part C contains technical regulations on the execution and invoicing of the respective construction work.

In addition, there are numerous other laws such as the Sector Regulation (SektVO), which regulates the awarding of contracts by sector contracting authorities, the Concession Award Regulation (KonzVgV), which must be observed when awarding concessions, and the Defense and Security Award Regulation (VSVgV), which is relevant when awarding defense and security-specific contracts.

In the sub-threshold area, i.e. below the EU thresholds, the provisions of Section 1 of the VOB/A, the sub-threshold award regulations (UVgO) for supplies and services, the budgetary law of the Federal Government and the Federal States as well as the award laws and administrative regulations and decrees of the individual Federal States must be observed in particular.

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