Principles of Public Procurement Law

Table of contents

Public procurement procedures are intended to offer applicants and bidders fair competition for public contracts and to produce the most economical results possible for the public budget. In essence, public procurement law is intended to prevent public contracts from being awarded to the same companies repeatedly on a "known and proven" basis. To achieve this objective, public procurement law has the following basic principles, among others:


Principle of competition

Competition between individual market participants should enable the contracting authority to select the most suitable bidder. On the other hand, companies should also be given the opportunity to win the contract in every tender for which they are fundamentally suitable.


Transparency requirement

Public contracts shall be awarded by means of transparent procedures. Transparency shall be ensured above all in the course of the procedure, for example through appropriate documentation and information.



Only the most cost-effective bid will be awarded the contract.



Government action must always be measured against whether it serves a legitimate purpose, is suitable and necessary to achieve this purpose, and is appropriate. Measures taken by the contracting authority under public procurement law may also only be within the scope of what is necessary to achieve the desired objective. Particularly in the case of a threatened exclusion of a bidder from the procurement procedure - the harshest interference with the rights of a participating company - the contracting authority must ask itself whether a less drastic means of achieving the objective is not possible.


Equal Treatment

Participants in a procurement process shall be treated equally unless unequal treatment is permitted.


Promotion of SME interests

SME (small and medium sized enterprises) interests are to be given priority in the award of public contracts. For this reason, public clients are required, for example, to award a contract in as many specialized and partial lots as possible.

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