After the Competition Register Act (WRegG) was enacted and adopted on July 29, 2017, the Federal Ministry of Economics submitted a draft bill for a Competition Register Ordinance in November 2020. On January 20, 2021, the Federal Cabinet adopted the “Ordinance on the Operation of the Register for the Protection of Competition for Public Contracts and Concessions.” This ordinance forms the basis for the establishment of a competition register at the Federal Cartel Office.
The Bundeskartellamt has now started the registration of eligible public bodies for the operation of the nationwide competition register. This was announced by the authority in a press release dated March 25, 2021 and by the Federal Ministry of Economics in a circular dated March 03, 2021.
In the future, public contracting authorities can or must (from a contract value of €30,000) inform themselves in the competition register whether a bidder is subject to a ban on awarding contracts due to attributable legal violations. Pursuant to Section 4 WRegG, the prosecution authorities are obliged to notify the register authority of final convictions, penalty orders and penalty notices that lead to optional (Section 123 GWB) or mandatory (Section 124 GWB) grounds for exclusion. Here, companies are listed digitally which have attracted attention in the past due to economic crimes such as fraud or corruption.
It also regulates the previously inconsistent digital communication between register authorities and users. In the future, the competition register will replace the state corruption registers, with the commercial central register remaining in its form. The operation of the state corruption registers will be discontinued without any migration of data to the competition register.
Furthermore, the competition register contains a catalog of requirements for the possibility of self-cleaning of a company within the meaning of Section 125 of the ARC.
The legislator expects this to lead to standardization and greater transparency in public competition, both for contracting authorities and for bidders. The new competition register is also intended to promote the prevention of economic crime.
The ITZ Bund is responsible for setting up the competition register in cooperation with various IT service providers.
It should be possible to access the competition register as early as this year (2021).
In the next article in the series on the Competition Register, we will go into its exact functions and contents.
*This legal tip is no substitute for legal advice in individual cases. By its very nature, it is incomplete, it does not relate to your case, and it also represents a snapshot, as the legal basis and case law change over time. It cannot and does not cover all conceivable constellations, serves maintenance and initial orientation purposes and is intended to motivate you to clarify legal issues at an early stage, but not to discourage you from doing so.