Updated last 26.03.2021
Public procurement is a tool to meet the public needs of goods, services and construction. Significant financial resources are spent through public procurement, stimulating business and forming a possible tool for the growth of SMEs.
What is public procurement?
The construction, the delivery of goods or provision of services are subject of a public procurement.. The public procurement is awarded by a public or sectoral contracting authority with a contract with the selected contractor after the completion of a certain procedure or under award provisions.
Who are the parties to the public procurement contract?
One of the parties to the public procurement contract is the contracting authority – who needs engineering, construction, goods or services. Тhe contracting authorities can be public (e.g., the President, the Prime Minister, regional governors, mayors of municipalities, etc. – article 5, paragraph 2 of the Public Procurement Act)), sectoral (public enterprises and traders and merchants, executing activities related to natural gas and heat energy, electricity, water supply, transportation services, e.g., water-supply and sewerage operators, National Electricity Company, district heating companies, etc.) and ad-hoc contracting authorities (in specific cases, when public financing is used directly to fund more than 50 per-cent of engineering, construction or construction-related services over certain estimated value). Two or more contracting authorities may assign procurement jointly.
The other party to the contract is the contractor – the party, obliged to perform or deliver the ordered goods/services/construction. Тhe contractors may assign part of the activities, under the public procurement to subcontractors, as the intention to use subcontractors must be announced in advance, when applying for the respective procurement It is important to be noted that within the framework of the European Union disallowed is the setting of conditions or requirements, which provide unjustified advantages or limit and restrict unjustifiably the participation of economic subjects in the public procurement and which are not in conformity with the public procurement’s object, value, complexity, quantity or scope, including ones related to the nationality, status or legal form of the applicants or participants. There are no obstacles to Bulgarian enterprises taking part in public procurement, assigned in other EU Member States, as well as foreign companies participating in Bulgarian public procurement procedures.
How to apply?
Depending on the type and stage of the procedure, candidates submit their applications for participation, and participants – their offers. The most widely used procedure in Bulgaria is the open procedure, where all interested parties submit their offers, along with information regarding their personal status and its conformity with the assigned selection criteria. Another widely used procedure, suitable for SMEs, concerns procurement for construction activities, amounting to between BGN 50 thousand to BGN 270 thousand and services  and deliveries amounting to BGN 30 thousand to BGN 70 thousand, assigned through “Collecting Offers through calls or invitation to certain persons“ . The documents, related to the participation in the procedure, are submitted by the candidate or participant, or his authorized representative – personally or through postal or courier services as a registered parcel with receipt of delivery, to the address, specified by the contracting authority. The contracting authority may include an option that the documents for participation in the procedure are submitted electronically, as this fact is specified in the notice, announcing the opening of the procedure, or in the announcement.
The difference between the candidate and participant is based on the procedure, applied by the contracting authority. A participant is a person or combination, who has submitted an offer or conceptual design or one, invited to negotiations. A candidate is a person or combination, who has submitted an application for participation in a restricted procedure, competitive procedure, including negotiation, negotiations with a prior call for participation, negotiations with publication of a contract notice, competitive dialogue, partnership for innovations or a participant in a limited competition for a design (design contest). A person / entity, which participates in a joint venture or which has granted the consent to be a sub-contractor of another applicant or participant, is not entitled to submit an individual application for participation or an offer. In a public procurement award procedure a natural person or a legal entity is entitled to participate in only one joint venture / association. Related parties can not be independent individual candidates or participants in one and the same procedure.
When preparing applications for participation or offers, each and every candidate or participant must strictly adhere to the conditions, announced by the contracting authority. The documents, related to the participation in the procedure, must be in Bulgarian language. Until the expiration of the period for submission of applications for participation or offers, each and every candidate or participant may amend, supplement or withdraw the application or offer. Each and every participant in the procedure for the assignment of the public procurement is only entitled to a single offer. For information regarding the electronic assignment of public procurement, see here.
- The application for participation contains information regarding the personal status of the candidates and the selection criteria.
- The offer contains a technical and price proposal, and in an open procedure – also information regarding the personal status of the participant and the respective selection criteria.
– The technical proposal in the offer should contain a proposal for the performance of the procurement order, in conformity with the technical specifications and the requirements of the contracting authority, as well as declarations, regarding observation of the obligations, related to taxes and social security contributions, environmental protection, employment protection and labour conditions when preparing the offer. The technical proposal must also be accompanied by a power of attorney, when the offer is submitted by a person, who is not participant’s legal representative (a legal representative is for example the general manager of a Limited Liability Company (LTD), and a power of attorney will be necessary, if, for example, a lawyer, providing services to the company, submits the offer). The technical proposal should contain also samples, models and other documents/photos/appendices, requested by the contracting authority.
– The price proposal contains participant’s proposal regarding the acquisition cost and the proposals, based on other financial indicators.
A description and templates of the necessary documentation for application for public procurement, can be found in the published documentation for each public procurement (e.g., templates for the ESPD, Price Offer, etc.)
No fees are payable for the submission of applications for participation or offers for public procurement.
Where can I find detailed information on a public procurement?
The contracting authorities provide information about the Public Procurement procedures they open in “Buyer’s profile“ on their website. The public procurement documentation may also be found in the Public Procurement Register, maintained by the Public Procurement Agency, at the following address. Procurement procedures of contracting authorities within the EU are also accessible through EU’s Official Gazette (Tenders Electronic Daily /TED/) at the following address.
|For more information |
 With the exception of the social and other specific services, listed in Appendix 2 to art. 11, para. 3 of the Public Procurement Act (PPA).
 For more detailed information on the procedure, please refer to Chapter twenty-six of the PPA.