Updated last 26.03.2021
Which acts may be appealed?
Appeals may be filed against every decision of the contracting authorities within a public procurement procedure, including based on a framework agreement, dynamic purchases systems or qualification systems. Аrt. 196, para. 1, 4 and 5 of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) details the procedures and hypotheses, where participants/candidates can benefit from their right to appeal.
The following are not subject to an appeal:
- The decisions for selecting of a public procurement contractor through internal competitive selection, when the total value of the procurements, awarded under the framework agreement by the respective contracting authority, is lower than BGN 270 000 – for construction, and BGN 70 000 – for deliveries and services, including the services under appendix No. 2;
- The decisions for opening of the procedure in their part, regarding the motives for the impossibility to separate the subject matter of the procurement into lots (art. 196, para. 2 of the PPA).
Who is the authority, before which the public procurement can be appealed?
Acts of contracting authorities shall be appealed before the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) regarding their lawfulness, including the presence of discriminatory economic, financial, technical or qualification requirements in the notice, documentation or any other document, related to the procedure (art. 196, para. 3 of the PPA). Information regarding the Commission for Protection of Competition, the appeal procedure and the relevant fees can be found here.
Who can appeal?
The general requirement for eligibility of an appeal, is that it is submitted by an interested person. According to the definition in the PPA an interested person is any person, who has or would have interest in being awarded a public procurement and which has suffered or may suffer damages, as a result of the claimed violation. In the cases, set out in art. 198, para. 1, item 2 and item 3 of the PPA, appeals may only be submitted by persons, participating in the award procedure – interested candidates  or interested participants .
What is the time limit for the submission of appeals?
The time limits for appealing decisions, actions and inactions of the contracting authority are detailed in art. 197 of the PPA. The total term for appealing is 10 days, which starts running from a different moment depending on the appealed decision, action or omission to act. If the appellant fails to observe the time limit, set out in the law, his appeal is sent back and no proceedings are initiated.
What should be included in the appeal?
The appeal must be written in Bulgarian and contain:
- The name of the authority, to which it is submitted (CPC);
- The data on trader’s company or the name of the legal entity – appellant, as well as the seat and the latest registered office, email address or fax no., if any, as specified in the respective register; and the full name and address, telephone no., email address or fax no., if any, of the appellant – natural person, respectively;
- The name and address of the contracting authority, whose decision is appealed;
- Data, regarding the public procurement, including its unique number in the Public Procurement Register /PPR/ and the appealed decision, action or inaction.
- The circumstances, on which the appellant bases his capacity of an interested person, if applicable;
- An exhaustive and specific list of all objections and the reasons for them, as well as appellant’s requests;
- Appellant`s signature.
The appeal must be accompanied by:
- Evidences of the observation of the time limit for filing the appeal;
- A document, evidencing the payment of the state fee;
- An evidence of sending the complaint to the contracting authority when it is not sent through the centralized electronic platform under article 39a, paragraph 1 of the Public Procurement Act;
- Evidence of the circumstances, on which the appellant bases his capacity of an interested person;
- Evidence of the representative power, when the appeal is submitted by an agent (power of attorney);
- Other evidence, if available to the appellant.
If the appeal does not meet the aforesaid requirements or if it has other defects, the CPC notifies the appellant accordingly, providing him with three days for corrections. If the legally established legal deadlines for appeals have not been met or if the corrections are not performed in due time, the CPC sends back the application and does not initiate proceedings. If the appeal meets the requirements, within three days after its submission (or the elimination of any defects) the proper proceedings are initiated and the contracting authority, whose act is appealed, is notified accordingly.
|Important to know
An appeal against a decision, action or inaction of the contracting authority, with the exception of appeals against the award decision, does not result in the suspension of the public procurement procedure, unless the temporary measure “suspension of the procedure“ is requested. The request for suspension of the procedure has to be included in the appeal and the CPC issues its ruling on such request within seven days after the start of the proceedings.
It is important to note that the appellant is to exercise the rights granted (right to appeal, right to request the temporary measure “suspension of the procedure“, etc.) in good faith. Otherwise, it is possible to claim damages from the candidate (art. 196a of the PPA). For example, if the appellant challenges a certain act (not to protect his damaged rights) but in order to intentionally delay or terminate the procedure, he may be charged with liability for any damages, caused through such conduct.
The Commission for Protection of Competition pronounces on the claim within one month from the initiation of the proceedings for public procurements in amount under article 20, paragraph 1 of the Public Procurement Act (the value thresholds for application of all procedures without public competition and direct negotiation), and in the other cases – within 15 days from the initiation of the proceedings.
The appeal procedure before the CPC ends with a written decision of the CPC, which must contain the following items:
- Date, place of issue and number;
- Factual and legal reasons for the issuance of the decision;
- The appealed decision and the name of the respective issuing authority;
- The names of the parties;
- The actual decision;
- The party, burdened with the costs and expenses;
- The deadline and the authority, before which the decision may be appealed.
The decision of the CPC may be appealed before the Supreme Administrative Court within 14 days of its issuance to the parties. The usual practice is that the appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court is sent to the CPC.
The amount of the fees, collected for the proceedings under Chapter twenty-seven of the PPA before the Commission for Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court may also be found here.
|For more information
For more information on the public procurement appeal procedure and the related regulatory framework please refer to the website of the:
 A candidate is an economic subject, having 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 participating in a limited design competition. An interested candidate is a candidate, who has not been ultimately eliminated from participation at the pre-selection stage, due to not being notified of such elimination or the appeal procedure, regarding the decision for such elimination has not finished yet.
 A participant is an economic subject, who has submitted an offer (bid) or conceptual design or was invited to take part in negotiations. An interested participant is a participant, who has not been ultimately eliminated from the procedure. The elimination is considered final, when the participant has been notified of the Decision for elimination and such Decision has become effective. A participant, who has been qualified but was not awarded the contract, is also considered an interested participant.