On 28 March 2014, the new European legislative framework with regard to public procurement was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The framework consists of Directive 2014/23/EU on the award of concession contracts, Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement and Directive 2014/25/EU on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors. The Member States of the European Union had to transpose the Directives into national law by 18 April 2016.
Belgium is implementing the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with (the) Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU. In this regard, it already enacted the Law of 17 June 2016 on public procurement, the Law of 17 June 2016 on concession contracts and the Law of 16 February 2017 on the justification, information and remedies concerning public procurement and certain contracts for public works, supplies and services.
In order for the abovementioned legislation to enter into force, the Belgian legislator needs to adopt the required implementing rules. The first of these rules has recently been issued. The Royal Decree of 18 April 2017 on the award of public procurement in classic sectors was published in the Belgian Official Gazette of 9 May 2017. The decree implements in particular the Law of 17 June 2016 on public procurement.
The Royal Decree of 18 April 2017 on the award of public procurement in the classic sectors includes inter alia:
- The introduction of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD)
- The new rules on social and other specific services
- The rules on the general use of electronic means for communication
- The rules on grounds for exclusion and self-cleaning
- The updated rules on the various procurement procedures
The remaining implementing rules in order to bring into force the new Belgian legislative package on public procurement are the Royal Decree on the award of public procurement in the utilities sectors, the Royal Decree on the general execution measures, the Royal Decree on administration and the Royal Decree on the award and on the execution of concession contracts.
The date of entry into force of the new rules on public procurement in Belgium is set on 30 June 2017.