Code of Public Contracts

Everything begins with a good basis


What is the Public Contracts Code?

The Public Contracts Code (PCC) is a legal act that governs two major areas: the formation and the performance of public contracts, i.e.:

a) on the one hand, it sets out how public contracts can be awarded, by laying down the rules for the procedures that give rise to a public contract

b) on the other, it regulates – either mandatorily or additionally - very important aspects of contract performance, such as the obligations and rights of the parties, non-compliance, contract amendments, etc.

The contract formation phase runs from the moment the procurement decision is made to the moment the contract is awarded. This phase is traditionally referred to in Portugal as public procurement.

The contract performance phase begins with the contract conclusion or awarding.

The Public Contracts Code transposes Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC (both of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 31 March 2004) into national law and codifies the rules that had been until then scattered across the following legal instruments:

a) Decree-Law No 59/99 of 2 March 1999 (public works contracts);

b) Decree-Law No 197/99 of 8 June 1999 (purchase of goods and services);

c) Decree-Law No 223/2001 of 9 August 2001 (works contracts and purchases in special sectors);

d) Various other laws and unbundled precepts on public procurement.

Downloadable documents:


   PCC Public Presentation (PDF)

Slide presentation of the Public Contracts Code held on 30 January 2008 at the FIL fair in Lisbon.

 2008 Clarification Session Slides (PDF)

Slide presentation shown at the clarification sessions for the Public Contracts Code conducted by the InCI in march/april 2008


The PCC consolidated version (in Portuguese) includes the subsequent amendments and rectifications. It is made available in order to facilitate the access to legislation by gathering several legal acts into an easy-to-read single document. This text has no legal significance. It is a working document and does not dispense with the consultation of the Diário da República.