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Accessory Sanctions

The final decisions on the application of the accessory sanctions provided for in Article 460 of the PCC are published on this Portal and remain here for the whole period of disqualification.

To date there are no records on accessory sanctions for publication.

The information provided in the answers to the FAQ below aims at giving an overview of public procurement rules. Since it does not address specific aspects of the procurement regimes expressly set out in the Public Procurement Code (PPC), consultation of the Code itself is indispensable.

I. The Public Procurement Code as revised by Decree-Law No 111-B/2017 of 31 August 2017

1. The Code’s scope


1.1) To whom do the public procurement rules provided for in the PPC apply?

The public procurement rules provided for in the PPC apply to the following contracting entities (see article 2(1)):

(a)       State;

(b)       Autonomous Regions;

(c)       Local Governments;

(d)       Public Institutes;

(e)       Independent Administrative Entities;

(f)        Bank of Portugal;

(g)       Public Foundations;

(h)       Public Associations;

(i)            Any association comprising one or more of the abovementioned legal persons, provided that it is financed for the most part by them, is subject to their management supervision, or has an administrative, managerial or supervisory board with more than a half of its members being directly or indirectly appointed by them.

According to Article 2(2)(a), (b) and (d), bodies governed by public law, legal persons and associations, irrespective of their public or private nature, are also contracting entities.

In addition to the entities referred to in Article 2, those referred to in Article 7(1), specifically the legal persons operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services special sectors, are also contracting entities.

The PPC also applies to entities that are not contracting entities but are in any of the situations described in Article 275, i.e. the entities that intend to conclude certain public works contracts or service contracts related to public works, provided that such contracts are directly subsidized by contracting entities by more than 50% of their contract price, whenever this is equal to or exceeds the EU thresholds.

1.2) To what contracts do the public procurement rules provided for in Part II of the PPC (Public Procurement) apply?

The public procurement rules laid down in Part II apply to the formation of public contracts that, irrespective of their name and nature, are concluded by the abovementioned contracting entities and are not excluded from its scope by virtue of Articles 4, 5, 5a and 6a.

1.3) What types of pre-contractual procedures does the PPC provide for?

In Article 16(1), the PPC provides for the following pre-contractual procedures:
(a) Direct award
(i) General
(ii) Simplified (Article 128)
(b) Prior consultation
(c) Open procedure
(i) Normal
(ii) Urgent
(d) Restricted procedure
(e) Negotiated procedure
(f) Competitive dialogue
(g) Innovation partnership


2. Pre-contractual procedures: Concepts and characteristics


2.1) What is a direct award?

Article 112(2) of the PPC defines a direct award as a procedure whereby a contracting entity directly invites an entity of its choice to tender.

2.1.1.) When can the direct award procedure be used?
There are two criteria for using the direct award procedure:
(a) The value criterion (Articles 17-22)
This is the main criterion for using the direct award, but it implies that a contract resulting from a direct award shall be subject to a limit value as indicated below:
(i) For the purchase or rental of movables, or the purchase of services: less than € 20,000 (Article 20(1)(d))
(ii) For public works contracts: less than € 30,000 (Article 19(d))
(iii) For other types of contracts: less than € 50,000 (Article 21(1)(c)).

(b) Substantive criteria (Articles 24-27)
The PCC specifically identifies the cases in which the use of the direct ward is permitted regardless of the contract value. In order to be able to use this criterion, the body responsible for the decision to contract needs to explain in a clear and objective way that the specific situation meets all the conditions laid down in any of the points of Articles 24 to 27.
Substantive criteria provided for in Article 24 may be used regardless of the type of contract to be awarded (public works contracts, purchase or rental of movables, purchase of services), while those situations referred to in Article 25 may only be used for public works contracts, those in Article 26 for the purchase or rental of movables, and those in Article for the purchase of services.
Note: Although a direct award can be used on the basis of substantive criteria, the prior consultation should be used whenever it is possible to invite more than one economic operator, as laid down in Article 27a.

2.2) What is a simplified direct award?

Pursuant to Article 128 of the PPC, it is a direct award procedure whereby no procedural formalities are needed and that is completed at the moment when the body responsible for the decision to contract approves the invoice or an equivalent document submitted by the invited entity as a proof of the purchase.

2.2.1) When can the simplified direct award procedure be used?

The simplified direct award procedure can be used for the award of contracts relating to the purchase or rental of movables or the acquisition of services of which the contractual price does not exceed € 5,000 or, in the case of public works contracts, € 10,000 (Article 128º).
What is new in the PPC (as revised by Decree-Law No 111-B/2017 of 31 August 2017), is that the simplified direct award procedure can now be used to conclude public works contracts as well.
The time limit for the execution of a contract concluded under this procedure cannot exceed one year from the date of the award decision; it cannot be prolonged and the contractual price cannot be revised (see Article 129).


2.3) What is a prior consultation?

Article 112(1) defines the prior consultation as a procedure whereby the contracting entity directly invites at least three entities of its choice to tender and can negotiate with them the aspects of the contract, provided that such a possibility is specifically mentioned in the invitation (Article 115(2(a)).

2.3.1.) When can the prior consultation procedure be used?

Like the direct award, the prior consultation can be used when one of the two following types of criteria is met:

(a) The value criterion (Articles 17-22)
This is the main criterion for using the prior consultation, but it implies that a contract resulting from a prior consultation shall be subject to a limit value as indicated below:
(i) For the purchase or rental of movables, or the purchase of services: less than € 75,000 (Article 20(1)(c))
(ii) For public works contracts: less than € 150,000 (Article 19(c))
(iii) For other types of contracts: less than € 100,000 (Article 21(1)(b)).

(b) Substantive criteria (Articles 24-27, by virtue of Article 27a)
The PCC specifically identifies the cases in which the use of the direct ward is permitted regardless of the contract value. In order to be able to use this criterion, the body responsible for the decision to contract needs to explain in a clear and objective way that the specific situation meets all the conditions laid down in any of the points of Articles 24 to 27, provided that it is possible to invite more than one economic operator.
Substantive criteria provided for in Article 24 may be used regardless of the type of contract to be awarded (public works contracts, purchase or rental of movables, purchase of services), while those situations referred to in Article 25 may be used only for public works contracts, those in Article 26 for the purchase or rental of movables, and those in Article for the purchase of services.

2.4) What is an (a normal) open procedure?

This is a competitive procedure that must be announced both in the Diário da República (the Portuguese official journal) and in the Official Journal of the European Union, when the value of the intended contract exceeds the EU thresholds (see Articles 130 and 131 of the PPC).
Under this procedure, economic operators must first submit their tenders, which means that their technical and/or financial capacity is not assessed in advance, i.e. there is no prior qualification of tenderers.

2.4.1) When can the open procedure be used?

Contracting authorities can use the open procedure at their discretion. However, when the value of the contract exceeds the EU public procurement thresholds, the tender notice must be published in the Diário da República and in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The EU thresholds for 2018 and 2019 are as follows:
- € 5,548,000 for public works contracts;
- € 144;000 for contracts relating to the purchase or rental of movables or the purchase of services when the contracting entity is the State;
- € 221,000 for contracts relating to the purchase or rental of movables or the purchase of services when the contracting entity is other than the State (considered for this purpose as the Central Direct Administration).

2.5) What is an urgent open procedure?

Pursuant to Article 155 of the PPC, an urgent open procedure shall be communicated through an announcement in the Diário da República and the deadline for tender submission is significantly short as it is calculated in hours, namely:

- No more than 24 hours for contracts relating to the purchase or rental of movables or the purchase of services, provided that only working days are taken into account for the whole deadline;
- No more than 72 hours for public works contracts, provided that only working days are taken into account for calculating the deadline.

2.5.1) When can an urgent procedure be used?

This type of procedure can be used whenever there is an urgent need to conclude a contract for the rental or purchase or movables or the purchase of mainstream services, or a public works contract, provided that the requirements laid down in Article 155(a) and (b) are met:
(a) The value of the contract does not exceed:
(i) € 144,000 for contracts relating to the purchase or rental of movables or the purchase of services, if the contracting entity is the State;
(ii) € 221,000 for contracts relating to the purchase or rental of movables or the purchase of services, if the contracting entity is other than the State;
(iii) € 300,000 for public works contracts.
(b) The most economically advantageous tender as the award criterion, when assessing either the price or the cost, is the only aspect of the intended contract.

2.6) What is a restricted procedure?

This is a competitive procedure that is publicised in the Diário da República and in the Official Journal of the European Union if the value of the contract to be awarded exceeds the EU thresholds (see Article 162 et seq. of the PPC).
This procedure is composed of two procedural stages:
(a) The first stage includes the submission of applications and the qualification of the applicants;
(b) The second stage includes the submission and assessment of tenders and the award of the contract.

2.6.1.) When can the restricted procedure be used?

It can be used whenever the contracting entity considers that it is necessary to assess the economic operators’ technical and/or financial capacity.
It should be noted that, as a rule, the minimum standards in terms of financial capacity cannot exceed double the value of the contract (see Article 165(3)).

2.7) What is a negotiated procedure?

Like the restricted procedure, the negotiated procedure is also characterised by a qualification stage, with the particularity that applicants (who have been previously selected) can improve the attributes of their tenders in a negotiation stage.


2.7.1) When can a negotiated procedure be used?

Contracting entities can use the negotiated procedure when the requirements laid down in the points of Article 29(1) of the PPC are met:
(a) Their needs cannot be fulfilled without customizing easily available solutions;
(b) The goods or services include the design of innovative solutions; 
(c) It is objectively impossible to award the contract without prior negotiation due to specific circumstances related to its nature, complexity, legal or financial make-up, or because of the risks associated with it;
(d) It is objectively impossible to precisely define the technical specifications.

2.8) What is a competitive dialogue procedure?

It is a procedure that is used when the contracting entity has identified their needs but does not know how to fulfil them.
Like the restricted procedure, it is characterised by a qualification stage, with the particularity that before the submission of tenders there is a stage for the submission of solutions and dialogue with the selected applicants. Within this procedure the specifications are drafted only after the dialogue on the solution has ended (see Article 207(3)).
It should be noted that, unlike the negotiated procedure, negotiating the applicants’ tenders is unacceptable.

2.8.1.) When can the competitive dialogue be used?

Contracting entities can use the negotiated procedure when the requirements laid down in the points of Article 29(1) of the PPC are met:
(a) Their needs cannot be fulfilled without customizing easily available solutions;
(b) The goods or services include the design of innovative solutions; 
(c) It is objectively impossible to award the contract without prior negotiation due to specific circumstances related to its nature, complexity, legal or financial make-up, or because of the risks associated with it;
(d) It is objectively impossible to precisely define the technical specifications by reference to a standard, a European technical approval, common technical specifications or a technical reference.

2.9) What is an innovation partnership?

It is a procedure that is intended for the research and development of innovative products, services or works, with a view to the subsequent purchase of such products, services or works, provided that they correspond to the previously agreed performance levels and maximum costs.

2.9.1) When can the innovation partnership be used?

This procedure can be used when the contracting entity wishes to purchase a product, a service or a public work with specific characteristics that are not available on the market. The objective is to find a partner or partners who conduct research and development activities in order to, possibly, purchase the result of such activities.

 3. Using the public procurement portal

3.1) What the use of this Portal?

This Portal (called BASE) is designed to centralize the most important information on all pre-contractual procedures, which must be carried out electronically (dematerialised) as required by the PPC. The Portal is a virtual space where the elements relating to the formation and performance of public contracts are publicised, thus enabling their follow-up and monitoring.

3.2) How can I search for a contract on the BASE?

This new version of the BASE represents a further step towards transparency in Public Administration, through the extensive dissemination of information on public procurement.
Starting from an information base that encompasses all kinds of contractual procedures, the portal includes a flexible dynamic area where you can search for contracts, by browsing through the different stages of the procedures and related information.

3.3) How can I fulfil the obligation to publicise set out in the Public Procurement Code?

Go to the restricted area of the BASE Portal and use the available options for reporting. These services are only available for users authenticated by the authentication service of the Imprensa Nacional – Casa da Moeda, S.A. (the Portuguese Mint and Official Printing Office).
The Public Procurement Portal (BASE Portal) also uses this authentication service. 
Therefore, for any doubts concerning user registration and access to the BASE Portal, please contact the INCM services:
E-mail: e-anuncio@incm.pt 
Fax: 213 945 716 
Call Center: 217 810 870


3.4) Is it necessary to have a pass-word or is the access to and completion of the forms available to everyone?

Only authenticated users have access to the reporting services provided by the Public Procurement Portal. The authentication service (“user name” and “PIN”) in use is that from the Imprensa Nacional – Casa da Moeda, S.A. Therefore, if you are not an authorised user, please contact the authentication service of the Imprensa Nacional – Casa da Moeda, S.A. and register.

3.5) Will all public pre-contractual procedures be publicised on this Portal?
Yes, one of the main functions of this Portal is precisely to centralise the publication of all notices of public pre-contractual procedures, even though they must published in the Diário da República Eletrónico as well.

3.6) Is it necessary to publicise direct awards and prior consultations?

Both direct awards and prior consultations must be publicised on this Portal, regardless of the contract value in question (Article 127 of the PPC).
The effectiveness of the contract, be it in writing or not, shall be dependent on its publication, namely for payment purposes.
Pursuant to Article 128(3), that publication shall not be required for simplified procedures.
Contracts shall be publicised after the contracting entity has transmitted the relevant report on the procedure (the Relatório de Contratação, for public works contracts, or the Relatório de Formação de Contrato for contracts relating to the supply of goods or services).

3.7) How and when can direct awards and prior consultations be published on this Portal?

A direct award or a prior consultation shall be published after the conclusion of the contract. In order to report a direct award or a prior consultation, please go to the Restricted Area of the BASE, and, on the options menu, report the procedure (in case it has not been conducted through an electronic platform). 
If the procedure has been conducted through an electronic platform, please search for it in the list of procedures and access its details. 
Then, complete the Relatório de Contratação (for public works contracts) or the Relatório de Formação de Contrato (for contracts for the supply of goods or services). 
Reports can only be completed by authenticated users. The authentication service used to that effect is that of the Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda.”

3.8) How can I be informed about the contracts concluded as a result of a direct award or a prior consultation procedure?

No notice has to be published in advance for any direct award or prior consultation procedure. However, the PPC establishes that all contracts concluded as a result of a direct award or prior consultation procedure must be published on this Portal, by completing a specific form with the relevant information regarding each contract.

3.9) How does the publication of procurement notices take place?

All notices concerning pre-contractual procedures (open procedure, restricted procedure, negotiated procedure, competitive dialogue and innovation partnership) shall be published in the Diário da República Eletrónico and publicised on this Portal at the same time (except direct awards and prior consultation, which do not require any prior notice).
The contracting entity shall complete, on the Diário da República Eletrónico website, an online notice form that will be published within no more than 24 hours (or in real time if it is an urgent open procedure). Notices are available on this Portal and can be viewed by anyone who might be interested. Decrees on the PPC provide that protocols may be concluded between electronic platforms and the INCM, the body responsible for editing the Diário da República, with a view to developing the necessary tools to enable the completion of notice forms directly on platforms.

3.10) Are there any other notices besides those published on this Portal?

All notices shall be published on this Portal. 
However, there also those notices that the contracting entity must publish in the Official Journal of the European Union when a public works contract or a contract for the purchase or rental of goods or the purchase of services is equal to or exceeds the EU thresholds (i.e. € 5,548,000 for public works contracts; € 144,000 for the purchase of goods or services by the State Estado; € 22,000, for the purchase of goods or services by any other contracting entity). 
Tender notices relating to the concession of public works (be it an open procedure, a restricted procedure or a negotiated procedure) must always be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

4. Using electronic platforms

4.1) Where can I find the procedure documents?

The procedure documents (namely the programme and the specifications) are available for download at the electronic platform used by the contracting entity.

4.2) Does access to the procedure documents involve any costs?

The procedure documents shall be fully, openly and freely available at the electronic procurement platform from the date of the publication of the notice.

4.3) Where must applications and tenders be submitted?

Applicants and tenderers must submit their applications and tenders by uploading them to the electronic platform used by the contracting entity.

4.4) How must tenders and applications be submitted?

Computer files containing applications and tenders must be uploaded to the electronic platform used by the contracting entity. Decree-Law 143-A/2008 of 25 July 2008 defines the characteristics of such files (ex. g. encryption, time stamping, type of electronic signature, etc.).

4.5) How can I have access to the lists of applicants and tenderers and consult their applications and tenders?

Lists of applicants and tenderers are published on the electronic platform used by the contracting entity and their applications and tenders can be consulted on that same platform.

4.6) How can I consult the applications and tenders submitted by other applicants/tenderers?

On the day following the end of the deadline for the submission of applications or tenders, a list containing the identification of all applicants or tenderers shall be published on the electronic platform used by the contracting entity. Each applicant or tenderer shall receive a login and a password that will enable them to consult the other applications or tenders online.

4.7) When shall the prior hearing be held?

The contracting entity shall send a preliminary report to the candidates or tenderers by e-mail or any other means of written and electronic data transmission. Applicants or tenderers shall use the same means to submit their comments under the prior hearing procedure. In any event, electronic platforms used by contracting entities must be prepared to ensure that the prior hearing stage can be conducted directly on those platforms.

4.8) How shall communications/notifications between the contracting entity and the applicants or tenderers be made?

According to the PPC, communications and notifications between the contracting entity and the applicants or tenderers shall be made by e-mail or by any other means of written and electronic data transmission. In any event, electronic platforms used by contracting entities must be prepared to ensure that communications and notifications can be made on those platforms.