Enforcement of Ineffectiveness of Unlawfully Modified Public Contracts

Author:Mari Ann Simovart

Any substantial modification of a public contract needs to be carried out via a new award procedure, and failure to conduct that procedure can lead to ineffectiveness of the relevant contract. However, ineffectiveness of an unlawfully modified public contract can be accompanied by the wider legal implications and fundamental contradictions that this article is intended to ‘map’. To this end, the... (see full summary)

Mari Ann Simovart
Associate Professor of Civil Law
University of Tartu
Enforcement of Ineffectiveness
of Unlawfully Modi ed
Public Contracts*1
Originating from the general principles of the EU public procurement law, the restrictions on modifying
public contracts have been developed further by the EU legislator in the 2014 public and utilities procure-
ment directives.*2 The directives follow the rationale of the CJEU case law,*3 prohibiting any substantial
modi cation of public contracts, and introduce detailed criteria for distinguishing acceptable contract mod-
i cations from unacceptable (substantial) ones.
While the criterion of materiality as a measure of an amendment’s lawfulness has received a good amount
of attention in legal literature,*4 equal attention has not been paid to wider legal implications and possible
contradictions that can accompany the enforcement of these rules, particularly when the interaction with
national legal systems of the EU is taken into account.
Қ This work is supported by Estonian Research Council grant PUTҟҜҢ.
қ Directive қҙҚҝ/қҜ/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of қҟ February қҙҚҝ on the award of concession
contracts, OJ L Ңҝ, қҡ/ҙҜ/қҙҚҝ, pp. Қҟҝ (the Concessions Directive); Directive қҙҚҝ/қҝ/EU of the European Parliament
and of the Council of қҟ February қҙҚҝ on public procurement and repealing Directive қҙҙҝ/Қҡ/EC; OJ L Ңҝ, қҡ/Ҝ/қҙҚҝ,
pp. ҟҞқҝқ (the Public Procurement Directive); Directive қҙҚҝ/қҞ/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council
of қҟ February қҙҚҝ on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors and
repealing Directive қҙҙҝ/ҚҠ/EC OJ L Ңҝ, қҡ/Ҝ/қҙҚҝ, pp. қҝҜҜҠҝ (the Utilities Directive).
Ҝ Commission of the European Communities v. CAS Succhi di Frutta SpA, case C-ҝҟҢ/ҢҢ P, ECLI:EU:C:қҙҙҝ:қҜҟ; pressetext
Nachrichtenagentur GmbH v. Republik Österreich (Bund), APA-OTS Originaltext-Service GmbH and APA Austria Presse
Agentur registrierte Genossenschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, case C-ҝҞҝ/ҙҟ, ECLI:EU:C:қҙҙҡ:ҜҞҚ; Wall AG v. La ville
de Francfort-sur-le-Main and Frankfurter Entsorgungs- und Service (FES) GmbH, case C-ҢҚ/ҙҡ, ECLI:EU:C:қҙҚҙ:Қҡқ.
ҝ A. Brown. When do changes to an existing public contract amount to the award of a new contract for the purpose of the EU
procurement rules? Guidance at last in case C-ҝҞҝ/ҙҟ. – Public Procurement Law Review , қҙҙҡ, pp. NAқҞҜқҟҠ; K.
Hartlev, M.W. Liljenbøl. Changes to existing contracts under the EU public procurement rules and the drafting of review
clauses to avoid the need for a new tender. – Public Procurement Law Review , қҙҚҜ; S. Treumer. Regulation of contract
changes leading to a duty to retender the contract: The European Commission’s proposals of December қҙҚҚ. – Public
Procurement Law Review , қҙҚқ; S. Treumer. Contract changes and the duty to retender under the new EU public procure-
ment Directive. – Public Procurement Law Review , қҙҚҝ; M.A. Simovart. Lepinguvabaduse piirid riigihankes: Euroopa
Liidu hankeõiguse mõju Eesti eraõigusele [‘Limits to Freedom of Contract: the In uence of EC Public Procurement Law on
Estonian Private Law’], doctoral thesis], қҙҚҙ, available at https://dspace.utlib.ee/dspace/bitstream/handle/Қҙҙҟқ/ҚҞҚҝҡ/
simovart_mari_ann.pdf?sequence=Ҟ (most recently accessed on Қҟ.Ҝ.қҙҚҟ); M.A. Simovart. Amendments to procurement
contracts: Estonian law in the light of the Pressetext ruling. – Juridica International қҙҚҙ, No. Қ, pp. ҚҞҚҚҟҙ, available at
http://www.juridicainternational.eu/index.php?id=ҚҝҞҡҚ (most recently accessed on Қҟ.Ҝ.қҙҚҟ); Hankelepingu lubatud ja
keelatud muudatused uute riigihankedirektiivide ülevõtmise järel [‘Permitted and Prohibited Amendments After Transposi-
tion of the New Public Procurement Directives’]. Juridica қҙҚҟ/I, pp. Ҟқҟҙ.

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