EU legislation already provides public buyers in Member States with flexible solutions for rapidly satisfying urgent needs such as purchasing personal protective equipment, medicines and ventilators, to be supplied to those who need them as quickly as possible.
Commissioner Thierry Breton, in charge of the Internal Market, said: “Public buyers are under immense pressure in the current emergency situation to ensure the availability of personal protective equipment such as face masks and protective gloves, of lifesaving ventilators and other medical supplies for all of those working relentlessly in the face of this crisis. I want to help them by fully explaining all the flexibilities and solutions provided by the EU public procurement framework to buy such material fast. The current coronavirus crisis presents an extreme and unforeseeable urgency – precisely for such a situation our European rules enable public buyers to buy within a matter of days, even hours, if necessary. I urge all public buyers to fully exploit these flexibilities and to not hesitate and ask for further guidance from the Commission if needed.”
The guidance outlines the options and flexibilities provided by the EU legislation. It provides an overview of the choice of tendering procedures available to public buyers and applicable deadlines. The guidance points out possibilities, which range from considerable shortening of the generally applicable deadlines to procuring without prior publication of tender notices in exceptional circumstances, such as the extreme urgency linked to the fight against the coronavirus. It also provides clarification for example on how in this situation of scarcity of key supplies public buyers could find alternative solutions and ways of engaging with the market.