PUBLIC PROCUREMENT LAW IN AUSTRIA – A BRIEF OVERVIEW
Prof. Dr. Christoph Krönke
Austrian public procurement law applies primarily to the traditional subdivisions of the state (i.e. the federal state, the Länder and the municipalities), but also, of course, to both public and private law institutions that are subject to state control and were established for the specific purpose of fulfilling non-commercial tasks in the general interest. It is precisely the personal applicability of public procurement law to municipalities and smaller public institutions that sometimes presents them with considerable challenges. For small and medium-sized government units with limited human and material resources, as many Austrian municipalities are, public procurement law with its sometimes very complex and detailed requirements can be a real obstacle.
The legal sources of Austrian national procurement law consist primarily of the Federal Act on the Award of Contracts (Bundesvergabegesetz 2018 – BVergG 2018), the Federal Act on the Award of Concession Contracts (Bundesvergabegesetz Konzessionen 2018 – BVergGKonz 2018) and the Federal Act on the Award of Contracts in the Defence and Security Sector (Bundesvergabegesetz Verteidigung und Sicherheit 2012 – BVergGVS 2012) as well as the review laws of the Länder, which regulate the review procedure as far as contracting entities falling within the scope of enforcement of the Länder are concerned. The BVergG 2018 applies primarily to the award of works, supply and service contracts. The award of works and service concessions is subject to the BVergGKonz 2018. The BVergGVS 2012 regulates the procurement of services in the defence and security sector. In principle, the laws apply to all procurement transactions, irrespective of the value of the contract or concession, but to a certain degree, different rules apply to contracts or concessions in the areas above or below the European thresholds. The Austrian legislator deliberately refrained from gold plating and opted for a 1:1 transposition of the European directives into national law. So far, no major problems or errors have occurred in the implementation of the 2014 directives.
Websites for the legislation:
BVergG 2018: https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=20010295
BVergGKonz 2018: https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=20010294
BVergGVS 2012: https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=20007693