AdC signs Memorandum of Understanding with IMPIC for access to public procurement data

Press Release 20/2017

Joint Press Release AdC/IMPIC


The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência – AdC) and the Institute for Public Procurement, Real Estate and Construction (Instituto dos Mercados Públicos, do Imobiliário e da Construção – IMPIC) signed a Memoradum of Understanding (MoU) whereby the AdC will be granted direct and permanent access to the national public procurement database today.

Direct and full access to all the information available on the Public Procurement Portal (BASE portal) and the Public Works Observatory (Observatório das Obras Públicas) will facilitate the detection of bid-rigging in public procurement by the AdC on an ex officio basis, even where no complaint or leniency application has been submitted, and to accelerate the investigation of such practices.

The analysis of this data by the AdC will focus on the enforcement of the principles and rules of competition, and, as such, will complement the analysis carried out by IMPIC in the context of its duties of monitoring and controlling public procurement.
The AdC seeks to detect, among others, collusion between competitors in the form of concerted bids submitted with the aim to rig the bidding process.
This practice results in less favourable conditions than would otherwise arise from effective competition for the State, and thereby for taxpayers, leading to higher prices, lower quality and less innovation.
Since 1 November 2009, procurement procedures carried out under the Portuguese Code of Public Contracts are mandatorily processed on electronic platforms at every stage of the formation of a contract, from the date of the notice of invitation to tender is published to the date of the conclusion of the contract.
This data is collected by the BASE portal given its interoperability with all electronic platforms involved with public procurement procedures.
Until now, the AdC was granted access to the database following specific information requests related to an ongoing investigation. The main alteration, as provided for in Article 454c of the new Portuguese Code of Public Contracts, therefore lies in the way access is granted, as the AdC will now be able to access all the information on contracts available on the electronic platforms, including the BASE portal, directly without the need for an information request.
The data will be analysed by the AdC with quantitative statistical and econometric methods, namely through the application of screens which aim to detect behavioural patterns that indicate collusion.
By signing this MoU, the AdC expects to increase the detection, investigation and sanctioning of bid-rigging in public procurement within the next two years with a view to the efficient functioning of the markets, optimal resource allocation and the protection of consumer interests.
The AdC shall have full access to the data, according to the Portuguese Code of Public Contracts and the Protocol, as of 1 January 2018.

 15 November 2017

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