The French public procurement code (code de la commande publique (hereinafter the “CCP”)) provides for intermediary thresholds in addition to those resulting from European directives. Nevertheless, the fundamental principles of public procurement, such as equal access to public procurement and transparency, must be observed regardless of the value of the contract (even below EUR 25,000; this and all following amounts in EUR are always understood without VAT).
- Contracts below EUR 25,000 may be concluded without prior publication; the same applies to lots whose amount is below EUR 25,000 when the conditions provided for in article R2123-4 of the CCP are met. The contracting authority must nevertheless choose a relevant offer, make good use of public money and refrain from systematically contracting with the same economic operator when the contracting authority’s needs may be met by several other operators (art. R2122-8 and R2123-4 of the CCP).
- The conditions for the publication and competition processes can be freely determined by the contracting authority (procédure adaptée), provided they are adapted to the object and specifics of the contract, the number and location of the economic operators likely to be interested in the contract and the circumstances of the contract to be concluded for (i) contracts whose estimated value is below the thresholds mentioned below and for (ii) lots of a contract whose estimated value is equal to or exceeds the European thresholds when the following two conditions are met: (a) the estimated value of each concerned lot is below EUR 80,000 for supply and services contracts or EUR 1,000,000 for works contracts and (b) the aggregate value of these lots does not exceed 20% of the total estimated value of the contract (art. R2123-1, 1° and 2° and R2123-4 of the CCP).
- Contracting authorities may also resort to the procedure referred to as “adaptée”, regardless of the value of the relevant contract, for (i) contracts for social and other specific services and for (ii) contracts for legal services involving (a) the representation of the contracting authority in judicial proceedings or (b) legal advice given in preparation of any of these proceedings when there is tangible evidence or strong likelihood that the issue that requires legal advice will give rise to this type of proceedings (art. R2123-1, 3° and 4° of the CCP).
- For contracts worth between EUR 90,000 and the thresholds mentioned below, when the contracting authority is the French State, a public national institution that does not have an industrial and commercial nature (établissement public de l’Etat autre qu’à caractère industriel et commercial), a public local entity, institution or grouping (collectivité territoriale, établissement public local or groupement de collectivités territoriales), a contract notice has to be published either in the BOAMP or in a newspaper authorized to publish legal announcements. The contracting authority must decide whether, according to the nature or amount of the products, services or works concerned, a notice in a specialized newspaper for the economic sector involved or in the Official Journal of the European Union is also necessary to guarantee the appropriate information reaches any reasonably vigilant economic operators that might be interested in the contract (art. R2131-12, 2° of the CCP).
Contracting authorities involved
Central government authorities and central public institutions
Local government authorities and local public institutions, public health institutions (hospitals)
Utility services sector (water, energy, transport and postal services)
- For contracts whose values exceed the European thresholds, a contract notice also has to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.