Decree-Law 18/2020, published on 23 April 2020, enacted an amendment to Decree-Law 10-A/2020, of 13 March (“Decree Law 10-A/2020”) – which foresees a set of excepcional and temporary measures in order to tackle the current pandemic caused by COVID-19 – by introducing a new article (article 2-A).
In brief, pursuant to the novel article 2-A, awarding entities may adopt a simplified direct award procedure for the execution of purchase of goods and services contracts destined to face COVID-19, namely:
- Personal protective equipment;
- Goods that may be required to undertake COVID-19 testing;
- Goods and equipment to be used in intensive care units (ICUs)
- Medical device;
- Logistic and transport services, including air transport, in regard to the purchases of goods and equipment referred to in the previous paragraphs, as well as their distribution to entities under the control of the Ministry of Health and other public or public interest authorities.
Awarding entities may adopt a simplified award procedure regardless of the contractual price an up to the limit of the budgetary allocation. Nevertheless, this procedure may only be adopted when strictly necessary and on grounds of extreme urgency.
This procedure shall only be launched by Direção-Geral da Saúde, Administração Central do Sistema de Saúde, I. P., Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge, I.P. and Serviços Partilhados do Ministério da Saúde, E. P. E. (SPMS, E. P. E.) as to the goods and equipment to be provided to entities under the control of the Ministry of Health.
In addition, (i) the simplified award procedure referred to above shall not be subject to the limits set out in article 113/2 and 5 of the Public Contracts Code (“PCC”), (ii) awarding entities are not required to adopt a prior consultation procedure (invitation of more than one economic operator) whenever possible and (iii) advance payment of the price may take place regardless of the requirements set out in the PCC.