20.01.2022 Civil Code

Public contracts – key changes from 2022

From 1 January 2022, new EU thresholds ​​for public contracts start to apply. The EUR / PLN conversion rate is also higher.

The new thresholds for public contracts were published on 11 November 2021 in the European Commission regulation and in the announcement of the President of the Public Procurement Office of 15 December 2021. 

Public contracts – higher EU thresholds and new currency conversion rate 

New thresholds applicable in the EU in 2022

Type of contract

Contracting authority

Threshold 2021


Threshold 2022



Threshold 2022 (PLN) (PLN/EUR conversion rate 4.4536)

Supplies and services

public finance




local government




sectoral, defence and security




Construction works

all contracting authorities




Social services and other specific services





sectoral, defence and security




The above table applies the new EUR/PLN conversion rate effective from January 2022 – PLN 4.4536 for EUR 1 (in the previous year it was PLN 4.2693 for EUR 1).

It is the average exchange rate of the Polish zloty against the euro, constituting the basis for converting the value of public contracts or tenders, determined on the basis of the amounts specified in the European Commission Communication on corresponding values of the thresholds of Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU, 2014/25/EU and 2009/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.

Public contracts – new regulations in force from 2022

On 1 January 2022, numerous important regulations on public procurement, interesting for economic operators, came into force, including:

  • regulation on the method of calculating the life cycle costs of buildings and how to provide information on these costs (replacing the 2018 regulation);
  • regulation on detailed scope and form of design documentation and technical specification for the execution and acceptance of construction works, as well as the functional and operational program (replacing the 2004 regulation);
  • regulation on the information included in the annual report on awarded contracts, its template and method of communication (replacing the 2016 regulation);
  • regulation on mandatory tender evaluation criteria other than price for certain types of public contracts (replacing the 2011 regulation).

Public contracts – changes introduced in 2021

In 2021, new regulations, more favourable for economic operators, came into force. Amendments to the Public Procurement Law 2021 included a number of implemented solutions, including:

  • Introduction of separate rules for domestic and EU contracts:
    • a clearly different procedure for the EU contracts (i.e. of value above the EU thresholds) from domestic contracts – of lower values,
    • increased importance and emphasis on the negotiation procedures in domestic contracts,
    • removal of the price inquiry procedure and unlimited tendering for the award of contracts for publicly available services and supplies,
  • Mandatory digitalization of domestic contracts;
  • Change of the basic procedure for domestic contracts:
    • removal of unlimited tendering procedure for domestic contracts,
    • introducing a new procedure to the catalogue of domestic procedures – the basic procedure with three variants that differ substantially in terms of the negotiation component – the first not allowing for negotiation, the second only in terms of tender evaluation criteria to be assessed, and the third in an even wider scope,
  • Tender security deposit solutions:
    • no mandatory tender security deposit in procedures with a value equal to or exceeding the EU thresholds,
    • change in the maximum amount of tender security deposit – EU procedures – maximum 3%, domestic procedures – maximum 1.5%,
    • return of tender security deposit no later than 7 days from the expiry of deadline for concluding the contract, being bound by the tender or cancelling the procedure,
    • the contractor may apply for an earlier return of tender security deposit (note: submitting an application for return of tender security results in the contractor losing the right to adopt legal remedies, e.g. it will not be able to question the selected bid,
  • Arrangements determining the time limits of being bound by the tender:
    • 90 days for procedures above the EU thresholds,
    • 30 days for contract below the EU thresholds,
    • 120 days for procedures of a value equal or exceeding EUR 20 million for construction works or EUR 10 million for supplies and services,
  • Reducing the catalogue of obligatory grounds to qualify the contractors and new facultative conditions (the contracting authority decides) and obligatory grounds for exclusion of a contractor from the contract award procedure,
  • Introducing the principle of proportionality of exclusion – the contracting authority does not have to exclude an economic operator if the exclusion concerns minor issues, such as, for example, small payment arrears on the part of the economic operator,
  • Extending the scope of the appeal – the contractor has gained the right to appeal also due to a failure to conduct the contract award procedure or due to the proposed contractual provisions,
  • Introducing provisions regulating out-of-court dispute resolution,
  • Introducing the principle of equal treatment of economic operators – prohibition of discriminating against and favouring contractors,
  • Introducing the confidentiality rule – disclosure by the contractor of technical and commercial information to other parties to the procedure only with the contractor’s written consent,
  • Ensuring that abusive clauses are not used.

In 2021, it was decided that all announcements and plans for public procurement procedures and their updates will be published in one place only – the Public Procurement Bulletin. All advertisements in one place are a great help for both contracting authorities and potential contractors.

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