Pre-contractual remedies are on the rise according to the PCRB’s 2022 annual report

A report on the workings of the Public Contracts Review Board (PCRB) in 2022 has been published recently.

According to this report, the PCRB has decided 157 cases in 2022 on tenders whose combined estimated financial value was just over €282 million. The PCRB has rejected and upheld, 50.3% and 49.7%, respectively, of the challenges it decided.

Challenges against procurement procedures before the closing date of tenders have increased in 2022 after a dip in 2020 and 2021. These challenges are more commonly referred to as “pre-contractual remedies”. It is submitted that this dip in 2020 and 2021 was due to far-reaching amendments made by the legislator in Q4 2019 and Q2 2020. This increase is a positive development, and it shows that market players have adapted and are bringing such challenges despite the restrictions put in place. However, pre-contractual remedies filed in 2022 remain at around 45% of the remedies filed in 2019 before these amendments.

The Report also found that most tenders challenged related to the health sector.

The Report contains a foreword by the current Chairman of the PCRB, a statistical report and a copy of all cases decided in 2022.

The PCRB is the body of first instance which is tasked to hear public procurement challenges in Malta in terms of the Remedies Directive.

The Report was laid on the table of Malta’s House of Representatives on 19 June 2023 by the Minister for Finance and Employment.

A copy of the full report can be found here.

Please contact Clement Mifsud-Bonnici and Calvin Calleja in case of any queries.