Direct Public Procurement: Decrees No. 260/2020 and No. 287/2020 | Administrative Terms Suspension: Decree No. 298/2020.
Public Law Department Report | Direct Public Procurement: Decrees No. 260/2020 and No. 287/2020 | Administrative Terms Suspension: Decree No. 298/2020
Dear Sir or Madam,
Within the state of sanitary emergency currently in force, the National Executive Branch authorized direct public procurement measures and suspended the terms of administrative procedures:
1. Direct public contracting: through Decree No. 260/2020, the Federal Health Ministry was exempted form complying with standard public procurement procedures and, thus, authorized to contract by direct means all goods, services, and equipment necessary to respond to the sanitary emergency. Nevertheless, all direct contracting procedures must be published later. By means of Decree No. 287/2020, said exemption and authorization were extended to all of the Federal Administration –centralized and decentralized– as well as to State-owned companies.
Furthermore, by means of Administrative Decision No. 409/2020, the Federal Chief of Cabinet of Ministers stated that direct public contracting procedures shall comply with general procurement principles mentioned in Section 3 of the Public Administration Procurement Regime; namely, reasonableness, maximum participation of potential offerors, transparency, publicity and diffusion, the responsibility of public officials and fairness of treatment between interested parties and offerors. Furthermore, this Administrative Decision sets forth the guidelines applicable to said direct public contracting procedures.
2. Terms suspension in administrative procedures: on March 20th, the Federal Executive Branch issued Decree No. 298/2020, by means of which it suspended all terms in ongoing administrative procedures between March 20th through March 31st, 2020. Such suspension applies both to general administrative procedures under Law No. 19,549 – National Administrative Procedures Act–, as well as special administrative procedures regulated by sectoral legislation. Administrative procedures related to the health emergency are exempted from suspension.
Said suspension of terms does not affect: (i) statutory limitations to sue the Federal Government, (ii) the 90-days deadline to sue the Federal Government nor (iii) deadlines for filing judicial appeals since said terms must be computed in judicial working days. Nonetheless, said terms are also suspended during the extraordinary judicial recess, which will be in effect from March 20th through March 31st, 2020, both dates included (Federal Supreme Court’s Resolution 6/2020). In accordance with the Federal Supreme Court’s Resolution 6/2020, during the extraordinary judicial recess, all judicial proceedings and terms will be also suspended, except for urgent matters such as criminal procedures, family matters or healthcare access requests.
Should you require any further information on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Juan A. Stupenengo
Santiago J. Barbarán