Public Contracts: complying with the Digitization Regulations thanks to PRO-Q

March 18, 2022

Digitization of procurement procedures is a major thrust of the European Commission’s economic policies. It constitutes a strategic goal for our country – recently reaffirmed in the PNRR and the DDL of delegation for the reform of the Public Contracts Code – with respect to which, despite the steps forward, there is still a long way to go.

Public Contracts: comply with the digitization regulation thanks to PRO-Q

As we have repeatedly reported, eProcurement will play a key role in the transition of government to digital.

Within this framework, the Regulations on the Methods of Digitization of Public Contract Procedures (Decree No. 148, Aug. 12, 2021, Official Gazette No. 256, Oct. 26, 2021, effective Nov. 11) has been published, which sets out only the general principles of the matter and the main rules of operation of telematic systems. The technical specifications are the responsibility of AgID, which will have to forward the appropriate guidelines.

Implementing PRO-Q provides access to a solution that is up-to-date with respect to current regulations, highly customizable and can be integrated with all systems already in use.

The deadline given to contracting stations to adapt their telematics systems is therefore 6 months from the publication of the AgID Guidelines. While waiting, let’s analyze the highlights of the Regulations, so as not to arrive unprepared!

The Tender Dossier

The telematics system must enable the tracking and chronological recording of the operations performed, and the management and preservation of the tender documentation by creating a computer file.

In this regard, we would like to remind you of the regulatory obligations regarding document preservation imposed on the Contracting Station by Art. 99 of Legislative Decree 50/2016 and the Digital Administration Code.

Drafting of tender and bid documents, communications, applications and notifications

For contracting stations, the system enables them to prepare DGUE outlines, to draft/bind a contracting determination outline, to draft and acquire tender documents, and to send any invitations and their attachments.

Instead, it allows economic operators to fill out and enter the electronic DGUE and the bid into the system, sending a message notifying them that the bid has been received and signaling any critical issues with an error message.

The system also allows communications between the contracting station and operators (including with systems that require receipt of acceptance and delivery), for all the main purposes of the tender, such as the preliminary relief, the possible request for clarifications or justifications, the submission of requests for access to the tender documents and the provision of the requested documents, where the prerequisites and requirements under the access regulations are met, as well as the acquisition and notification of the admission or exclusion decision.

Platform interoperability, cybersecurity and data protection

A truly strategic profile is then that of interoperability, which the system must guarantee, with the main platforms used by contracting stations and economic operators, including: PagoPA, in order to allow operators to make telematic payments; Simog, in order to allow the acquisition of the CIG code; the special platforms of MIMS (Ministry of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility) and ANAC, in order to fulfill the obligations of communication, as well as the publication of tender notices and notices; the national database of public contracts (BDNCP), for the communication of exclusion measures, also for the purpose of registration in the ANAC register, the verification of participation requirements, and the communication of the outcomes of the procedure.

Particular emphasis is placed on the fact that telematics systems should ensure the integrity and secrecy of user documents, including through the use of encryption and obfuscation techniques, while also providing for business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

With regard to privacy, the data controller and processor (who must be appropriately identified) must ensure a level of personal data security appropriate to the risk.

Operations of the Contracting Commission

Of particular importance, in allowing the Commission to conduct its meetings in telematic mode and the related minute taking and recording, is the need to ensure the publicity of meetings open to the public and the confidentiality of those that are not public. As well as the separation of the evaluation stages of the individual bid components.

Best Practices

Of particular interest is the requirement that the telematics system be implemented taking into account best practices regarding organizational and work methodologies and programming and planning methodologies, including, for example: integration with computer document management and digital archival storage systems for tender files, interoperability with the accounting systems dof the contracting stations, coordination with eventual deadlines for compliance with regulatory obligations and fulfillments, as well as the integration of tools for the planning of purchases and the collection of requirements useful for the calling of tenders.

***Content produced with the collaboration of Attorney Elena Mitzman, our partner in the legal area.

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