Due do the actual state of emergency declared by the Government and the corresponding guidelines that have been issued to prevent the Coronavirus (Covid-19) from spreading, its essential to know the main implications of this situation on tenders in process and contracts that are in execution under the Public Procurement Regulations.
What happens with the pending terms at the General Comptroller´s Office?
To this date, the Division of Public Procurement of the General Comptroller´s Office has not issued a resolution that in any way establishes the suspension of the terms regarding the objection to the terms and conditions of the bid, the appeals against the award of the bidding or the approval of certain contracts on behalf of this institution. Therefore, the current terms related with the General Comptroller´s Office have not been modified and are running in accordance to the terms of each contract or the applicable regulations.
The General Controller´s Office is closed but all the documents that have to be delivered should be sent to the email address [email protected], using pdf format and should be signed using the digital signature. The capacity of the documents should not exceed the 20 MB and sending compressed files should be avoided.
What happens to the terms to deliver tenders?
The Integrated System of Public Purchases (SICOP) is working under its regular hours, the email address is: [email protected] and its phone number is 4060 2525 with business hours from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. In the case of an emergency one should contact the phone number 8523-7486 of Yorleny Crawford.
The recommendation is to be constantly checking for any communication from the Authorities of Administration of each contract because they are the responsible to inform of any change made to the terms of the tender in process. If you haven´t received any alert from the Administration of the contract all the terms stay the same.
What happens with the execution of the contracts?
In accordance with the article 210 of the Regulations of the Public Procurement Law, during the execution of the contract, the Administration can declare through a motivated resolution upon the contractor´s request or because of its own decision, the suspension of the term of the contract for six and up to twelve months. The resolution should include full details regarding the part of the contract that has been executed until the date of the suspension, its current status, who is obliged to protect the already executed part and the measures that are going to be implemented to guarantee the financial equilibrium of the contract. The Administration will emit a resolution putting an end to the suspension of the contact.
The contractor can claim compensation of the damages caused by the suspension of the term of the contact using a reference or list detailing the prices of each of the additional costs that had to assume because of this situation.
If the contractor does not receive any formal notification of the administration, he has to continue with the execution of the contract under the terms and conditions that for were established for these effects.
In case of doubt or if the contractor is having a difficult time continuing with the execution of the contract, it is recommended to deliver a note or a direct request for the suspension of the term of the contract.
However, as long as he has not received the express resolution with the suspension of the contract, the contractor is obliged to continue with the execution of his duties and obligations.
We have a 24/7 service to address your legal queries related to the effects of COVID-19 in your company. Contact us through our Help Desk for immediate assistance at: h[email protected]. Access to our Media Room for further information about legal aspects related to Coronavirus in Central America at this link.