Approval of new Public Procurement Law in Costa Rica

Alonso Miranda

On May 18th, 2021, the Legislative Assembly approved, in a second debate, bill No. 21,546 General Law of Public Procurement, which standardizes the public procurement regime in Costa Rica and repeals the current Administrative Procurement Law.

This bill establishes a single public procurement regime and obliges all Government institutions to migrate to a unified digital system for the processing of all their purchases. The new public procurement model aims for the State to save an equivalent to 1.55% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as well as transparency in each of the stages of the contracting cycle.

Among the most relevant changes established by the new law is the imposition of fines on bidders for the presentation of reckless appeals that intend to hinder the contracting processes, which oscillate between 0.5% and 1% of the applicable threshold’s amount according to the type of tender in which they participate.

The law will enter into force 18 months after its publication in the Official Journal “La Gaceta”, so that all bidders must comply with the provisions set forth in the new General Public Procurement Law in order to contract with the Government.

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