Public Procurement and Competitive Award Procedures in Germany

The history of German public procurement law is a history of attempts by the German legislator to implement EU procurement directives as minimally as possible. Paradoxically, it is also the history of the spread of ‘competitive award procedure’ underlying the public procurement directives to other administrative procedures, often against the explicit will of German government and other ‘stakeholders’. There is a cross-fertilization between minimal standards for competitive procurement procedures and minimal standards (derived from the constitution) for competitive procedures concerning the recruitment of public servants. German case law and administrative practice develop competitive award procedures for procurement beyond the EU thresholds, for privatizations, for financial support, for gambling concessions, etc. However, these trends encounter difficulties because the German General Administrative Procedure Act is not tailored to competitive award procedures.