NEWS

Council of State blocks gov't bill on public contracts

Legislative provisions being prepared by the government that would change existing laws governing public contracts and public works have run up against the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, which has deemed the planned changes “unnecessary” and “unconstitutional,” Kathimerini understands.

By declaring the provisions to be unconstitutional, the court’s plenary session has effectively blocked them, Kathimerini has learned.

The provisions that authorities had wanted to pass would have amended a law passed in 2010 relating to public contracts and public works. The provision foresaw the transfer of responsibility for tackling legal issues relating to public contracts from the Council of State to a yet-to-be-formed 31-member administrative body.

Anticipating the submission of the planned reform in Parliament, the president of the Council of State, Nikos Sakellariou, convened the court’s plenary session and asked its members to rule on the proposed changes. After a discussion that sources described as “exhaustive,” a majority of judges in the court’s plenary session ruled the proposed changes to be “unnecessary” and in violation of the Greek Constitution.

In a lengthy reasoning compiled by the plenary session, the judges agreed that the proposed changes would not accelerate the dispensation of justice and, indeed, would lead to “delays and complications.” The judges further noted there is “an issue of trust” as relates to the proposed administrative body.

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