When a contracting authority has awarded a contract, a standstill period commences, which is a prohibition against concluding contracts for a certain period.
If suppliers have been notified of the award decision electronically (e.g. via email), the standstill period shall apply for at least ten days. If a contract is awarded in some other way (e.g. by traditional letter), or both electronically and in some other way, the standstill period shall apply for at least 15 days. The standstill period is calculated from and including the day after the notification of the award decision has been issued. A standstill period means both a prohibition against concluding agreements and a further time limit for the latest when a supplier can apply for a review of the procurement.
If a supplier requests a review of a procurement at an administrative court before an ongoing standstill period has expired, a prolonged standstill period shall apply automatically; this entails a prohibition on concluding agreements during the review process at an administrative court. The prolonged standstill period applies during the processing of the case at the administrative court. A formal interim decision from the court is required by an administrative court of appeal and the Supreme Administrative Court to enable agreements to be concluded prior to the conclusion of the review. After the court has issued a ruling, a 10-day period applies before the contracting authority may conclude an agreement.
The administrative court must have received an application to review a decision to withdraw an invitation for tender before ten or 15 days (depending on the means of communication) have elapsed from when the contracting authority issued notification of the decision to withdraw the invitation for tender and stated the grounds for the decision.
Voluntary standstill period
A standstill period will not start to apply in certain situations, e.g. in the event of the direct award of contracts and when making a call-off under a framework agreement. However, the contracting authority may observe a voluntary standstill period and inform suppliers of this either by voluntary ex ante transparency (direct award of contracts) or in the award decision (calloff). In that way, the suppliers are also afforded an opportunity to request a review in these cases. If a voluntary standstill period has not been observed, a supplier cannot request a review of the procurement but must instead apply for ineffectiveness in respect of the concluded agreement.