Commission closes infringement case against Germany

Wednesday November 11th, 2009

The European Commission has decided to close an infringement case against Germany. The case related to the award of information technology supply and service contracts by local and regional authorities in Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia to public IT service providers.

The Commission examined the practice of awarding IT contracts to public entities in Germany, specifically a City of Hamburg contract for the supply and maintenance of software applications; a contract in which the cities of Bochum and Dortmund agreed the delegation of a technical operation between the two cities; and a contract in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in which Zweckverband Kommunale Datenverarbeitungszentrale Rhein-Erft-Rur (KDVZ) concluded a public law agreement for the supply and operation of a software application.

The European Court of Justice rendered two judgments in which they confirmed that the specifics of this public-public cooperation case did not require the application of public procurement procedures. The ECJ also issued a judgment in June 2009 (C-480/06, Commission vs Germany), specifying that public-public cooperation does not require the creation of jointly controlled entities in relation to the North Rhine-Westphalia case.

It is now the view of the Commission that these cases of public-public cooperation in Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia fall within the scope of application of the ECJ case law referred to above, and thus the case can be closed.

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