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Case:
D. 1999, 627 Case Président de l’Assemblée nationale
Date:
05 March 1999
Translated by:
Tony Weir
Copyright:
Professor B. S. Markesinis

D. 1999, 627
Case Président de l’Assemblée nationale

5 March 1999

On the point of jurisdiction:

Given that transactions for the execution of public works entered into by the Houses of Parliament are administrative contracts; that, consequently, notwithstanding the terms of article 8 of the ordinance of 17 November 1958, disputed decisions relating to contracts entered into in the name of the state for services to these Houses fall within the jurisdiction of the administrative tribunals, and that the same is true of transactions entered into for the use of such installations in the Houses, provided that these contracts are administrative in nature;

Given that in the light of what has been said the President of the National Assembly cannot maintain that the administrative tribunals have no jurisdiction to inquire into the request by Gilaudy Electronics that the administrative tribunal annul decisions made in relation to transactions for the installation and management of audiovisual equipment for the National Assembly;

On the legality of the decisions in question:

Given that in the absence of any special rules laid down by the relevant authorities of the National Assembly, the Code of Public Contracts must apply to the transactions in question;

Given that so far as the contract for the installation of the audiovisual equipment is concerned, the Code of Public Contracts, in the form in force at the time, lays down the following in its article 97: “The administration may not reject a tender which seems to it to be abnormally low unless it first calls in writing for details of the composition of the tender and checks such details in the light of the explanations offered”; that it emerges from the dossier that the tender put forward by Gilaudy Electronics was regarded as abnormally low by the administration of the National Assembly, that its rejection was not preceded by any written request for information from Gilaudy Electronics; that in consequence the decision of 8 October 1991 by which the President of the National Assembly declared abortive the procedure for tendering for the supply and management of the audiovisual equipment resulted from proceedings which were irregular; that the irregularity of this decision necessarily entails the illegality of the decision whereby the President of the National Assembly, after declaring the prior procedure abortive, entered into negotiations for the installation of the equipment by another supplier; that accordingly the President of the National Assembly cannot attack as erroneous the decision of the administrative tribunal of Paris which annulled his decision of 8 October 1991 as well as his decision to enter into a contract for the installation of audiovisual equipment in the National Assembly;

Given that so far as the contract for the management of the equipment is concerned, article 94 ter of the Code of Public Contracts, in the form in force at the relevant date, provides: “The period allowed for the submission of tenders must be not less than twenty-one days from the date the notice is sent. In a case of urgency not due to the conduct of the person responsible this period may be reduced to not less than fifteen days”; that the services of the National Assembly sought to justify allowing businesses a period of less than twenty-one days for the submission of their tenders by referring to the date when the parliamentary session must open; but since it was their task to take the necessary measures to see that the contracts were on foot by that date this does not constitute a case of urgency under article 94 ter of the Code of Public Contracts; that the President of the National Assembly therefore cannot maintain that the administrative tribunal of Paris was in error in annulling his decision to enter into the contracts for the management of the audiovisual equipment in the National Assembly;

Given, finally, that the request of Gilaudy Electronics was that the administrative tribunal annul the decisions which preceded the conclusion of the contracts and were separate from them, rather than the contracts themselves, the administrative tribunal went beyond the complaint before it in annulling the contracts themselves; that the President of the National Assembly is therefore entitled to demand that on this point the judgment be reversed….

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