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Cremades & Calvo Sotelo

How to Contract with the Colombian Government

What regulations exist for contracting with the Colombian government?

Juan Manuel Díaz, partner at Cremades & Calvo Sotelo lawyers firm, presents the “State Contracting Regime” chapter from 2019 Bogota’s Foreing Investment Guide.

Colombia has a stable regulatory framework for government contracting that seeks to incorporate best purchasing practices, access to technology in selection processes and measures that aim to prevent corruption.

The legal framework for government contracting is contained in various laws, with the primary ones being Law 80 of 1993 and Law 1150 of 2007. This framework stipulates that all selection processes are international, and permits the participation of foreign companies irrespective of their country of origin. 

Due to the level of specialization that is expected of offerors, companies usually form associations in order to meet the technical or logistical requirements necessary for the contracted work. Therefore, government contracting processes can feature consortia and temporary unions, which enable associations between companies in order to bid in specific selection processes.

Government contracting processes are managed through the Unified Offeror Registry (RUP), where interested parties include their company information, financial information, and experience so that state bodies can verify the legal capacity, organizational capacity, and experience of all the offerors that submit bids during the contracting process. 

The leading online tool for process queries is SECOP II, a platform where state bodies publish information on selection processes. 

Keep in mind

  • In the government contracting system, it is vital to check the incompatibilities and disqualifications that may prevent certain natural and legal persons from tendering. 
  • The selection processes include two types of requirements: enabling and scoring. 
  • Public-private associations are a tool for private capital affiliation, which take the form of a contract between a state body and a private citizen or legal entity for the provision of public goods and their corresponding services. The essential function of this type of association is to efficiently allocate risks between the parties and the payment mechanisms related to the availability and level of service of the infrastructure and/or service.

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