Author(s) Vânia Isabel Vicente Grilo
Advisor(s) Isabel Celeste M. Fonseca
Year 2013

Synopsis With the formulation of this paper we aim to assess how the Private Institutions of Social Solidarity can act as “bodies governed by public law”, thereby positioning themselves in the universe of Public Procurement. These institutions have undeniable importance in meeting the basic needs of a society. The State, legal depositary of that competence, entrusts these institutions with the elaboration of activities of solidarity and social action, supporting and financing their development. This cooperation makes these institutions subject to public oriented prerogatives. In order to be subjected to the rules of Public Procurement, Private Institutions of Social Solidarity may take as contracting authorities, specifically as a “bodies governed by public law”. The requirements for the notion of “body governed by public law” were developed by the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Portuguese legal system accepted the same terms of that notion. To qualify an entity as a “body governed by public law” the cumulative requisites are: a legal personality, established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an industrial or commercial character, and financed, for the most part, by the State, either regional or local authorities as well as other bodies governed by public law. Private Institutions of Social Solidarity that have legal personality and develop general interest activities are essential to the welfare of any community. These activities are devoid of commercial and industrial character if these institutions act in the market provided with certain benefits that give them advantage over other entities. These benefits derive mainly from public funding allocated by the State to such institutions.

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