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Decree Law No. 131/2010

Publication: Republic Diary No. 240/2010, Series I of 2010-12-14
  • Issuer: Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 131/2010
  • Pages: 5696 - 5698

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law approves new rules for government contracts.

What will change?
Simpler social services contracts

This decree-law introduces ways of simplifying contracts concerning:

  • the implementation and operation of the Portuguese National Network for Continuous Integrated Care (RNCCI)
  • cooperation agreements with Private Institutions for Social Solidarity (IPSS).

The new rules exempt the companies or institutions that sign government contracts from complying with some of their legal formalities. The main goal is to allow these organizations to start providing their services without delay, but maintaining contract transparency.

The RNCCI was created by the Portuguese Ministries of Labour and Social Solidarity and Healthcare to provide continuous health and social care services to people who require assistance and are no longer independent.

New rules to carry out development works in farming

Up until now, some of the works financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) did not have to comply with some of the rules of public works. With this decree-law, the same rules will apply to all EAFRD farming and rural development projects, which will not have to comply with those rules, as long as the contracts were awarded before 29 July 2008.

Changes to the Portuguese Public Contract Code

This decree-law also introduces into the Portuguese law the European directive 2007/66/EC, which updates the rules that apply to public contracts.

1. Voluntary transparency announcement

When the government decides to award a contract without first advertising in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) that it is looking for a supplier of certain services or goods, it can, to ensure contract transparency, announce its contracting decision in the OJEU.

This rule allows other companies that are interested in the deal to know about the contracting decision before the contract is signed (and to react in time, if they wish to).

2. Contract cancellation

A contract that is already signed can be cancelled if:

  • it has not been properly advertised in the OJEU that the government intended to contract (when such an advertisement is mandatory)
  • it was signed less than 10 days after the selected contractor was announced.

In these cases, the court can decide not to cancel the contract and, instead, reduce its duration or impose the payment of a fine.

What are its benefits?

This decree-law makes public contracting rules simpler and more transparent, namely the procedures that take place before the signing of the contract.

When does it come into effect?

The changes to the Portuguese Public Contract Code will come into effect 30 days after this decree-law is published. The rest of the rules implemented by this decree-law will come into effect five days after it is published.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.