EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Spain

Country score (European Average*)
  • 57(66) Political Financing
  • 34(53) Financial Disclosure
  • 29(37) Conflict of Interest
  • 63(59) Freedom of Information
  • 72(62) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)33306.37
Population, total46443959.00
Urban population (% of total)79.80
Internet users (per 100 people)80.56
Life expectancy at birth (years)83.38
Mean years of schooling (years)9.8
Global Competitiveness Index4.7
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

The Organic Law on Political Parties (2002) and the Organic Law on Funding of Political Parties (2007, amended 2015) are the main laws regulating the financing of political parties in Spain.

There are some limits on the private income of political parties. There are no bans on donations from foreign entities or trade unions. There are bans on donations from corporations and anonymous donors. There are limits on donations received both during and outside of election periods.

Public funding is available for parties and is allocated on the basis of representation in the elected body and the share of seats in the previous election. The funding is made available unconditionally and thus can be used for campaign spending and party activities. There is additional funding available for security expenses. Subsidizes media access is available and allocated on the basis of the share of seats and the share of votes in the preceding election. Other indirect forms of public funding include premises for campaign materials, space for campaign materials, tax relief and subsidized postage costs.

For regulation on spending, there is a ban on vote buying but no band on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate. There are limits on what a party can spend.

Parties are required to keep accounts which must be made public and must reveal the identity of donors. Accounts are overseen by the Court of Auditors. There are sanctions for breaches of the provisions of the law in the form of fines.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Bans and limits on private income4444393939
Public funding6262626262
Regulations on spending5050505050
Reporting, oversight and sanctions7575757575

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? No. Art.7 (1). Political parties may receive donations for unspecified purposes from foreign persons, in accordance with the limits, requirements and conditions established in this Law with regard to private contributions, and provided that the requirements established in the legislation in force on the control of foreign exchange and movement of capital are met. Art. 7 (2). Political parties may not accept any funding from foreign governments and agencies, entities or foreign public companies or from companies directly or indirectly related to them. ( Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 7.)
Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on corporate donations

Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties? Yes. Art. 5 (1) Political parties may not accept or receive directly or indirectly: […] c) donations from legal persons and entities without legal personality. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 5 (1) c))
Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties? No. According to article 7 (2), "Political parties may not accept any funding from foreign governments and agencies, entities or foreign public companies or from companies directly or indirectly related to them." No mention of national corporations with government contracts. According to article 4(2)(b), "Political parties may not accept or receive donations from physical persons that, conducting their economic and professional activities, are part of an ongoing contract provided in the legislation of the public sector contracts." No mention of corporations or legal persons. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 7 (2) and 4(2)(b))
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to political parties? No. According to article 7 (2), "Political parties may not accept any funding from foreign governments and agencies, entities or foreign public companies or from companies directly or indirectly related to them." No mention of national corporations with government contracts. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 7 (2))
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on donations from trade unions

Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on anonymous donations

Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties? Yes. Political parties may not accept or receive, directly or indirectly: 1. Anonymous donations. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 5)
Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Other bans on donations

Is there a ban on state resources being given to or received by political parties or candidates (excluding regulated public funding)? Yes. There is a ban on resources given or received by state or corporations with governmental ownership to candidates or political parties, exceeding the amount of regulated public funding established by law Art. 128 "It is prohibited any contribution to the election fund accounts from any Administration or public corporation, parastatal or autonomous body of public sector companies whose ownership belongs to the State, the autonomous regions, provinces or municipalities and companies of mixed economy, as well as companies through current contract, provide services or supplies or works made for any of the government. " (Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016, Art 128)
Is there a ban on any other form of donation? Yes. Political parties may not accept, directly or indirectly, third parties effectively assuming the cost of their acquisitions of goods, works or services or any other expense incurred in their activity. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 4(3))

Donation limits

Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party over a time period (not election specific)? Yes. Art. 5(1). Political parties may not accept or receive, directly or indirectly: a) […]; b) donations form the same person exceeding 50,000 euros per year; c) […]. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 5)
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? Yes. Art 129 "10,000 euros" (Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016, Art 129)
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate? No. Absent from legal framework

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in previous election Yes. Two. These subsidies are to be distributed according to the number of seats and votes obtained by each political party in the most recent elections to the Congress of Deputies. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 3(2))
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Representation in elected body Yes. One. The state shall grant political parties with representation in the Congress of Deputies unconditioned annual subsidies to meet their operating expenses, which shall be charged to the national budgets. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 3(1))
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Participation in election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in previous election Yes. Two. These subsidies are to be distributed according to the number of seats and votes obtained by each political party in the most recent elections to the Congress of Deputies. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 3(2))
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Registration as a political party No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to votes received Yes. To assign the above-mentioned subsidies, the respective budget allocation shall be divided into three equal amounts. One is to be distributed in proportion to the number of seats obtained by each political party in the most recent elections to the Congress of Deputies, and the other two are to be divided in proportion to all the votes obtained by each party in said elections. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 3(2))
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to seats received Yes. To assign the above-mentioned subsidies, the respective budget allocation shall be divided into three equal amounts. One is to be distributed in proportion to the number of seats obtained by each political party in the most recent elections to the Congress of Deputies, and the other two are to be divided in proportion to all the votes obtained by each party in said elections. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 3(2))
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Flat rate by votes received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Share of expenses reimbursed No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to candidates fielded No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Campaign spending Yes. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Ongoing party activities Yes. One. The state shall grant political parties with representation in the Congress of Deputies unconditioned annual subsidies to meet their operating expenses, which shall be charged to the national budgets. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 3(1))
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Intra-party institution Yes. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Other Yes. Likewise, an annual allocation may be included in the national budgets to meet the security expenses incurred by political parties in performing their political and institutional activity. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 3(1))

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of seats Yes. Art 61 refers to the total amount of votes obtained by each party in previous elections. Share of seats is not explicitly mentioned although usually correspond to the share of votes obtained (Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016, Art 61)
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of votes in preceding election Yes. Art. 61"The distribution of free airtime for electoral propaganda is made according to the total number of votes obtained by each party, federation or coalition in the previous equivalent elections." (Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016, Art 61)
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Other No. Article 64 establishes the criteria for access to media for political party for election campaign Art.64 "1. The distribution of free time each electoral propaganda in media and public ownership in the various areas of programming that they have, is made according to the following scale: a) Ten minutes for parties, federations and coalitions who did not attend or did not obtain representation in the previous equivalent elections. b) Fifteen minutes for parties, federations and coalitions who obtain representation in the previous equivalent elections, had not reached 5 per 100 of the total valid votes cast in the country or, where appropriate, in the constituencies makes Article 62 reference. c) Thirty minutes for parties, federations and coalitions who obtain equivalent representation in previous elections, have reached between 5 and 20 per l00 of the total votes referred to in paragraph b). d) Forty-five minutes for parties, federations and coalitions who obtain representation in the previous equivalent elections, had reached at least 20 per 100 of the total of votes referred to in paragraph b). 2. The right to free broadcast time listed in the previous paragraph applies only to those parties, federations or coalitions nominate candidates in more than 75 100 constituencies within the scope of disclosure or, where appropriate, Programming the respective medium. For the municipal elections will be as provided in the special provisions of this Act. 3. The parties, associations, federations or coalitions that do not meet the requirements for applications laid down in the previous paragraph are, however, entitled to fifteen minutes of general programming broadcast on national media if they had won in the previous elections equivalent to 20 100 votes cast in the context of an Autonomous Community in time conditions similar to those agreed for emissions parties, federations and coalitions 1.d) section of this article refers to. In this case the issue shall be limited to the territorial scope of that Community. This right is not cumulative to that provided above. 4. The groups of voters that federate for propaganda in the media of public ownership will be entitled to ten minutes broadcasting, if they meet the requirement for applications required in paragraph 2 of this Article. " (Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016, Art 64)
Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?

Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Premises for campaign meetings Yes. Art.54.3 "must reserve official premises and public places free for holding election campaign activities." (Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016, Art 54)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Space for campaign materials Yes. Art.60.2 "During the election campaign the parties, federations, coalitions and groups that attend the elections are entitled to free propaganda spaces in television stations and radio in public ownership as provided in the following articles." (Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016, Art 60)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Tax relief Yes. A number of tax incentives and exemptions. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 10 & 11.)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised transport No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised postage cost Yes. Discount postage rates for campaign mailing and campaign hoarding (billboards), and public meeting rooms are provided free of charge by municipalities during election campaigns. (Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No. Absent from legal framework

Regulations on spending 

Is there a ban on vote buying? Yes. Art. 5 "Nobody can be forced or coerced under any circumstances in the exercise of their right to vote" (Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016, Art 5)
Are there bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend? Yes. General elections: Art. 175 "The state subsidizes the expenses arising electoral activities in accordance with the following rules: a) 21,167.64 per seat obtained in Congress of Deputies or the Senate. b) 0.81 euros for each of the votes obtained by each candidate to Congress, one of whom at least, would have obtained Deputy seat. c) 0.32 euros for each of the votes obtained by each candidate having obtained seat of Senator. 2. For elections to Parliament or any of its chambers, the limit of election expenses shall be the result of multiplying by 0.37 the number of inhabitants euros corresponding to the legal population of the districts where each present their candidacies party, federation, coalition or grouping. 3. In addition to the subsidies referred to in previous sections, the state will subsidize parties, federations, coalitions or groups election expenses incurred by direct shipment and staff voters envelopes and ballots or electoral propaganda and advertising according to the following rules: a) 0.18 euros per voter in each of the constituencies in which list has been submitted to the Congress of Deputies and the Senate, shall be paid provided that the candidate had obtained the reference number of deputies or senators or votes necessary for constitute a parliamentary group in both houses". - European Parliament elections: Art. 227 "The State subsidizes the expenses arising electoral activities in accordance with the following rules: a) 32,508.74 euros for each seat obtained. b) 1.08 euros for each of the votes obtained by each candidate, one of whom, at least, would have obtained Deputy seat. 2. For the elections to the European Parliament, the limit of election expenses shall be the result of multiplying by 0.19 the number of inhabitants euros corresponding to the legal population in the electoral districts where it was requested that the diffusion takes place the ballots. 3. In addition to the subsidies referred to in previous sections, the state will subsidize parties, federations, coalitions or groups election expenses incurred by direct shipment and staff voters in at least one region, envelopes and or electoral propaganda and electoral publicity in accordance with the following rules ballots: a) 0.13 per elector will be paid, provided that the candidate has obtained at least one deputy and at least 15 of the 100 valid votes cast. b) 0.09 euros per voter is paid, provided that the candidate has obtained at least one deputy and at least 6 per 100 of the valid votes cast. c) EUR 0,025 per voter is paid, provided that the candidate has obtained at least one deputy and at least 3 per 100 of the valid votes cast. d) 0.016 euros per voter shall be paid, provided that the candidate has obtained at least one deputy and at least 1 100 of the valid votes cast." - Municipal elections: Art. 193 "The state subsidizes the expenses arising electoral activities in accordance with the following rules: a) 270.90 euros per councilor elected. b) 0.54 euros for each of the votes obtained by each candidate, one of whom, at least, would have been proclaimed councilor. 2. For the municipal elections the limit of election expenses shall be the result of multiplying by 0.11 euros the number of inhabitants for stocks right of the districts where each party present their candidacies, federation, coalition or grouping. For each province, those who attend the elections in at least 50 of its 100 municipalities, may also spend another 150,301.11 euros for each of the provinces where they meet the aforementioned condition. 3. In addition to the subsidies referred to in previous sections, the state will subsidize parties, federations, coalitions or groups election expenses incurred by direct shipment and staff voters envelopes and ballots or electoral propaganda and advertising according to the following rules: a) 0.18 euros per voter in each of the districts in which they have obtained representation in local corporations in question, will be paid provided that the reference had submitted nomination lists 50 100 municipalities with more 10,000 inhabitants of corresponding province and has obtained at least 50 representation in 100 of them." (Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016)
Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend? No. Absent from legal framework

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances? Yes. One. Political parties must keep detailed ledger books of accounts in a way that they always show the political party’s financial situation and its compliance with the obligations established in this Law. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 14(1))
Do political parties have to report on their finances in relation to election campaigns? Yes. Art. 133 "Among the 100-125 days after the elections, parties, federations, coalitions and groups that have achieved the requirements for state grants or who have applied advances against them, presented to the Court of Auditors, a detailed and documented their income and election spending accounting." (Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016, Art 133)
Do candidates have to report on their campaign finances? No. Absent from legal framework
Is information in reports from political parties and/​or candidates to be made public? Yes. Art.16 (5) The report shall be submitted to the Parliament and subsequently published in the Official State Gazette. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 16(5))
Must reports from political parties and/​or candidates reveal the identity of donors? Yes. Art. 14 (3). In any case, the report is to include a list of the public subsidies and the private donations [...] received from natural or legal persons, specifically providing the identification details of each donor and the amount of the capital received. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 14(3))
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Electoral Management Board No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Auditing agency Yes. Art. 16(1). The Court of Auditors is exclusively responsible for controlling the economic-financial activities of political parties […]. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 16(1))
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Special institution No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Other Yes. Art.15. Political parties must have an internal control system in place that guarantees the adequate audit and reporting of all the acts and documents from which rights and obligations of an economic nature are derived, in accordance with their articles of association. The report resulting from the internal review should be attached to the documentation submitted to the Court of Auditors. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 15)

Political finance oversight

Is it specified that a particular institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/​or investigating violations?
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Auditing agency yes. Art. 16(1). The Court of Auditors is exclusively responsible for controlling the economic-financial activities of political parties […]. (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 16(1))
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Electoral Management Body No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Other institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: EMB No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Fines Yes. Art.17a (1). a) For the infractions provided in art.17 paragraph 2, letter a), a penalty of two up to five times the amount that exceed the permitted limits, the amount accepted by the third or the amount condoned is imposed. b) For the infractions provided in art.17 paragraph 2, letter b), a penalty of two up to five times the overspending is imposed. c) For the infractions of art.17 paragraph 2, letter c), a penalty of 50,000 up to 100,000 euros is imposed. In any case the penalties provided in letter a) and b) shall not exceed 50,000 euros. Art.17a (2). a) For the infractions provided in art. 17 paragraph 3, letter a), a penalty of 25,000 up to 50,000 euros and a penalty equivalent to 100% of the net profit earned by the commercial activities are imposed. b) For the infractions provided in art.17 paragraph 2, letter b), a penalty of two up to five times the overspending occured but not less than 25,000 euros is imposed. c) For other serious offences a penalty of 10,000 to 50,000 euros is imposed. Art.17a (3). a) For the infractions provided in art.17 paragraph 3, letter a), a penalty of 5,000 up to 10,000 euros is imposed. b) For the infractions provided in art.17 paragraph 3, letter b), a penalty of two up to five times the overspending occured but not less than 5,000 euros is imposed. [...] (Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015, Art 17(a))
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of public funding No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Penal/Criminal No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Forfeiture No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Deregistration of party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of elected office No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Suspension of political party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of nomination of candidate No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of political rights No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Legislation

Organic Law No. 8 on Funding of Political Parties, 2007, amended 2015 (Spanish)pdf
Organic Law No. 5 on the General Election Regime, 1985, amended 2016 (Spanish)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Financial Disclosure

The Law 5/2006 regulating the conflicts of interest of members Government and Senior Officers General Administration regulates the majority of financial disclosure requirements for public officials in Spain. Ministers, Members of Parliament, and Civil Servants disclose real estate, movable assets, cash, and shares of a value above EUR 100,000. Holdings by family members must be included so long as they amount to EUR 100,000 or more. Additionally, public officials disclose any profession they pursued in the two years before taking office. Only Members of Parliament and Civil Servants also disclose income from outside employment or income-producing assets.

All public officials make their statements upon taking and leaving office, and submit updates immediately whenever changes arise. While late filling is punishable by reprimand, failing to make financial disclosure statements or making false disclosures is published in the official gazette. Beyond this, sanctions for making false statements may include the non-receipt of compensation or dismissal from public office. The Office of conflict of interest in the Ministry of Public Administration serves as depository body for all public officials. It also verifies submissions and their accuracy, and enforces financial disclosure law. All disclosure statements are made public annually in the official state bulletin.

(Note: The Head of State is a monarch and thus exempted from disclosure laws.)


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Disclosure items6134343431
Filing frequency7538383838
Sanctions10050505025
Monitoring and Oversight7550505044
Public access to declarations7538252531

Alternative Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Head of State770000
Ministers7782777780
Members of Parliament7785808055
Civil servants770000

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Movable assets No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Cash No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Loans and Debts No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Income from outside employment/assets No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Post-employment No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Filing required upon leaving office No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Filing required annually No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Timing of information release specified No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Location(s) of access specified No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Cost of access specified No. Head of state is a monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. Spouses and family members up to a second degree but its not mandatory if they holdings don't exceed 100,000 euros (Article 18, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration)
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. declaration of goods and assets (Article 17 and Section II of the preamble of Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration Model 6 and 7, Annex of Order Orden TFP/2/2020.)
Movable assets Yes. the movable assets the may posess (Article 17 and Section II of the preamble of Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006); Model 6, Annex of Order Orden TFP/2/2020.)
Cash Yes. the values and financial assets (Article 17 and Section II of the preamble of Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006); Model 6, Annex of Order Orden TFP/2/2020..)
Loans and Debts Yes. all liabilities (Model 6, Annex of Order Orden TFP/2/2020.)
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. personal or life income (Model 6, Annex of Order Orden TFP/2/2020.)
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. but not mandatory if their value is less than 100,000 euro (Article 18, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Obliged to make an statement of profesional activities during two previous years (Article 16, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework (General)

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. 3 months max after taking office (Article 17, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. 3 months max after leaving office (Article 17, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006))
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. the declaration should be filled 3 months after starting the activity and on every time the interested part starts an activity (Article 16, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. its considered as a minor infraction and punsihed by repriand (Articles 25 and 26, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. its considered as serious infraction meaning it is published in the "official gazette", if the offense involves a private company the company is henceforth forbidden to contract with the public sector. (Articles 25 and 26, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. its considered as serious infraction meaning it is published in the "official gazette", if the offense involves a private company the company is henceforth forbidden to contract with the public sector. In addition santcions may include dismissal from public office, the non-receipt of compensation, and the obligation to return anything that was overpayed in connection with the false declaration. (Articles 25 and 26, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. the office of conflict of interest in the ministry of public administration (Article 19, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. the office of conflict of interest (Article 19, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. Art.23. The financial situation of each official will be reviewed by the Office of Conflict of interest to verify: a) the compliance with the obligations under this Act; b) the existence of evidence of unjustified enrichment (...) (Article 23, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Royal decree n.432/2009))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. Art.23. The financial situation of each official will be reviewed by the Office of Conflict of interest to verify: a) the compliance with the obligations under this Act; b) the existence of evidence of unjustified enrichment (...) (Article 23, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Royal decree n.432/2009))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Art.21 (2). The electronic register of the activities shall be public (...). Art.21 (3). The electronic register of the assets and financial rights shall be confidential except for the person concernred and the following organs: (...). Art.21 (5). The content of the statements of assets and financial rights (...) will be published in the "official gazzette" within the terms provided under this Act. (Article 21, Law 3/2015 on Senior Positions of the State General Administration (repealing Law n.5/2006))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework (General)

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No . Absent from legal framework
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Declaration of goods and assets (Annex to the Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011)
Movable assets Yes. Movable assets the may posess (Annex to the Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011)
Cash Yes. Values and financial assets (Annex to the Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011)
Loans and Debts Yes. Loan and Debts (Annex to the Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011)
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Income from any source (Annex to the Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011)
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. The gifts received by a member of the Courts during the official trips of the Chambers or when they act on their behalf must be delivered to the General Secretariat of the Chamber, so that they can be inventoried and subsequently published on the website of the Congress of Deputies or the Senate. (Article 4, Code of Conduct of the Spanish Parliament ("Cortes Generales"), 2020 Annex to the Code of conduct or Declaration of Economic Interests of Spanish MPs, 2020)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Every type of shares in enterprises or entities having economic or cooperative value (Annex to the Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Shares in enterprises owned by the Parliament (Annex to the Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. In the past five years since election (Article 4, Code of Conduct of the Spanish Parliament ("Cortes Generales"), 2020 Annex to the Code of conduct or Declaration of Economic Interests of Spanish MPs, 2020)
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. In the past five years since election (Article 4, Code of Conduct of the Spanish Parliament ("Cortes Generales"), 2020 Annex to the Code of conduct or Declaration of Economic Interests of Spanish MPs, 2020)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework (General)

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Deputies and Senators must formulate declarations when acquiring and losing their status as parliamentarians, as well as when their circumstances change (Article 5, Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011)
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Deputies and Senators must formulate declarations when acquiring and losing their status as parliamentarians, as well as when their circumstances change (Article 5, Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011)
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Deputies and Senators must formulate declarations when acquiring and losing their status as parliamentarians, as well as when their circumstances change (Article 5, Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011)

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Article 8 of the Code of Conduct (2020) authorises, on an annual basis, the Office of Conflict of Interest to prepare a report on compliance with the Code, which will be submitted to the Tables of the Chambers through their respective Presidents. The report of the Office shall conclude whether or not there has been an infringement and, where appropriate, propose the corresponding sanction in accordance with the Standing Orders of the respective House (Article 9) However, foreseen penalities in 2020 are only related to order and discipline and not explicit on financial disclosure and conflict of interets.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Article 8 of the Code of Conduct (2020) authorises, on an annual basis, the Office of Conflict of Interest to prepare a report on compliance with the Code, which will be submitted to the Tables of the Chambers through their respective Presidents. The report of the Office shall conclude whether or not there has been an infringement and, where appropriate, propose the corresponding sanction in accordance with the Standing Orders of the respective House (Article 9) However, foreseen penalities in 2020 are only related to order and discipline and not explicit on financial disclosure and conflict of interets.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Article 8 of the Code of Conduct (2020) authorises, on an annual basis, the Office of Conflict of Interest to prepare a report on compliance with the Code, which will be submitted to the Tables of the Chambers through their respective Presidents. The report of the Office shall conclude whether or not there has been an infringement and, where appropriate, propose the corresponding sanction in accordance with the Standing Orders of the respective House (Article 9) However, foreseen penalities in 2020 are only related to order and discipline and not explicit on financial disclosure and conflict of interets.

Monitoring and Oversight

Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. Enforcement of ethical breaches is left to the channels which are articulated in the Chamber’s Rules of Procedure and are separate from the Office on Conflicts of Interest. In particular, the Speaker of the House is responsible for initiating infringement procedures. The investigation of the breach is entrusted to the Committee of Members’ Statute. The Office on Conflicts of Interest is vested with an advisory role and can be consulted, whenever necessary, in the course of the proceedings, including on a confidential basis. In any case, the procedure should allow the hearing of the deputy concerned. (Article 9, Code of Conduct of the Spanish Parliament ("Cortes Generales"), 2020 )
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. Enforcement of ethical breaches is left to the channels which are articulated in the Chamber’s Rules of Procedure and are separate from the Office on Conflicts of Interest. In particular, the Speaker of the House is responsible for initiating infringement procedures. The investigation of the breach is entrusted to the Committee of Members’ Statute. The Office on Conflicts of Interest is vested with an advisory role and can be consulted, whenever necessary, in the course of the proceedings, including on a confidential basis. In any case, the procedure should allow the hearing of the deputy concerned. (Article 9, Code of Conduct of the Spanish Parliament ("Cortes Generales"), 2020 )
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. Enforcement of ethical breaches is left to the channels which are articulated in the Chamber’s Rules of Procedure and are separate from the Office on Conflicts of Interest. In particular, the Speaker of the House is responsible for initiating infringement procedures. The investigation of the breach is entrusted to the Committee of Members’ Statute. The Office on Conflicts of Interest is vested with an advisory role and can be consulted, whenever necessary, in the course of the proceedings, including on a confidential basis. In any case, the procedure should allow the hearing of the deputy concerned. (Article 9, Code of Conduct of the Spanish Parliament ("Cortes Generales"), 2020 )

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Decalarationd will be published in the electronic websites of the corresponding Chamber, in a format that is not susceptible to manipulation by third parties, once the corresponding final agreement has been adopted. |==| The publication of the Register of Interests of each House, with regard to the financial interests of Members of the Cortes economic interests of the members of the Cortes Generales, shall be made effective through the through the immediate publication of their declarations on the website of the Congress of Deputies or the Senate, as well as in the Official website of the Congress of Deputies or the Senate, as well as in the Official Gazette of the Cortes Generales, once they have been Cortes Generales, once they have been qualified by the Bureau of the respective House Chamber. (Article 2, Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011 Article 4.4, Code of Conduct of the Spanish Parliament ("Cortes Generales"), 2020 )
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework
Location(s) of access specified Yes. Websites of the chambers (Article 2, Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011 Article 4.4, Code of Conduct of the Spanish Parliament ("Cortes Generales"), 2020 )
Cost of access specified Yes. Acess is free (Article 2, Agreement of the Bureaux of the Congress of Deputies and of the Senate 2009, amended 2011 Article 4.4, Code of Conduct of the Spanish Parliament ("Cortes Generales"), 2020 )

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework
Cash No. Absent from legal framework
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework

Legislation

Law No. 3 on the Exercise of Senior Positions in the General State Administration of 2015_SPA (Spanish)pdf
Order TFP 2 of 2020_SPA (Spanish)pdf
Code of Conduct of the Spanish Parliament of 2020_SPA (Spanish)PDF

*Last update: 2017


Conflict of Interest

Spanish laws governing conflicts of interests are relatively similar for all public officials, though specified in different laws. Ministers and Civil Servants are obliged to generally alleviate any situations constituting a conflict of interests, and may not accept gifts or pursue any other professional or commercial employment. This would include the ownership of private or public companies, holding government contracts or holding board membership. These regulations are made in the Constitution (1978, last amended 2011), the Law on Transparency, access to information and good governance (2013), and the Law on Incompatibilities for employees in the public sector (1985, last amended 2011), amongst others. The Electoral Law (1985, last amended 2016) makes the same restriction preventing MPs from being chairmen, directors, managers or indirect participators in private companies. No further restrictions apply to MPs.

Meanwhile, no sanctions are specified for any kind of violation of laws governing conflicts of interests. No monitoring or enforcement body is specified for MPs. However, the Board of Transparency and Good Governance offers training and makes recommendations for Ministers and Civil Servants. Here, too, no enforcement body is specified.

(Note: The Head of State is a monarch and thus exempted from conflicts of interests laws.)


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Restrictions3843434338
Sanctions2500025
Monitoring and Oversight2525252525

Alternative Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Head of State00000
Ministers3037373730
Members of Parliament1717171717
Civil servants7037373770

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Post-employment No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Head of state is monarch. Legal provisions do not apply. (General)

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Members of the Government may not perform representative functionsnor engage in any professional or commercial activity whatsoever (Article 98 Constitution (1978, last amended 2011))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Members of the Government may not perform representative functionsnor engage in any professional or commercial activity whatsoever (Article 98 Constitution (1978, last amended 2011))
Holding government contracts Yes. Members of the Government may not perform representative functionsnor engage in any professional or commercial activity whatsoever (Article 98 Constitution (1978, last amended 2011))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Members of the Government may not perform representative functionsnor engage in any professional or commercial activity whatsoever (Article 98 Constitution (1978, last amended 2011))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. The Criminal Section of the Supreme Court is responsible for criminal hearings and judgements of government members. (Article 102 Constitution (1978, last amended 2011))

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. MPs may not be Chairmen, directors, or managers of public or private companies. (Article 155 Electoral Law (1985, last amended 2011))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. MPs may not be Chairmen, directors, or managers of public or private companies. (Article 155 Electoral Law (1985, last amended 2011))
Holding government contracts Yes. MPs may not take up managerial activity or advice to a company that receives public grants or is a public contractor. (Article 159 Electoral Law (1985, last amended 2011))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. MPs may not be board members or have indirect participation in public or private companies. (Article 155 Electoral Law (1985, last amended 2011))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Being an MP is incompatible with holding public office. (Article 157.2 Electoral Law (1985, last amended 2011))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. MPs enjoy immunity. (Article 71 Constitution (1978, last amended 2011))

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. Civil servants are to avoid finanical activities or any kind of transactions that might constitute a conflict of interest. (Article 53.6 Basic Statute on the Civil Service (2007, last amended 2012))
Accepting gifts Yes. Accepting gifts, favors or other services which go beyond courtesy is forbidden. (Article 54.6 Basic Statute on the Civil Service (2007, last amended 2012))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Public servants may not follow professional private activity. (Article 11 Law on Incompatabilities for employees in the public sector (1985, last amended 2011))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Public servants may not hold a second activity in the public sector aise from being teachers or fulfilling health functions. (Article 3 Law on Incompatabilities for employees in the public sector (1985, last amended 2011))
Holding government contracts Yes. Public servants may not hold a second activity in the public sector aise from being teachers or fulfilling health functions. (Article 3 Law on Incompatabilities for employees in the public sector (1985, last amended 2011))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Public servants may not be part of the board of directors or governing body of private companies. (Article 12b Law on Incompatabilities for employees in the public sector (1985, last amended 2011))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. A public officer who takes advantage in his favor or in favor of a third party may be punished with a fine worth the wage worth 12 - 24 months (Article 420 Criminal Code (1995, last amended 2011))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. A public officer who consciously passes an arbitrary decision can be barred from public employment for a duration of seven to ten years. (Article. 404 Criminal Code (1995, last amended 2011))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. A public officer who takes advantage in his favor or in favor of a third party may be punished with imprisonment of 2-4 years. (Article 420 Criminal Code (1995, last amended 2011))

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. Any second employment must be authorized by the Ministry of the Presidency and the comptenten supervising authority. (Article 9 Law on Incompatabilities for employees in the public sector (1985, last amended 2011))
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Legislation

Constitution of Spain of 1978 (Spanish)pdf
Law No. 3 Regulating the Exercise of Senior Positions in the General State Administration of 2015 (Spanish)pdf
Law No. 19 on Transparency, Access to Public Information and Good Governance of 2013 (Spanish)pdf
Law No. 5 on the General Electoral System of 1985 (Spanish)pdf
Law No. 5 on the Basic Statute of the Public Employee of 2015 (Spanish)pdf
Law No. 53 on Incompatibilities of Staff in the Service of Public Administrations of 1984 (Spanish)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Freedom of Information

Spain’s access to information regime is established by its Constitution (1978) and Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance (2013). The executive is covered by the FOI law; however the government is excluded. The legislative and judicial branches are only subject to the law and obliged to supply information about activities subject to Administrative Law.

Specific exemptions to disclosure are outlined in the aforementioned FOI law, Law 9 on Official Secrets (1968), and Law 15 on the Protection of Personal Data (1999). However, there is a public interest test whereby exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where the public interest outweighs the prohibition on disclosure.

An appeal against a refusal of access can be made to the Council for Transparency and Governance. An appeal against a judgment on access to public information may also be made directly to the Administrative Courts.

There are no sanctions specified in the law for violations of FOI provisions. The Council for Transparency and Good governance promotes good practice in access to public information and offers training activities to increase knowledge of the provisions of the law. However, it is not clear whether this includes management of the implementation process.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Scope and Coverage3176767676
Information access and release075757575
Exceptions and Overrides1767676767
Sanctions for non-compliance000033
Monitoring and Oversight067676767

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope and Coverage

Scope of disclosure

Existence of legal right to access Yes. 1. The following rights are recognised and protected: d) the right to freely communicate or receive accurate information by any means of dissemination whatsoever. (Article 20 of the Constitution of Spain, 1978)
"Information" or "Documents" is defined No. Absent from legal framework
Proactive disclosure is specified Yes. Information officers within public bodies must ensure that the most frequently-requested information is made available online. (Article 21(2)(f) Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)

Coverage of public and private sectors

Executive branch Yes. The executive is covered; however the government is excluded from the scope without any reason being given. This exclusion makes it impossible to inquire about the President, Vice President or Vice Presidents and ministers, thus excluding matters discussed in the Council of Ministers and the Government Delegate Committees . (Article 2 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Legislative branch Yes. The legislative branch is only subject to the law and obliged to supply information in circumstances when it provides an administrative role. (Article 2 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018 Article 1 Regulatory Norm on the right of access to public information in the Senate, 2014 Article 2 Rules of the General Committee of the Congress of Deputies on the application of the FOIA, 2015)
Judicial branch No. The law does not include the judiciary; only the General Council of the Judiciary will be partially included in the scope of the law (Article 2 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Other public bodies Yes. Although the law covers a large number of state bodies, it is only possible to access information from them on those activities subject to Administrative Law. (Article 2 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Private sector No. The law requires political parties , trade unions, employers' organizations and private entities that receive aid or grants to proactively publish information. The proactive publicity obligations are however limited and do not guarantee the right to request information. (Article 2 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)

Access to specific documents (subject to reactive and/or proactive disclosure)

Draft legal instruments Yes. The law on access to public information - and therefore its implementing regulations within the two houses of parliament - includes within its scope draft laws and draft implementing regulations. Draft laws are published on the websites of both the lower and upper houses of parliament. (Article 7(b) & (c) and Article 40 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018 Article 7(a) Regulatory Norm on the right of access to public information in the Senate, 2014 Article 10(a) Rules of the General Committee of the Congress of Deputies on the application of the FOIA, 2015)
Enacted legal instruments Yes. The Constitution guarantees the publication of legal norms. Laws are published in the Official Bulletin and available on its website - www.boe.es/legislacion/ (Article 9(3) and Article 91 Constitution of Spain, 1978)
Annual budgets Yes. The FOIA requires budgets and accounts to be published. The Ministry of Finance and Public Administration is also required to ensure that the information covered by the Budgetary Stability law is made publicly available. This includes budgets, information used in budgetary planning and statements of accounts. The General Comptroller of the State Administration publishes, on a monthly basis, in the "Official Gazette" information relating to operations of the state budget execution (Article 8(1)(d) & (e) Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018 Article 6(2) and (3), Organic Law 2 on Budgetary Stability and Financial Sustainability, 2012, amended 2020 Article 136(1) General Budgetary Law 47/2003, amended 2020)
Annual chart of accounts (actual expenditures) Yes. The FOIA requires budgets and accounts to be published. The Ministry of Finance and Public Administration is also required to ensure that the information covered by the Budgetary Stability law is made publicly available. This includes budgets, information used in budgetary planning and statements of accounts. The General Comptroller of the State Administration publishes, on a monthly basis, in the "Official Gazette" information relating to operations of the state budget execution (Article 8(1)(d) & (e) Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018 Article 6(2) and (3), Organic Law 2 on Budgetary Stability and Financial Sustainability, 2012, amended 2020 Article 136(2) and (3) General Budgetary Law 47/2003, amended 2020)
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. Public bodies must publish annual plans and programmes. (Article 6(2) Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)

Information access and release

Procedural access

Universal access (agencies, citizens and non-citizens) No. Individuals have the right to access public records and archives as set out in the Constitution and the FOIA. Legal entities do not have however the right to access information. Other laws only confer the right to access to information on citizens. (Article 12 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018 Article 105, Constitution 1978 Article 14 Law No. 29 on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations of 2015, last amended 2020)
Type of request is specified (written, electronic, oral) Yes. The application process is set out in some detail in terms of who applications should be addressed to and what information should be included with the application. It is however a long and complicated process that allows to send information requests via the online Transparency Portal only. (Article 17 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Assistance to requesters must be provided by law (includes barriers due to language differences, illiteracy, complexity of requests, etc.) No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Cost of access is specified (free, request fees, photocopying costs, other administrative costs) Yes. Access is in principal free but costs can be charged. There is no stipulation of how many free photocopies can be provided. The law also allows charges to be set according to the local laws of the different autonomous communities, giving no consistency across Spain. (Article 22(4) Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018 Law 8 on Fees and Public Charges, 1989, amended 2017)

Deadlines for release of information

20-day response deadline Yes. Public bodies are required to respond to requests for information within one month (the equivalent of 20 working days). (Article 20(1) Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Agency granted right to extend response time Yes. If the quantity or complexity of the information requested requires it, the deadline can be extended by a further month as long as the applicant is informed in advance. (Article 20(1) Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Maximum total response time of no more than 40 days Yes. The response period plus the extension period come to two months or 40 working days. (Article 20(1) Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)

Exceptions and Overrides

Exemptions to disclosure

Existence of secrecy/states secrets law Yes. Law 9/1968 on Official Secrets. The Criminal Code also defines the professional secret which is information gained through one's work. (Law 9 on Official Secrets, 1968, amended 1978 Article 199 Criminal Code 1995, amended 2020)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. The Spanish Constitution guarantees the right to personal and family privacy of Spanish citizens. The processing of personal data is regulated by the Organic Law 15/1999 on the Protection of Personal Data. (Articles 18 and 105(b), Constitution of Spain, 1978 Article 1 Organic Law 3/2018, of December 5, on Protection of Personal Data and guarantee of digital rights, amended 2020)
Specific exemptions to disclosure Yes. The right of access to records and archives can be restricted if: - disclosure may harm national security, defence, external relations, public safety, criminal or administrative investigations, legal proceedings, administrative functions of monitoring, inspection and control, economic and commercial interests, economic and financial policy, professional secrecy and intellectual property, confidentiality in decision-making processes and the environment. - if the data is classified under the Law on Official Secrets - it constitutes personal data which can only be disclosed with the permission of the individual concerned, if provided for by law, if the data comes from a public source, or if requested by certain public officials or in the interests of public health. Documents within the archives which contain personal data of a police nature, procedural, clinical or other nature that may affect the safety of persons, their honour, to the intimacy of his private and family life and his own image, cannot be publicly consulted without the express consent of the affected or until within twenty-five years has elapsed since his death. (Article 14(1) and Article 15, Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018 Article 11 Organic Law 3/2018, of December 5, on Protection of Personal Data and guarantee of digital rights, amended 2020 Article 1 Law 9 on Official Secrets, 1968, amended 1978)
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals

Appeals allowed within public entities No. There is no internal administrative appeal; the level of appeal is to the Council for Transparency and Good governance, 2013. (Article 24 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Independent, non-judicial appeals mechanism, e.g., information commissioner. Does not include Ombudsman unless appeals decisions are binding. Yes. An appeal against a refusal of access can be made to the Council for Transparency and governance, 2013. Article 2(1)(f) of the FOIA sets out a list of institutions including the House of His Majesty the King, the House of Deputies, the Senate against which a claim cannot be made to the Council; only judicial appeals can be made against them. (Article 24 and 2(1)(f) Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018 Chapter 2 Law No. 29 on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations of 2015, last amended 2020 )
Judicial appeals mechanism Yes. An appeal against a judgment on access to public information can be made directly to the Administrative Courts , irrespective of whether a discretionary claim has been filed under Article 24. (Article 20 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)

Sanctions for non-compliance

Administrative sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements Yes. The commission of very serious, serious or minor infractions will be sanctioned in accordance with the criteria set forth in article 131.3 of Law 30/1992, of November 26, on the Legal Regime of Public Administrations and the Common Administrative Procedure, and the following: a) The nature and entity of the offense. b) The seriousness of the danger caused or the damage caused. c) The gains obtained, where appropriate, as a result of the acts or omissions constituting the infringement. d) The unfavorable consequences of the events for the respective Public Treasury. e) The circumstance of having proceeded to rectify the infringement on its own initiative. f) Reparation of damages or losses caused. In the graduation of the sanctions, the existence of damages to the public interest, the impact of the conduct on citizens, and, where appropriate, the undue perception of amounts due to the performance of incompatible public activities will be assessed. (Article 30.5 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework (General)
Criminal sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Information officers must be appointed in public agencies Yes. Public authorities must set up systems to make information requests an integral part of their operations. This includes creating dedicated units to ensure the correct implementation of the law, including to receive requests for information, gather and disseminate the information, set up appropriate information management and dissemination procedures, keep a log of requests for information, ensure the availability of the most frequently requested information online, and keep a “map” of the records kept by the authority. (Article 21 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions No. There are no sanctions provided for in the law. (General)
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) Yes. The Council for Transparency and Good governance, 2013 must promote transparency in the public sector, safeguard the exercise of the right to access public information and ensure that the provisions of the law are observed. Specifically this includes promoting good practice in access to public information and good governance, 2013 and promoting training activities to increase knowledge of the provisions of the law. (Articles 34 and 38 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. Yes. Ministry of Public Finance and Administration - nominates President of Council of Transparency and Good governance, 2013 - presents Council for Transparency and Good governance, 2013's annual draft budget to government (Article 39 Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law Yes. A representative from the Ombudsman's office is one of the members of the Council for Transparency and Good governance, 2013. In addition, when the Council hears appeals against refusals to disclose information under Article 24 of the FOIA, the findings must be communicated by the President of the Council to the Ombudsman. (Articles 24(5) and 36(2)(e) Law 19 on transparency, access to public information and good governance, 2013, amended 2018)
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required No. Absent from legal framework

Legislation

Constitution of Spain of 1978_SPA (Spanish)pdf
Criminal Code of 1995_SPA (Spanish)pdf
Law on the Protection of Personal Data_SPA (Spanish)pdf
Law No. 19 on Transparency, Access to Public Information and Good Governance of 2013_SPA (Spanish)pdf
Regulatory Norm on the right of access to public information in the Senate of 2014_SPA (Spanish)PDF
Rules of the General Committee of the Congress of Deputies on the application of the FOIA of 2015_SPA (Spanish)pdf
Organic Law No. 2 on Budgetary Stability and Financial Sustainability of 2012_SPA (Spanish)pdf
General Budgetary Law No. 47 of 2003_SPA (Spanish)pdf
Law No. 39 on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations of 2015_SPA (Spanish)pdf
Law No. 8 on Fees and Public Charges of 1989_SPA (Spanish)pdf
Law No. 9 on Official Secrets of 1968_SPA (Spanish)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Public Procurement

The Spanish public procurement system is regulated by the Royal Legislative Decree (2011), and additional legislation also affects public procurement (e.g. laws on transparency). There are many public procurement units under the Ministry of Public Accounting and Public Administration.

The lowest minimum thresholds for conducting a public procurement tender are:

▪         EUR 135,000 for goods

▪         EUR 5,225,000 for works

▪         EUR 135,000 for services

The minimum number of bidders is 5 for restricted procedures and 3 for negotiated procedures and competitive dialogue. The minimum submission period is 52 days both for open procedures, restricted procedures and negotiated procedures from dispatch date, that can be reduced to 37 in case of a prior notification is issued. The final beneficial owners do not have to be disclosed when placing a bid.

There is no case for preferential treatment except for a policy indication that SMEs participation should be promoted. However, there are several options for bid exclusion: bankruptcy, severe administrative fines for labor-related issues, outstanding tax liabilities, and previous criminal convictions for corruption or related reasons. Bids can be also excluded because of abnormally low bid prices.

In the bid evaluation phase, there is no separate conflict of interest regulation on the composition of the evaluation committee.

There is a payable fee in certain cases of an arbitration procedure (if the contracting authority is not part of the public administration), but the amount is not specified. Court decisions are not publicly released.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Scope464594
Information availability35353597
Evaluation50505062
Open competition83838361
Institutional arrangements29292943

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type GOODS) EUR 15000. Different publicity requirements and tender procedures apply to different thresholds (e.g. contracts whose estimated value is less than EUR 5,000 are excepted from publication, provided that the payment system used by the contracting authorities was the fixed cash advance or another similar system to carry out minor payments). Contracts with an estimated value of less than EUR 40,000 in the case of works contracts, or EUR 15,000, in the case of supply or service contracts are considered minor contracts (without prejudice to the provisions of article 229). Minor contracts may be awarded directly to any employer with the capacity to act and who has the professional qualification necessary to perform the service, complying with the rules established in article 118. Moreover, in the award of contracts not subject to harmonized regulation (i.e. EU regulation), the following provisions shall apply: a) contracts with an estimated value of less than EUR 40,000, in the case of works contracts, works concessions and service concessions, or EUR 15,000, in the case of service and supply contracts, may be awarded directly to any employer with capacity to act and that has the professional qualification necessary to perform the service object of the contract; b) works contracts, works concessions and service concessions whose estimated value is equal to or greater than EUR 40,000 and less than EUR 5,350,000 and service and supply contracts with an estimated value greater than EUR 15,000 and less than EUR 214,000, may be awarded by any of the procedures provided for in Section 2 of Chapter I of Title I of Book Two of the Law on Public Sector Contracts, with the exception of the negotiated procedure without notice, which may only be used in the cases provided for in article 168. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 318, 20, 21, 22, 63 (4), 118 (1) (5), 131 (3), 159 (1) (6), 233 (2), 235, 321 (2) (a) and 346)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) EUR 40000. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 318, 20, 21, 22, 63 (4), 118 (1) (5), 131 (3), 159 (1) (6), 233 (2), 235, 321 (2) (a) and 346)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 15000. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 318, 20, 21, 22, 63 (4), 118 (1) (5), 131 (3), 159 (1) (6), 233 (2), 235, 321 (2) (a) and 346)

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) EUR 15000. Different publicity requirements and tender procedures apply to different thresholds (e.g. contracts whose estimated value is less than EUR 5,000 are excepted from publication, provided that the payment system used by the contracting authorities was the fixed cash advance or another similar system to carry out minor payments). Contracts with an estimated value of less than EUR 40,000 in the case of works contracts, or EUR 15,000, in the case of supply or service contracts are considered minor contracts (without prejudice to the provisions of article 229). Minor contracts may be awarded directly to any employer with the capacity to act and who has the professional qualification necessary to perform the service, complying with the rules established in article 118. Moreover, in the award of contracts not subject to harmonized regulation (i.e. EU regulation), the following provisions shall apply: a) contracts with an estimated value of less than EUR 40,000, in the case of works contracts, works concessions and service concessions, or EUR 15,000, in the case of service and supply contracts, may be awarded directly to any employer with capacity to act and that has the professional qualification necessary to perform the service object of the contract; b) works contracts, works concessions and service concessions whose estimated value is equal to or greater than EUR 40,000 and less than EUR 5,350,000 and service and supply contracts with an estimated value greater than EUR 15,000 and less than EUR 214,000, may be awarded by any of the procedures provided for in Section 2 of Chapter I of Title I of Book Two of the Law on Public Sector Contracts, with the exception of the negotiated procedure without notice, which may only be used in the cases provided for in article 168. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 318, 20, 21, 22, 63 (4), 118 (1) (5), 131 (3), 159 (1) (6), 233 (2), 235, 321 (2) (a) and 346)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) EUR 428000. As of 2020, applicable EU thresholds are: EUR 1,000,000 for social and special services contracts; EUR 428,000 for contracts of goods and services; and EUR 5,350,000 for works contracts. (Royal Decree-Law No. 3 of 2020, Art. 1)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) EUR 18000. Works contracts with a value of less than EUR 50,000, and goods and services contracts with a value of less than EUR 18,000, excluding VAT, will be considered minor contracts, and may be awarded directly by the contracting authority to any entrepreneur who has the capacity to act and meets the rest of the requirements established by the Law on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security. Subsequently, EU thresholds apply. (Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Arts. 4 (1), 5 and 24 (3))

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) EUR 15000. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 318, 20, 21, 22, 63 (4), 118 (1) (5), 131 (3), 159 (1) (6), 233 (2), 235, 321 (2) (a) and 346)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) EUR 40000. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 318, 20, 21, 22, 63 (4), 118 (1) (5), 131 (3), 159 (1) (6), 233 (2), 235, 321 (2) (a) and 346)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 15000. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 318, 20, 21, 22, 63 (4), 118 (1) (5), 131 (3), 159 (1) (6), 233 (2), 235, 321 (2) (a) and 346)

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Is there a requirement that tender documents must published in full? Yes. The contracting bodies will offer access to specifications and other complementary documentation by electronic means through the contracting profile. Access will be free, direct and complete, and must be possible from the date of publication of the notice of tender or, where appropriate, from the date of the invitation to selected candidates. Importantly, access to information of the contracting profile may require prior identification for access to personalized services associated with the content of the contracting profile such as subscriptions, sending alerts, electronic communications and sending offers, among others. All the information contained in the contractor profiles will be published in open and reusable formats, and will remain accessible to the public for a period of time not less than 5 years, without prejudice to allowing access to previous files when requesting information. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 63 (1) (3) (4), 116 (1) and 138 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 26 and Annex V )
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? Yes. Public Sector Procurement Platform: https://contrataciondelestado.es/wps/portal/plataforma (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 347 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 26 (4))
Is it mandatory to keep all of these records? -Public notices of bidding opportunities, -Bidding documents and addenda, -Bid opening records, -Bid evaluation reports, -Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, -Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendments, -Claims and dispute resolutions, -Final payments, -Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) Yes. All the information contained in the contracting authorities' profiles will be published in open and reusable formats, and will remain accessible to the public for a period of time not less than 5 years, without prejudice to allowing access to previous files when requesting information. Among the documentation included in the contracting authority's profile the Law specifically mentions: 1. For all contracts encompassed by the Law (above and below EU thresholds), a contract/procurement file must be created, which will adequately justify: a) The choice of the tendering procedure; b) The classification required of the participants; c) The criteria of technical or professional, and economic and financial solvency, and the criteria that will be taken into consideration to award the contract, as well as the special conditions for its execution; d) The estimated value of the contract with an indication of all the items that comprise it, always including labor costs, if any; e) The need of the Administration to which it is intended to satisfy by contracting the corresponding services; and its relationship with the object of the contract, which must be direct, clear and proportional; f) In service contracts, the report of insufficient resources; g) The decision not to divide the object of the contract into lots, if applicable; and 2. For contracts above EU thresholds, contracting authorities shall draw up a written report on each contract for works, supplies or services or framework agreement, as well as each time they establish a dynamic procurement system. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 63 (1), 116 and 336)
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published (ie mini contracts)? Yes. In general and utilities' procurement, the award of contracts based on a framework agreement or specific contracts within the framework of a dynamic procurement system, already perfected by virtue of the provisions of article 36 (3) of the Law on Public Sector Contracts, will be published quarterly by the contracting body within the 30 days following the end of each quarter, in the manner provided in article 154. Certain data related to the conclusion of the contract may not be published when it is considered, duly justified in the file, that the disclosure of this information may hinder the application of a rule, be contrary to the public interest or harm legitimate commercial interests of public companies or private or fair competition between them, or in the case of contracts declared secret or reserved or whose execution must be accompanied by special security measures, or when the protection of the essential interests of the security of the State. In any case, after deciding not to publish certain data related to the conclusion of the contract, contracting bodies must request the issuance of a report by the Council of Transparency and Good Governance referred to in Law 19/2013, of 9 December, on transparency, access to public information and good governance, in which it is appreciated whether or not the right of access to public information prevails over the assets that are intended to be safeguarded by non-publication, which will be maximum period of ten days. Said report will not be required by the Council in the event that the contracting body had previously made a consultation on an identical or similar matter, without prejudice to the due justification of its exclusion in the file. In defence procurement, there is no requirement that mini contracts must be published. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 154 (4) (7) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 54 (5))

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors (ie names) in some cases? Yes. If foreseen in the tender specifications, bidders must indicate in the offer the part of the contract that they plan to subcontract, indicating its amount, and the name or business profile, defined by reference to the conditions of professional or technical solvency, of the subcontractors to which its realization is going to be entrusted. In any case, the contractor must communicate in writing, after the award of the contract and, at the latest when the execution of the contract begins, to the contracting body the intention to enter into a subcontract, indicating the part of the contract that it intends to subcontract and the identity, contact details and representative or legal representatives of the subcontractor. While article 63 does not expressily mention that information on subcontractors must be made public, it establishes that the awarding and formalization of contracts must be published. Moreover, article 133 stipulates that the duty of confidentiality shall not prevent the public disclosure of non-confidential parts of the contracts concluded, such as the companies with which it has been contracted and subcontracted, and, in any case, the essential parts of the offer and subsequent modifications of the contract. For contracts above EU thresholds, the contracting authority must follow EU templates of award notices and may include information on subcontractors. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 35, 63 (3), 133 (1), 215 (2), 296, 336 (1) (d) and Annex III Section 5 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 61 (1))
If yes, what is the threshold for publication (i.e. the % of total contract value subcontracted)? For example, if the threshold is 75%, and you have subcontracted out only 40% of your contract, no disclosure is required. Consultant will insert 75% in the short answer column. General. ( )

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or brands in tender specification/call for tender? Yes . Unless justified by the object of the contract, the technical prescriptions will not refer to a specific manufacture or origin, or to a specific procedure that characterizes the products or services offered by a specific entrepreneur, or to trademarks, patents or types, or a specific origin or production, in order to favor or discard certain companies or certain products. Such reference will be authorized, exceptionally, in the event that it is not possible to make a sufficiently precise and intelligible description of the object of the contract in application of section 5, in which case it will be accompanied by the mention "or equivalent". (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 126 (6) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 19)
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? Yes. General principles apply. The Law on Public Sector Contracts stipulates that access to public procurement will be facilitated for small and medium-sized companies, as well as for social economy companies, and that entities of the public sector will promote the participation of small and medium-sized businesses and free access to information. More specifically, requirements concerning economic and financial solvency of bidders must be proportional to the contractual object in accordance with the provisions of article 74.2, and in no case should they constitute an obstacle to the participation of SMEs. Also, if a guarantee is required from the winning bidder to ensure full implementation of the contract, the period prescribed for them to receive back the paid guarantee will be reduced from one year to six months, should they be an SME. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 1, 28 (2), 87 (4) and 111 (5))
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) No. Principle of non-discrimination and equal treatment between the bidders applies. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 1 (1), 115 (2), 145 (5) (b) and 321 (1) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Arts. 10 (1) and 23 (1))
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? Yes. In all public contracting, social and environmental criteria will be incorporated in a transversal and mandatory manner as long as it is related to the object of the contract and, whenever the object of the contract affects or may affect the environment, the technical prescriptions will be defined applying criteria of sustainability and environmental protection, in accordance with the definitions and principles regulated in articles 3 and 4, respectively, of Law 16/2002, of 1 July, on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control. Environmental characteristics, which may refer, among others, to reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions, the use of energy saving and efficiency measures and the use of energy from renewable sources during the execution of the contract, and the maintenance or improvement of natural resources that may be affected by the execution of the contract, are taken into account in the awarding criteria. Specifically, for contracts whose execution may have a significant impact on the environment, measurable environmental conditions will be assessed, such as the least environmental impact, savings and efficient use of water and energy and materials, environmental cost of the life cycle, the ecological production procedures and methods, the generation and management of waste or the use of recycled or reused materials or ecological materials. Additionally, in contracts above EU thresholds, when the contracting bodies require as a means of proving technical or professional solvency the presentation of certificates issued by independent bodies that certify that the tenderer meets certain environmental management standards, they shall refer to the EMAS system or to other environmental management systems recognized. The contracting authority may also indicate in the tender specifications the body or bodies from which the candidates or tenderers can obtain the relevant information on the obligations relating to the protection of the environment. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 1 (3), 94, 126 (4), 129, 145 (2) (3) (h), 148, 184 (3), 201, 202 (2), 247 (2) (e) and 334 (2) (e) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 32.1)

Bid evaluation

Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? Yes. Allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion include: 1. final conviction for crimes of terrorism, constitution or integration of a criminal organization or group, illicit association, illegal financing of political parties, trafficking in human beings, corruption in business, influence peddling, bribery, fraud, crimes against the Public Treasury and Social Security, crimes against the rights of workers, prevarication, embezzlement, negotiations prohibited to officials, money laundering, crimes related to spatial planning and urban planning, the protection of historical heritage and the environment, or the penalty of special disqualification for the exercise of profession, trade, industry or commerce; 2. sanction for a serious infringement in professional matters that calls into question bidders' integrity, market discipline, distortion of competition, labor integration and equal opportunities and non-discrimination of people with disabilities, or of foreigners, or for a very serious infraction in environmental matters, or for a very serious infraction in labor or social matters; 3. bankruptcy and insolvency; 4. non-compliance with tax or social security obligations, or non-compliance with provisions on the inclusion of persons with disabilities; 5. falsehood in declarations during the tender procedure; 6. prohibition to contract imposed by virtue of a firm administrative sanction; and 7. conflicts of interest. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 71, 72 and 73 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Arts. 12 and 13)
Are some bids automatically excluded? e.g., lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. No. Contracting authorities must reject the offers if they find that they are abnormally low because they violate the regulations on subcontracting or do not comply with the applicable obligations in environmental, social or labor, national or international matters, including non-compliance with the current sectoral collective agreements. However, rejection is only concluded after submission of a justification for the low price offered by the bidder. It will be understood that the justification does not satisfactorily explain the low level of prices or costs proposed by the bidder when it is incomplete or based on inappropriate hypotheses or practices from a technical, legal or economic point of view. In general, offers made on the presumption of abnormality will be rejected if they are based on hypotheses or inappropriate practices from a technical, economic or legal perspective. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 149 (4) (6), 159 (4), 167 (e) and 226 (4) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 34)
Is scoring criteria published? Yes. Except when the price is taken into consideration exclusively, the specific administrative clauses or the descriptive document must specify the relative weighting attributed to each of the valuation criteria, which may be expressed by setting a range of values ​​with a broad range adequate maximum. In the event that the award procedure is divided into several phases, it will also be indicated in which of them the different criteria will be applied, establishing a minimum threshold of 50 percent of the score in the set of qualitative criteria to continue in the selective process. When, for duly justified objective reasons, it is not possible to weigh the chosen criteria, they will be listed in descending order of importance. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 63 (3), 146, 147, 159 (1) (b) and 163 (1) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 32 (2))
Are decisions always made by a committee? Yes. In the award procedures, open or restricted, held by the bodies of the Public Administrations, the assessment of the criteria whose quantification depends on a value judgment will correspond, in the cases in which it proceeds because they have been assigned a weight greater than that of corresponding to the automatically evaluable criteria, to a committee made up of appropriately qualified experts, with a minimum of three members, who may belong to the services dependent on the contracting body, but in no case may they be attached to the proposing body of the contract, which will be responsible for evaluating the offers; or entrust this to a specialized technical body, duly identified in the specifications. In the remaining cases, the assessment of the criteria will be carried out by the contracting desk, if involved, or by the services dependent on the contracting authority, otherwise. Additionally, in general and utilities procurement, except in the case in which the competence to contract corresponds to a Contracting Board ("Junta de Contratación"), in open procedures, simplified open, restricted, competitive dialogue, bidding with negotiation and association for innovation, the contracting bodies of the Public Administrations will be assisted by a "Contracting Table" ("Mesa de Contratación"). In negotiated procedures in which it is not necessary to publish tender announcements, the constitution of the Table will be optional for the contracting body, except when it is based on the existence of an imperative urgency provided for in letter b) 1 of article 168 of the Law on Public Sector Contracts, in which the constitution of the Table will be mandatory. In the procedures referred to in article 159.6, the constitution of the Table will also be optional. In the procurement of defence and security, the Law is silent about an evaluation committee. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 146 (2), 326, 141 (2), 150, 157 and 229 (5))
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? Yes. The contracting authorities must take the appropriate measures to fight against fraud, favoritism and corruption, and prevent, detect and effectively solve conflicts of interest that may arise in bidding procedures in order to avoid any distortion of competition and guarantee transparency in the procedure and equal treatment of all candidates and tenderers. For these purposes, the concept of conflict of interest shall cover, at least, any situation in which the personnel at the service of the contracting body, who also participate in the development of the tender procedure or may influence the result thereof, have directly or indirectly a financial, economic or personal interest that could appear to compromise their impartiality and independence in the context of the tender procedure. Those persons or entities that are aware of a possible conflict of interest must immediately inform the contracting body of it. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 64, 332 (6) (e) and 336 (1) (i))
Is some part of evaluation committee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? No. The Law is relatively ambiguous, as it establishes that the Committee is made up of appropriately qualified experts, with a minimum of three members, who may belong to the services dependent on the contracting body, but in no case may be attached to the proposing body of the contract. Additionally, it provides that the "Contracting Tables" ("Mesas de Contratación") are specialized technical assistance bodies, constituted by a President, members determined by regulation, and a Secretary. The members of the Table are appointed by the contracting body and the composition is published in the contracting profile. The Secretary must be appointed from among officials or, failing that, other types of personnel dependent on the contracting body, and the members must necessarily include an official from among those who have been legally or by regulation assigned the legal advice of the contracting body and an auditor, or, in the absence of these, a person at the service of the contracting body who is assigned the functions corresponding to his legal advice, and another who is assigned those related to his economic-budgetary control. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 146 (2) and 326 (2) (3))
Are scoring results publicly available? Yes. Information on the number and identity of the bidders participating in the procedure, as well as all the minutes of the Contracting Table related to the award procedure (if applicable), or the decisions of the corresponding contracting service or body, the assessment report of the quantifiable award criteria of each of the offers and the final result of the tender (contract award) must be published. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 63 (3) (e) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 33 (4))
Does the law specify under which conditions the tender can be cancelled? No. The decision not to award or enter into the contract or the withdrawal of the procedure may be agreed by the contracting authority before formalization. The decision may only be taken for reasons of public interest duly justified in the file. In this case, a new tender for its object may not be promoted as long as the reasons alleged to support the decision remain. The withdrawal of the procedure must be based on a non-rectifiable infraction of the rules of preparation of the contract or of the regulations of the award procedure, and the concurrence of the cause must be justified in the file. The withdrawal will not prevent the immediate initiation of a tender procedure. Candidates and tenderers must always be notified of the cancelling and the European Commission must be informed of the decision when the contract has been announced in the "Official Journal of the European Union". (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 152 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 36)

Open competition

CFT publication

Does the law specify the location for publicizing open calls for tenders? Yes. Public Sector Procurement Platform ("Plataforma de Contratación del Sector Público": https://contrataciondelestado.es/wps/portal/plataforma), contractor´s profile, OJEU/TED, Official State Gazette ("Boletín Oficial del Estado" - BOE) and Official Autonomos Region Gazette (in case the contracting authority is an autonomous region) (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 135 and 347 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 26 and Annex V)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing restricted calls for tenders? Yes. Public Sector Procurement Platform ("Plataforma de Contratación del Sector Público": https://contrataciondelestado.es/wps/portal/plataforma), contractor´s profile, OJEU/TED, Official State Gazette ("Boletín Oficial del Estado" - BOE) and Official Autonomos Region Gazette (in case the contracting authority is an autonomous region) (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 135 and 347 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 26 and Annex V)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing negotiated calls for tenders? Yes. Public Sector Procurement Platform ("Plataforma de Contratación del Sector Público": https://contrataciondelestado.es/wps/portal/plataforma), contractor´s profile, OJEU/TED, Official State Gazette ("Boletín Oficial del Estado" - BOE) and Official Autonomos Region Gazette (in case the contracting authority is an autonomous region) (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 135 and 347 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 26 and Annex V)

Minimum # of bidders

What is the minimum number of bidders for restricted procedures? General. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 162 (2) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 39 (3))
What is the minimum number of bidders for negotiated procedures? General. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 169 (2) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Arts. 43 (3) and 46)
What is the minimum number of bidders for competitive dialogue procedures? General. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 174 (2) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 50 (2))

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for open procedures? General. Below EU thresholds, the deadline for submitting proposals of goods and services will not be less than 15 days counted from the day following the publication of the contract tender notice in the contractor profile. In contracts for works and for the concession of works and concession of services, the term shall be at least 26 days. Above EU thrsholds, the minimum of days is 35 for goods and services and 30 for works and services concessions. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 156 (2) (6) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Arts. 27 and 38 )
What are the minimum number of days for restricted procedures? General. Below EU thresholds, the deadline for submitting proposals shall not be less than 10 days, counted from the date of sending the invitation. For contracts above EU thresholds, the minimum term will not be less than 30 days, counted from the date the written invitation is sent. In the defence and security sector, for contracts above EU thresholds, the applicable minimum is 40 days from the date of dispatch of the invitation. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 164 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 42)
What are the minimum number of days  for competitive negotiated procedures? General. It is not clear whether the same deadlines that are applicable to contracts below EU thresholds in the restricted procedure apply to competitive negotiated procedures. However, for contracts above EU thresholds, the minimum term will not be less than 30 days, counted from the date the written invitation is sent. In the defence and security sector, the minimum number of days are 37 for contracts above EU thresholds, and 10 for contracts below EU thresholds. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 169 (2) and 164 (1) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Arts. 42, 43 (4) and 45)

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

Does the law specify the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? Yes. Main exceptions include: 1. specific contracts in the realm of defence and security and those covered by Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security; 2. agreements whose content is not included in that of the contracts regulated in this Law or in special administrative regulations entered into by the General State Administration, the Managing Entities and the Common Services of the State; 3. agreements entered into by the State with other States or with other subjects of international law; 4. research and development contracts; 5. authorizations and concessions on public domain assets and contracts for the exploitation of patrimonial assets other than those defined in article 14 of the Law on Public Sector Contracts; 6. contracts relating to financial services related to the issuance, purchase, sale or transfer of securities or other financial instruments; 7. contracts regulated in labor legislation; 8. contracts covering a public service whose use by users requires the payment of a generally applicable public rate or price; 9. contracts related to arbitration and conciliation services; 10. contracts by which a public sector entity is obliged to deliver goods or rights or to provide a service are excluded, without prejudice to the fact that the purchaser of the goods or the recipient of the services, if it is a sector entity subject to the Law, must comply with its prescriptions for the conclusion of the corresponding contract; 11. contracts whose object is services related to political campaigns; and 12. contracts relating to the provision of social services by private entities. Moreover, in contracts relating to the provision of healthcare in emergency cases and with an estimated value of less than EUR 30,000, the provisions of the Law relating to the preparation and award of the contract shall not apply. Additional exceptions apply in the field of defense and security. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 4-11 and 131 (4) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 7 )
Does the law specify the main types of institutions that must apply the public procurement law? Yes. The following entities are considered to be part of the public sector: a) The General State Administration, the Administrations of the Autonomous Communities, the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla and the Entities that make up the Local Administration; b) The Management Entities and the Common Social Security Services; c) Autonomous Bodies, Public Universities and independent administrative authorities; d) Consortia with their own legal personality referred to in Law 40/2015, of October 1, on the Public Sector Legal Regime, and local legislation, as well as consortia regulated by customs legislation; e) Public foundations; f) Mutual societies collaborating with Social Security. g) The Public Business Entities referred to in Law 40/2015, of October 1, on the Legal Regime of the Public Sector, and any public law entities with their own legal personality linked to a subject belonging to the public sector or dependents of the same. h) Mercantile companies in whose share capital the participation, direct or indirect, of entities mentioned in letters a), b), c), d), e), g) and h) of this section is greater than 50 per 100, or in the cases in which without exceeding that percentage, it is found with respect to the aforementioned entities in the case provided for in article 5 of the consolidated text of the Securities Market Law, approved by Royal Legislative Decree 4/2015, October 23; i) Funds without legal personality; j) Any entities with their own legal personality, which have been created specifically to satisfy needs of general interest that are not of an industrial or commercial nature, provided that one or more subjects belonging to the public sector mostly finance their activity, control their management, or appoint more than half of the members of its administrative, management or oversight body; k) Associations formed by the entities mentioned in the previous letters; l) For the purposes of this Law, it is understood that the Provincial Councils and the General Boards of the Historical Territories of the Basque Country also form part of the public sector with regard to their contracting activity. The following entities shall be considered contracting authorities, for the purposes of this Law: a) Public Administrations; b) Public foundations; c) Mutual societies collaborating with Social Security; d) All other entities with their own legal personality other than those expressed in the previous letters that have been created specifically to satisfy needs of general interest that are not of an industrial or commercial nature, provided that one or more subjects that must be considered the contracting authority in agreement with the criteria of this section 3, either they mostly finance their activity; well control their management; or they appoint more than half of the members of their administrative, management or oversight body; e) Associations formed by the entities mentioned in the previous letters. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 3 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 3 )
Does the law specify the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted? Yes. The regular procedures are the open procedure ("procedimiento abierto") and the restricted procedure ("procedimiento restringido"). In some cases, the negotiated procedure ("procedimiento negociado") with or without publication, the competitive dialogue ("diálogo competitivo") and the innovation partnership ("procedimiento de asociación para la innovación") may be used. In addition, the contracting authority may use the design contest ("concursos de proyectos"), and direct awards or a simplified procedure for low value contracts ("contratos menores"). (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 118, 131 and 159 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Arts. 24 and 38-52 )
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? Yes. Specified contracts are subject to a special appeal procedure, which shall be initiated before the Central Administrative Court of Contractual Resources ("Tribunal Administrativo Central de Recursos Contractuales"), a specialized body that is attached to the Ministry of Finance and Public Function. These are: a) Works contracts whose estimated value is greater than 3 million euros, and supply and service contracts, which have an estimated value greater than 100 thousand euros; b) Framework agreements and dynamic procurement systems whose purpose is to enter into any of the contracts typified in the previous letter, as well as contracts based on any of them; c) Concessions of works or services whose estimated value exceeds 3 million euros. However, other issues are directly subject to the general contentious-administrative jurisdiction as court of first instance: a) Those related to the preparation, award, effects, modification and termination of administrative contracts; b) Those that arise in relation to the preparation and award of private contracts of Public Administrations. Additionally, with respect to the contracts referred to in numbers 1 and 2 of letter a) of the first section of article 25 of the Law on Public Sector Contracts that are subject to harmonized regulation (above EU thresholds), challenges to modifications based on non-compliance with the established in articles 204 and 205, since it is understood that the modification should have been the subject of a new award; c) Those referring to the preparation, award and contractual modifications, when the challenge of the latter is based on non-compliance with the provisions of articles 204 and 205, when it is understood that said modification should have been the subject of a new awarding of contracts entered into by contracting authorities that are not considered Public Administration; d) Those relating to the preparation and award of contracts of public sector entities that do not have the character of contracting authorities; e) Appeals filed against resolutions issued by the administrative bodies for the resolution of appeals provided for in article 44, as well as in article 321.5; f) Issues that arise in relation to the preparation, award and modification of the subsidized contracts referred to in article 23. In the scope of the Autonomous Communities, the competence to resolve appeals shall be established by their respective regulations, and an independent body must be created whose head, or in the event that at least its President is a collegiate member, has legal and professional qualifications that guarantee adequate knowledge of the subjects that are within their competence. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 27, 44, 45, 46 (1) and 60 (1) Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 59)
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? Yes. The State Public Procurement Advisory Board ("Junta Consultiva de Contratación Pública del Estado") is the specific body for regulation and consultation in matters of public procurement in the state public sector, regardless of whether the contracting entities operate in the sectors referred to in the eighth additional provision. It is a collegiate body with open membership to the participation of the private sector, attached to the Ministry of Finance and Public Function. (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 328 Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security, as amended in 2019, Art. 67)
Does the law specify procurement advisors' profession (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering process (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? Yes. The Law loosely mentions that the tender evaluation must be carried out by a committee made up of appropriately qualified experts, or by a specialized technical body entrusted with such task. The Second Additional Provision stipulates that the committee of experts may be integrated into the local entities by any official personnel (career or permanent job) with appropriate qualification that has not participated in the drafting of the technical documentation of the contract in question and that, in any case, this staff must include a legal expert specialized in public procurement. Additional specialization requirements apply to the members of the "Contracting Table" ("Mesa de Contratación"). (Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 146 (2), 326 (2) (5) and Second additional provision (competences in the matter of contracting in the Local Entities) Art. 8)
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? No. Registration with the Official Registry of Bidders and Classified Companies of the Public Sector is mandatory for persons (legal or natural) who want to participate in public tenders. It is unclear, however, whether such Registry contains information on beneficial ownership. ( Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 96, 139 (1), 159 (4) (a), 337 and 342)

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? No. The filing of the special appeal in the matter of contracting ("recurso especial en materia de contratación") will be optional and free for the appellants. ( Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Art. 44 (7))
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? Yes. Once the special appeal has been filed, the processing of the tender procedure will be suspended when the contested act is the awarding act, except in the case of contracts based on a framework agreement or specific contracts within the framework of a dynamic acquisition system. In case of appeals brought before the general contentious-administrative jurisdiction, there is no automatic ban on contract signature. ( Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 53 and 56 (3))
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint in the case of awarded contracts? General. Within 5 business days from the filing of the appeal, the competent body for its resolution will send it to the interested parties, granting them a period of 5 working days to formulate allegations. Simultaneously, the body will decide, within a period of 5 business days, on any precautionary measures that may have been requested, as well as on the maintenance of the automatic suspension of the tender procedure, if appropriate. It may further determine the opening of a trial period of 10 business days, for the purposes of assessing evidence. Once the allegations of the interested parties have been received, or after the period indicated for their formulation, and that of the test, if applicable, the competent body must resolve the appeal within the following 5 business days, the resolution being notified below to all concerned. It follows from this that the maximum number of days from filing of an appeal until a decision is delivered is 20 working days. In any case, after 2 months from the next month after the filing of the appeal, if the interested party has not receive any notification of its resolution, they may consider it rejected for the purposes of filing a contentious-administrative appeal. ( Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts, as amended in 2020, Arts. 56 (3) (4) and 57 (5))
Is there a requirement to publicly release arbitration court decisions ? No. While there is no formal requirement in the Law on Public Sector Contracts concerning publicity of the Central Administrative Court of Contractual Resources' ("Tribunal Administrativo Central de Recursos Contractuales") and its counterparts in autonomous regions' decisions, these are made public and can be found at: http://www.minhafp.gob.es/es-ES/Servicios/Contratacion/TACRC/Paginas/BuscadordeResoluciones.aspx and https://www.aragon.es/-/tacpa.

Legislation

Law No. 24 of 2011 on Public Sector Contracts in the Fields of Defense and Security (Spanish)pdf
Law No. 60 of 2003 on Abritration (Spanish)pdf
Law No. 9 of 2017 on Public Sector Contracts (Law on Public Procurement) (Spanish)pdf
Royal Decree-Law No. 3 of 2020 (Spanish)pdf

*Last update: 2017