In line with the WTO agreement on public procurement Japan has established a complaints system, called CHANS. In practice, this system is seldom used since its establishment in 1996. At the regional and local level, procuring entities have their own complaint procedures, primarily dealing with public works’ tenders. Prefectures and designated cities have established ‘tender monitoring committees’ (nyuusatsu kanshi iinkai) usually consisting of specialists from academia and the legal profession. In practice, suppliers tend to shy away from filing complaints, and, mindful of their reputation, regard it as a business risk.
Office for Government Procurement Challenge System (CHANS)
The Japanese Government has established the “Government Procurement Challenge” system to enhance the transparency, fairness, and competitiveness of Japan’s government procurement procedures. A supplier may file a complaint with the Government Procurement Review Board (GPRB), when the supplier suspects a breach of any provision of the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), or other applicable Measures designated by the Head of the Council of Government Procurement Review (CGPR).
Complaints may be filed for the government procurement of goods and services not less than 100,000 SDRs (13,000,000 yen), and that of construction services not less than 4,500,000 SDRs (600,000,000 yen).
The CGPR has been established, pursuant to the GPA, and is an impartial and independent review body with no interest in the outcome of the procurement and the members of which are free from external influence during the term of appointment. The general procedure for filing a complaint is listed below. (Each sub-central government entity has established the respective procedures of its review system by following the example of the central government. Relevant information on specific procedures for complaint review can be obtained through ‘kanpo’ and its equivalents at the local level or through other government procurement contact points.
Qualification of complainants
When a supplier suspects a breach of any provision of the Agreement or other Measures, a complaint must be filed no later than 10 days from the time when the basis of the complaint is known to the supplier.
As regards to the government procurement other than public works, complaints may be filed by those who supplied or who were capable of supplying the goods or service when the procuring entity procured them. (These persons will be defined as “Suppliers”). For government procurement of public works, see Procedures for Complaints 2.(1).
Where to file complaints
Complaints may be filed with the Government Procurement Review Board (the secretariat is: the Office for Government Procurement Challenge System, the Cabinet Office).
Filing of complaints
Complaints should be received in the specified form, in person, by mail or any other means.
Further information on the challenge system
More details on the challenge system can be obtained by contacting the following sources:
The Office for Government Procurement Challenge System, the Cabinet Office
Address: 3-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8970
Source: MOFA, Suggestions for Accessing the Government Procurement Market of Japan (2014 edition), page 17