To Parties with Complaints Regarding Government Procurement
The Government Procurement Challenge System (CHANS)
The Japanese Government has established the Government Procurement Challenge System to support greater government procurement procedure transparency, fairness and competition under the principle of non-discrimination of domestic and foreign interests. Under the system, specific complaints regarding government procurement of goods and services (including construction services) are taken and handled.
This system was launched to coincide with the Agreement on Government Procurement, which was negotiated in parallel with the Uruguay Round and went into force on January 1, 1996. It integrates and strengthens existing voluntary measures on Government Procurement.The decision to establish the system was made by the Cabinet on December 1, 1995.
The Council on the Government Procurement Review is chaired by the Cabinet Office Vice-Minister, and is composed of vice-ministers and other representatives from individual related ministries. The Government Procurement Review Board, which takes and reviews complaints, has 6 board members and 18 specialist board members. These two organizations form the core of the Japanese Government's complaint review system(see Fig. 1. (PDF 46 KB)).
Pamphlet for Government Procurement Challenge System
Government Procurement Challenge System (PDF:439KB)
Access the following link to file a complaint regarding government procurement:
Cabinet Government Procurement Review Office
How to File a Complaint Regarding Government Procurement
- Government procurement scope
This Government Procurement Challenge System supports the review of complaints regarding government procurement performed by central government entities and other government-affiliated entities (such as special public corporations). For complaints regarding procurement by sub-central government entities (prefectural governments and government-ordinance-designated cities), consult the complaint contact points of the respective prefectural governments or government-ordinance-designated cities.
- Where to file complaints
Complaints can be filed with the Government Procurement Review Board (whose executive office is located in the Cabinet Government Procurement Review Office).
- How to file complaints
Complaints can be filed regarding specific individual government procurements. A Government Procurement Complaint Form - Attached Sample Form 1 (PDF 39 KB) must be submitted either in person or by postal mail.
Complaints can be filed by persons participating or qualified to participate in government procurement.
- Representatives and assistants
Complainants and related procuring entities are given opportunities to meet with the Board and present their views. They may request the participation of lawyers, technical specialists or others in such meetings by submitting a Representative (Lawyer) Appointment Notice (Sample) (Attached Sample Form 3) (PDF 35KB), a Representative Appointment Approval Request (Sample) (Attached Sample Form 4) (PDF 36 KB), and/or an Assistant Attendance Approval Request (Sample) (Attached Sample Form 5) (PDF 35 KB).
All parties with a specific individual interest in the procurement generating the complaint may participate in the complaint review procedure. Anybody wishing to participate should notify the executive office of such using the Procurement Review Procedure Participation Request (Sample) (Attached Sample Form 2) (PDF 37 KB) within 5 days of the Board's public announcement of receipt of the complaint via the official gazette, the Internet or other channels.
Overview of the Government Procurement Complaint Procedure
- Complaint Review Procedure (see the complaint review process (standard process, conceptual diagram)) (PDF 74 KB))
The government procurement complaint review process is carried out in accordance with Review Procedure for Complaints Concerning Government Procurement(PDF 57 KB) (December 16, 1995 Council on the Government Procurement Review agreement) and Detailed Regulations on Government Procurement-Related Complaint Review Procedure(PDF 40 KB) (January 11, 1999 Council on the Government Procurement Review agreement).
Anybody wishing to file a complaint can submit the relevant information to the Board within 10 days from the time when the fact of the complaint should have become known to the complainant. The Board will then decide within 10 working days of receiving the complaint whether it will be accepted. If the complaint is accepted, the Board will immediately notify the complainant, the Council and the procuring entity, and will publicly announce the complaint via the official gazette, the Internet or other channels and call for the input of participants with an interest in the complaint. Procuring entities must submit a report to the Board. Complainants or participants with objections to the report’s content may request the opinion or review of the Board, which will then begin its review of the complaint.
The Board will ultimately create a report detailing the results of its review within 90 days of receiving the complaint. (This timing is for normal review, but the complainant or procuring entity may request expedited processing. The period may also depend on the type of government procurement.) If the Board concludes that measures defined in government procurement agreement, etc. have not been implemented in the procurement, it will create a written proposal together with the report. As a general rule, the procuring entity must comply with the proposal issued by the Board in response to the complaint.
- Complaint validity standards
The Government Procurement Review Board takes and reviews specific complaints. The validity of the government procurement is determined by ascertaining whether it was carried out in accordance with the government procurement procedures defined in international agreements such as the Agreement on Government Procurement and the voluntary measures on Government Procurement.
Note 1:Agreement on Government Procurement
The Agreement on Government Procurement went into force in January 1981. It contains regulations regarding non-discrimination treatment of domestic and foreign interests, national treatment and other matters with respect to government procurement. Several rounds of negotiations were subsequently held in parallel with the Uruguay Round, culminating in revisions to the agreement including 1) expansion of the scope of government procuring entities to which the agreement applies (inclusion of regional governments and expansion of the scope of government-affiliated organizations to which it applies), 2) application of the agreement to service procurement, and 3) items regarding the deployment of a complaint review system for procurement procedure complaints and other matters. The agreement was signed by 23 countries, including developed nations, and went into force on January 1, 1996.
In April 2014, Protocol Amending the Agreement on Government Procurement went into force. It included revisions involving 1) promoting the participation of developing countries, 2) expanding market access, and 3) simplifying procurement procedures through the use of electronic methods and other approaches. The Japanese Government accepted this revised agreement.
WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (link to Ministry of Foreign Affairs website)
Protocol Amending the Agreement on Government Procurement (link to Ministry of Foreign Affairs website)
Note 2:International agreement
Economic Partnership Agreements have been concluded between Japan and specific countries with the goal of wide-ranging enhancements to related economic relationships. The Economic Partnership Agreements designated in the Designation of International Agreements Applying to Government Procurement (PDF format, 29 KB) (March 7, 2014 Council on the Government Procurement Review agreement) are used as standards in determining the consistency of government procurement with provision of the EPAs.
Note 3:The voluntary measures on Government Procurement
In addition to requirements designated in related agreements, Japan has the voluntary measures on Government Procurement based on Japan-US negotiations with respect to government procurement in fields such as articles, supercomputers, computer products and similar items, non-research and development satellites, telecommunications equipment and similar items, medical technology products and similar items, and building services. Before the Agreement was made, the Japanese Government already handled complaint review procedures with the Prime Minister's Office on External Affairs acting as the executive office. When the Government Procurement Agreement went into effect, these measures were carried over by the Government Procurement Challenge System.
Inquiries regarding government procurement review
Cabinet Government Procurement Review Office (Government Procurement Review Board Executive Office)
Tel 03-5253-2111 (main desk)
Inquiry form[Click to display Send screen]