China: 联合体成员退出PPP项目相关法律实务问题浅析

Last Updated: 30 April 2019
Article by Zhang Zhonggang
Most Read Contributor in China, August 2019

案情介绍

某基础设施建设PPP项目联合体(系使用财政性资金且在采购限额标准以上的工程,同时也是"必须招标的工程项目")施工总包方A公司拟收购另一联合体成员B公司持有的PPP项目公司的股权。由于收购不成功,A公司最终决定退出PPP项目公司及PPP项目合同。

相关法律

就联合体成员退出PPP项目的相关问题,虽然法律并无直接规定,但鉴于该基础设施建设PPP项目合同既属于政府采购的工程又被归在"必须招标的工程项目"中,同时,该PPP项目合同中还包含建设工程施工的内容,因此,笔者认为可借鉴的现行法律规范包括:《中华人民共和国政府采购法》(2014年修正)(以下简称《政府采购法》)及实施条例、《中华人民共和国招标投标法》(2017年修正)及实施条例(以下简称《招标投标法》、《招标投标法实施条例》)、《最高人民法院关于审理建设工程施工合同纠纷案件适用法律问题的解释》(以下简称《建设工程施工合同司法解释》)、《最高人民法院关于审理建设工程施工合同纠纷案件适用法律问题的解释二》等其他相关法律法规和文件。

联合体的性质

为厘清联合体的地位、其成员之间的关系及应承担的法律责任等问题,PPP项目中联合体的性质始终被广泛讨论。

中标前,《招标投标法》第三十一条规定:"两个以上的法人或者其他组织可以组成一个联合体,以一个投标人的身份共同投标。"根据《建设项目工程总承包合同示范文本(试行)》(GF-2011-0216)第1.1.7条的定义,"联合体,指经发包人同意,由两个以上的法人或者其他组织组成的,作为工程承包人的临时机构,联合体各方向发包人承担连带责任。"联合体作为临时机构一般没有法人资格,各方合作的模式是共同经营、共享收益、分担亏损。 1虽然《民法总则》取消了对"合伙联营模式"的规定,但实务中还是认为联合体的性质更贴近《民法通则》第五十二条规定的"企业之间或者企业、事业单位之间联营,共同经营、不具备法人条件的,由联营各方按照出资比例或者协议的约定,以各自所有的或者经营管理的财产承担民事责任"。

中标后,联合体的合作方式可能有两种:一、联合体各方共同与招标人签订合同;二、为方便共同经营、隔离联合体与各个成员间的责任,联合体成员往往会成立一个项目公司。本案中的情形即为联合体成员共同成立项目公司的情形。

一、联合体成员退出PPP项目合同可能产生的影响

(一)对合同成立的影响

通过招投标方式缔结的PPP项目合同,其缔约过程可拆分为三步:政府方发布招标公告属于要约邀请,联合体投标属于要约,政府方向联合体发送中标通知书即为承诺。

关于联合体成员退出的法律后果,只在《招标投标法实施条例》第三十七条和第三十八条中有直接规定。第三十七条规定:"招标人接受联合体投标并进行资格预审的,联合体应当在提交资格预审申请文件前组成。资格预审后联合体增减、更换成员的,其投标无效。"第三十八条规定:"投标人不再具备资格预审文件、招标文件规定的资格条件或者其投标影响招标公正性的,其投标无效。"

《招标投标法实施条例》第三十七条、第三十八条规定的法律后果为"投标无效",也就是说如果发生前述两条中的情形,应当认为联合体发出的要约无效;而缺乏有效要约,合同成立也就无从谈起。

然而,由于《招标投标法》及其实施条例只规制招标投标活动,且前述两条均归在"投标"一章中,因此,如果政府方已与联合体订立PPP项目合同,合同便已经成立;即便联合体成员退出违反了《招标投标法》及实施条例,也无法再影响合同的成立了。

(二)对联合体资质的影响

在PPP项目中,联合体投标的情形之所以如此常见是因为PPP项目往往要求投标人资质多元、拥有大量资金且有能力对项目进行全寿命周期建设运营维护管理,因此具备不同资质条件的主体组成联合体共同参与投标的模式在PPP项目投标中十分常见。 2也就是说,中标后,某一个或多个联合体成员退出PPP项目很有可能使得联合体因此丧失一种或几种资质,从而无法达到招标文件中对投标人资质的要求。

(三)对联合体承担责任能力的影响

一般来说,联合体成员应当都是具有承担责任能力的主体。也就是说,联合体成员除了是PPP项目合同履约能力的保障外,还是在联合体违反PPP项目合同义务时政府方主张违约损害赔偿的保障。因此,如果某一个或几个联合体成员退出PPP项目合同,极有可能对整个联合体承担责任的能力产生影响。

当然,笔者认为,即便联合体成员退出PPP项目合同,政府方也仍然有权要求其为联合体的违约承担连带责任。因为,PPP项目的特殊性质要求联合体成员在联合体中标后诚实、勤勉地履行合同,不得退出;所以,退出的联合体成员应承担的责任应当更加严格。

二、联合体成员退出PPP项目合同的法律后果

在PPP项目合同签订后,联合体成员如果要求退出,可能出现三种情形:一、政府方不同意,联合体成员执意退出;二、政府方要求解除PPP项目合同;三、政府方同意联合体成员退出。

(一)政府方不同意,联合体成员退出

《招标投标法》第三十一条第三款规定:"联合体中标的,联合体各方应当共同与招标人签订合同,就中标项目向招标人承担连带责任。"因此,在第一种情况下,即便联合体其他成员同意一个或几个成员退出,只要政府方不同意,联合体成员便无法真正意义上退出联合体。也就是说,"退出"的联合体成员仍然应当像没有退出一样依据PPP项目合同的约定履行义务、承担连带责任;否则,政府方有权依据合同向其主张违约责任。当然,如果联合体成员之间就该成员退出后的义务履行和责任承担另有约定的,退出的成员与其他联合体成员间应遵循该约定。

但如果联合体成员在没有征得政府方同意的情形下仍然在事实上退出了PPP项目合同呢?

笔者认为,在这种情况下,如果联合体在中标后丧失了招标文件中所要求的一项或几项资质,这将使得联合体事实上无法履行PPP项目合同项下的义务。而根据《合同法》第一百一十条的规定,一般情况下,当事人一方不履行非金钱债务或者履行非金钱债务不符合约定的,守约方可以要求违约方履行;但法律上或者事实上不能履行的情形除外。

对于本案的情形来说,施工联合体成员想要退出联合体,应当先取得政府方的同意;但如果该成员在并未取得政府方同意的情形下就退出了项目公司和PPP项目合同,那么联合体成员将因为丧失某项资质在事实上不能继续履行PPP项目合同。在这种情形下,政府方当然还可以追究联合体(包括已退出的施工总包方)的违约责任,但恐怕也不能再请求联合体继续履行合同,而只能主张解除合同了。

(二)政府方要求解除PPP项目合同

在第二种情形下,在联合体成员要求退出后,政府方无论是基于约定还是法定的事由要求解除合同,其都可依据《合同法》第九十七条的规定要求联合体"恢复原状、采取其他补救措施,并有权要求赔偿损失"。

(三)政府方同意联合体成员退出

第三种情形下,"政府方同意联合体成员退出,其他联合体成员继续履行PPP项目合同"这一过程应当分解为两个步骤:第一,政府方与原联合体解除合同;第二,政府方应与剩下的联合体成员重新签订合同。当然,第二步的实现方式也可能是政府方与联合体签订补充合同变更原合同的主体;但总的来说,政府方需与新的联合体(除去退出成员的联合体)达成新的合意、签订新的合同。《建设工程施工合同司法解释》第一条规定:"建设工程施工合同具有下列情形之一的,应当根据合同法第五十二条第(五)项的规定,认定无效......(三)建设工程必须进行招标而未招标或者中标无效的。"由于该项目系"必须招标的工程项目",而政府方与新的联合体签订协议并未经过招投标程序;因此,在这种情形下,即便政府方同意联合体成员退出,PPP项目合同的建设工程施工部分也会因违反《建设工程施工合同司法解释》第一条而无效。

关于前述情形下PPP项目合同非建设工程施工的其他部分是否无效,法律并无直接规定;但根据前述分析,政府方此种行为相当于就一个必须进行招标的项目在未招标的情形下与新的主体签订了合同,根据《招标投标法实施条例》第八十二条规定,依法必须进行招标的项目的招标投标活动违反招标投标法和本条例的规定,对中标结果造成实质性影响,且不能采取补救措施予以纠正的,招标、投标、中标无效,应当依法重新招标或者评标。在前述情形下,虽然新的联合体成员已与政府方签订合同,理论上来说招投标阶段的法律规定无法再对合同效力产生影响。但由于新的联合体成员毕竟没有参与招标程序,因此笔者主张采取一种折中的方案:根据第八十二条的精神,评价联合体成员的退出是否会对新的联合体履行合同和承担责任产生实质性影响。

一般来说,联合体成员退出可能产生三种影响:(1)导致联合体丧失某一种或某几种资质;(2)未导致联合体丧失任何资质,但会导致联合体对合同的履行背离合同的实质性内容;(3)不会对联合体履行合同产生任何影响。

《招标投标法》及其实施条例虽然未对联合体丧失某种资质的法律后果进行规定,但其中多处出现了关于"订立背离合同实质性内容协议"的规定。

《招标投标法》第四十六条规定:"招标人和中标人应当自中标通知书发出之日起三十日内,按照招标文件和中标人的投标文件订立书面合同。招标人和中标人不得再行订立背离合同实质性内容的其他协议。"第五十五条规定:"依法必须进行招标的项目,招标人违反本法规定,与投标人就投标价格、投标方案等实质性内容进行谈判的,给予警告,对单位直接负责的主管人员和其他直接责任人员依法给予处分。"第五十九条规定:"招标人与中标人不按照招标文件和中标人的投标文件订立合同的,或者招标人、中标人订立背离合同实质性内容的协议的,责令改正;可以处中标项目金额千分之五以上千分之十以下的罚款。"

《招标投标法实施条例》第五十七条规定:"招标人和中标人应当依照招标投标法和本条例的规定签订书面合同,合同的标的、价款、质量、履行期限等主要条款应当与招标文件和中标人的投标文件的内容一致。招标人和中标人不得再行订立背离合同实质性内容的其他协议。招标人最迟应当在书面合同签订后5日内向中标人和未中标的投标人退还投标保证金及银行同期存款利息。"第七十五条规定:"招标人和中标人不按照招标文件和中标人的投标文件订立合同,合同的主要条款与招标文件、中标人的投标文件的内容不一致,或者招标人、中标人订立背离合同实质性内容的协议的,由有关行政监督部门责令改正,可以处中标项目金额50以上100以下的罚款。"第八十二条规定:"依法必须进行招标的项目的招标投标活动违反招标投标法和本条例的规定,对中标结果造成实质性影响,且不能采取补救措施予以纠正的,招标、投标、中标无效,应当依法重新招标或者评标。"

从上述法条可知,即便是招标人和中标人间,都不得订立背离合同实质性内容的协议。结合前述对于项目主体的规定,对于必须进行招标程序的项目而言,立法者对两方面有着严格要求:一是合同主体必须与招标和中标的主体一致,二是合同的标的、价款、质量、履行期限等主要条款应当与招标文件和中标人的投标文件的内容一致。而上述两项严格要求正是与联合体在工程投资、建设、运营、维护等方面的履约能力和承担责任的能力息息相关的。更进一步,招投标中从诸多投标人中选择中标人的过程其实也是招标人为项目匹配合格执行者的过程;因此,对于必须进行招标的项目而言,无论是对程序的严格把控还是对中标后签约主体和内容的一致性要求,不允许订立背离合同实质性内容的协议归根到底都体现着该类项目对于中标人履约能力和承担责任能力的要求。

对于承担责任的能力,上一部分已经阐明,不再赘述。但履约能力除了《招标投标法实施条例》第五十七条中提及的"标的、价款、质量、履行期限"外,还应当包括中标人是否具备招标文件中所要求的各项资质。也就是说,如果联合体因某一个或几个成员退出而丧失一项或几项资质,是会对PPP项目合同的履行产生实质性影响的,所以在这种情形下应当重新招标。

当然,前述讨论是基于联合体成员的退出会使得联合体丧失某一项或几项资质而作的设想。但如果某成员的退出不会使得联合体丧失任何资质呢?笔者认为,如果该成员的退出会影响联合体承担责任的能力,成员的退出行为还是会对合同产生实质的影响,因此,政府方应当重新招标。

那么如果再进一步,某联合体成员的退出不会对联合体的履约能力和偿债能力产生任何实质性影响呢?笔者倾向于,在这种情形下,如果政府方同意该成员退出,该成员便可顺利退出,其他成员继续履行合同。

三、政府方可主张的权利

如果政府方执意不允许联合体成员退出PPP项目合同,原则上来说,联合体成员应当继续按照PPP项目合同的约定履行其义务。如果联合体成员不继续履行合同,政府方有权向全体联合体成员主张违约损害赔偿;同时,政府还可以行使约定解除权或法定解除权要求解除PPP项目合同,对项目重新进行招标。

四、对联合体成员的启示

鉴于联合体成员退出PPP项目合同一方面可能使得政府方直接要求解除合同,另一方面会使得其他联合体成员不得不对该成员的违约行为承担连带责任,笔者建议联合体在其内部的《联合体协议》和与政府方签订的《PPP项目合同》中都写明"任何联合体成员在约定期限内不得退出联合体及PPP项目合同"。

文中备注:

Footnote

1李维维:《关于联合体投标的实务法律问题探讨(下)》,零点商事团队。

2见宿辉、周楠:《PPP项目应用联合体模式的法律问题研究》,《建筑经济》2017年5月。

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions