Foreword to the VOB 2019 edition in English

This English edition of VOB 2019 contains translations by Beuth Verlag of all the standards of the VOB. The following is a translation of the Foreword to the German-language edition.


VOB 2019 is published on behalf of the Deutscher Vergabe- und Vertragsausschuss für Bauleistungen (DVA) (German Committee for Construction Contract Procedures).

Following the reform of procurement law in 2016, revision focussed on Section 1 of VOB/A. As an example, clients in the building sector wishing to carry out a construction project in Germany can now also choose between the public invitation to tender and the restricted invitation with competitive participation.

For the first time, provisions have been included on construction in countries outside Germany, and the option of “direct awarding” has been introduced for small building work.

Implementing the decisions from the housing summit on 21 September 2018, the DVA has raised the threshold for discretionary awarding and restricted invitations without competitive participation to 100,000 euros and 1 million euros, respectively. These higher thresholds will only apply until 31 December 2021, and, in view of the goals of the summit, only to housing projects.

Section 2 of VOB/A has undergone only slight modification in the 2019 edition. The German Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB) and the Procurement Ordinance (VgV) were amended subsequent to the 2016 reform of procurement law, making it also necessary to amend Section 2 of VOB/A. In addition, new provisions from Section 1 of VOB/A, such as those dealing with the submission of several main tenders and with subsequent requests for documents, have also been taken over in Section 2 of VOB/A.

Section 3 of VOB/A has also been harmonized with Sections 1 and 2, with various provisions being modified or adopted.

VOB/B has remained unchanged. After examining the need to update VOB/B subsequent to the coming into effect of the new construction contract legislation in the German Civil Code on 1 January 2018, the DVA has agreed by majority decision to initially leave VOB/B unchanged. The DVA will follow developments in jurisdiction relating to the new construction contract legislation, and make any decision to modify VOB/B dependent on these developments.

VOB/C is reviewed by the Main Building and Civil Engineering Committees (HAH and HAT), and is authorized for publication by the DVA Board. Of 65 general technical specifications in construction contracts (ATV), 40 have been editorially revised and 14, including DIN 18299, have been updated to take into account new developments in the construction sector.

In the name of the DVA Board, I should like to thank everyone who has been involved in the review of the VOB for their commitment and good work. I should also like to wish the many users of the VOB - whether construction companies, architects and engineers, experts in procurement law, arbitrators, private clients or public authorities - every success in working with this 2019 edition.

The Board of the Deutscher Vergabe- und Vertragsausschuss für Bauleistungen (DVA)


(Christine Hammann)

Chairwoman