EU Procurement Regulations – proposed changes announced

Give the EU their due, they have moved fairly quickly on this following the consultation earlier this year.

We’ll take a closer look at the proposals over the holiday and report more fully in the New Year. But it looks like a mixed bag from a UK point of view, considering what our government proposed. So for example, there is no reduction in the threshold values above which the full process kicks in, which the UK proposed. On the other hand, there is some limited scope for more negotiation in the process.

The distinction between part A and Part B services has gone, which simplifies matters but may actually increase workload, with more full tenders required, and there is less paperwork to be submitted by bidders, which is definitely a positive.

All countries must create a national body with responsibility for procurement; which has merit but arguably imposes costs as well for those who don’t have one already. That would presumably be something like the Office of Government Commerce then (abolished by the coalition last year)? And contracting authorities will have to send details of concluded contracts to this body - but what on earth will they do with them?

There is more, but we'll finish for now with moves that could be very interesting for SMEs; there are incentives to divide tenders into lots and limits on the financial capacity requirements for the submission of a tender. The dividing tenders idea is an idea that some countries have promoted, but not the UK, where the move has been to more national contracts and larger contracts generally over the years. We'll have to look carefully at exactly what the detail says on that, but it could mean a change of strategy for larger public organisations, and perhaps a genuine boost for smaller firms.

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