New Public Procurement Thresholds – Don’t Get Too Excited!

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For our public sector readers, the highlight of Hogmanay is of course getting to grips with the new threshold levels for the European Procurement Regulations which came into force yesterday (January 1st). What excitement!

These financial amounts define the contract value above which certain regulated steps must be taken, such as “OJEU” advertising of contract opportunities and the standstill procedures after contract award.

The changes are based largely on currency fluctuations rather than any strategic consideration of the appropriate levels, so in the UK, the thresholds have increased slightly because the pound sterling has depreciated against the Eu  in recent times. So probably the most commonly used threshold is that for Supplies & Services (except subsidised services contracts). In that case, for Schedule 1 bodies such as central government, the important value is £118,133; for other public bodies, £181,302 is the level. Contracts above that amount come under the full package of regulations.

The previous levels were around £106K and £164K, so this is a reasonably significant change in percentage terms, although the number of additional contracts that will now be let in a manner free of full EU regulations will be fairly small, we suspect.

For UK readers, there is more information available in a guidance note from Crown Commercial Service here. And if you want to go back to the source material, and look at all the thresholds in Euro terms, here is the relevant section of the European Commission website.

Leading law firm Burges Salmon have a nice easy-to-read-and-use table on their website which shows the previous and new thresholds across the range of different contracts – you can see that here. Enjoy!

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