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This instalment of our briefing series looks at framework agreements and the impending changes which will be implemented by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, which we now know is on Thursday 26 February 2015.
The new Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (the "Regulations") were laid before Parliament yesterday and most of the provisions will come into force on Thursday 26 February 2015.
This instalment of our draft Public Contracts Regulations briefing series looks at electronic procurement.
Electronic communication has been the preferred method of communicating with tenderers for many contracting authorities for some time and electronic portals are now commonplace. Whilst electronic procurement can assist in streamlining the process and ensures good records are kept the Regulations only deal with the process requirements and all systems are only as good as the data that goes in. Rubbish in, rubbish out.
We look today at pre-qualification and what can and cannot be considered as selection criteria. As markets become tighter and less public spending occurs the bidder market will continue to look closely at the reasons why they are not making the cut at shortlisting stage. Using appropriate and defendable criteria is key as is following the mantra with any selection or award: say what you are going to do, do it and then say that you have done it.
As January flies by we are already up to number 3 in our series on the new Regulations. This briefing looks at the new "light touch regime" or "SOS services" as the less snappily titled "social and other specific services" are being commonly referred.
The second in our series on the draft Public Contracts Regulations 2015 due to come into force this year focusses on below threshold contracts and the SME agenda how they are addressed.
Welcome to the first of our series of briefings aiming to clarify what's new under the draft Public Contracts Regulations 2015, due to come into force this year. We are releasing weekly briefings over the next couple of months to alert you to some of the main provisions and what to be aware of. We will also shortly release dates for training events across the country.
In a blow for claimants and good news for defendants, the High Court has decided that if:
The winning bidder is entitled as a matter of principle to recover its costs from the losing claimant.
The recent Judgment in the case of Edenred v HM Treasury and another  EWHC 3555 is the latest in a line of recent decisions of the Court to maintain the automatic suspension which applies in circumstances where an aggrieved bidder issues proceedings against a Contracting Authority prior to it entering into the contract with the preferred bidder.
A new PPN policy guidance note from Central Government requires contracting authorities to include Cyber Essentials requirements in their procurement of any new contracts where those contracts involve the supplier:
A recent European case has confirmed that the inclusion of a requirement for tenderers to ensure a minimum wage was paid to employees of sub-contractors was unlawful where those employees would be performing the services entirely in another EU member state.
…… and for those of you who have read the Directive you'll see the Regulations really do follow the Directive without much embellishment or change.
In-scope authorities must comply with new minimum standards for products and services which are purchased, or buildings which are purchased or rented, on or after 5 June 2014. A new Procurement Policy Note (Action Note 07/14) requires compliance with set energy efficiency standards when purchasing products and services, and purchasing or renting buildings to ensure government compliance with the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU. The PPN issued 3 June comes only just in time to meet the implementation date required by the Directive of 5 June 2014.
The PPN notes that the Directive requires the government to encourage other public bodies to follow the Central Government example but goes no further in terms of requiring steps to be taken.
For an aggrieved unsuccessful bidder, bringing a procurement challenge requires fast action in circumstances where the bidder may not be able to point to each and every breach of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, and is often acting with little more than a feeling that something was not quite right with the process.
A new Procurement Policy Note (PPN 06/14) highlights that the Crown Commercial Service has published two new sets of "light touch" terms and conditions for purchasing goods or services.
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