Essential guide to the Procurement Bill
Trowers & Hamlins is committed to helping our clients, contacts and colleagues across the public sector implement the new public procurement regime to best effect.
On 11 May 2022, the UK Government introduced the much-anticipated Procurement Bill (the Bill) into the House of Lords, where it received its first reading. The Bill was accompanied by supporting documents including Explanatory Notes to the Bill, an Impact Assessment, an Equality Impact Assessment and a Delegated Powers Memorandum.
The Bill received its second reading on 25 May 2022 and is now, at the date of publication, at the Committee Stage of its passage through Parliament.
The Bill follows an extensive consultation process on procurement reform following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. The Bill represents the Government’s post-Brexit approach to the proposed procurement regime as set out in its earlier Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement published in December 2020, and the subsequent Government Response to the consultation, published in December 2021.
Major change to procurement landscape
Whilst not all of the proposals trailed in the Green Paper have made their way into the Bill, this marks a major change to the existing procurement landscape. There are numerous stylistic and linguistic differences in the Bill compared to what we are used to under the current rules.
In our Essential Guide to the Procurement Bill, we have summarised the key concepts that have been brought forward by the Government into the proposed legislation.
This Essential Guide only refers to the Bill and the Government’s proposed amendments. Read the Marshalled List of amendments to the Bill, including proposed amendments from the Opposition. We have focused on comparisons between the Bill and the current Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (the PCR), and not the wider landscape of other procurement legislation.
Delivering meaningful change
We have been working alongside the Cabinet Office, professional bodies, clients and colleagues across the public and private sectors from the outset of the proposals, helping to deliver meaningful change and progress the public procurement conversation in a solutions-focussed and commercial manner.
This Essential Guide aims to provide an overview of the key elements of the proposed legal changes. Whilst the Essential Guide covers the Bill as it currently stands, we still await further secondary legislation and guidance to flesh the regime out further.
What's covered in our Essential Guide to the Procurement Bill:
- Key Definitions
- Principles and Objectives
- Award of Public Contracts
- Management of public contracts
- Conflicts of interest
- Below-threshold contracts
- Implementation of international obligations
- Information and notices: General provision
- Remedies for breach of statutory duty
- Procurement oversight
- Appropriate authorities and cross-border procurement
- Amendments and repeals