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New EU procurement directives are approved
Trowers Public Insight

New EU procurement directives are approved

New EU directives on public procurement and concession contract award were adopted by the European Parliament on 15 January 2014.

The new EU procurement directives are expected to be in force by March 2014 and the UK must transpose these directives into UK law within two years.  However the Cabinet Office has ambitious plans for early transposition of the new directives into UK law to allow the UK to take advantage of the new rules as soon as possible.

There is due to be a formal consultation on the draft UK regulations which implement these new EU procurement directives.  We will be blogging on the progress of the new UK regulations and related guidance and how this affects authorities and contractors – keep an eye out for updates.

These new directives contain some extensive amendments to the procurement rules.  They are aimed at promoting value for money, easier access for SMEs and mutuals, less red tape and improved supplier management in procurement processes.  Some key reforms introduced by the directives are:

  • New procurement procedures - there is a new innovative partnership procedure and the use of the competitive procedure with negotiation has been extended.
  • Abolition of the distinction between Part A and Part B Services –a new light touch regime has additionally been introduced for certain services.
  • Simplified procurement procedures – simplified procurement procedures have been introduced including self-declaration by bidders, advertising contracts using prior information notices, limits on financial requirements of bidders.
  • Environmental, social, labour obligations – authorities have an increased opportunity to take these into account in procurement.
  • Strengthened procurement rules – procurement rules relating to subcontracting, abnormally low bids, exclusion from tenders have been strengthened and a new measure regarding conflicts of interest has been introduced.
  • In-house exemption and changes to contracts - principles from case law (Teckal, Hamburg Waste and Pressetext) have been codified and clarified.
  • Concession contracts - new rules have been introduced relating to concession contracts.

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