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Reducing the administrative burden in public procurement – European Single Procurement Document
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Reducing the administrative burden in public procurement – European Single Procurement Document

There will soon be less upfront administrative burden and investment of resource for tenderers participating in a public procurement procedure, and particularly for entities which ultimately fail to win the contract to be awarded under that procedure.

The European Commission officially established and adopted the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) on 5 January 2016, by Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/7.

In the UK, the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 already provide for mandatory acceptance by contracting authorities of the ESPD at regulation 59(1), and for the obligation to provide the ESPD in electronic form at regulation 59(7), although the latter provision will not be in force until 18 April 2017. 

At EU level, whilst some Member States (including the UK) have already introduced some form of self-declaration of suitability, others require all interested parties to provide full documentary evidence of their suitability, financial status and abilities.  Member States can postpone the obligation to exclusively use electronic means of communication until 18 October 2018, which allows for a period of adjustment in readiness.

The ESPD will allow all businesses to electronically self-declare that they meet the necessary regulatory criteria or commercial capability requirements, and only the winning company will need to submit all the documentation proving that it qualifies for the contract.

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