Tenders Direct Blog

Comment from the experts at Tenders Direct.

The new EU Directive on Public Procurement: Accelerated Procedures

Posted by Kim Postlethwaite on May 1, 2014

Over the coming months the Tenders Direct Blog will cover the changes coming into force as a result of the new EU Directives on Public Procurement. So far we have already covered:

-    The history and a brief overview of the changes (The new EU Directives on Public Procurement have been published!)

This blog will discuss the new procurement procedure ‘accelerated open’ and the changes surrounding the use of the ‘accelerated’ procedures.  Please read our previous blogs and sign up to receive notification when the next in the series is published.

The new EU Directive on Public Procurement: Accelerated Procedures

Within the new Directive on Public Procurement there now exists a new ‘Accelerated Open Procedure’. This is the same as the Open Procedure but with accelerated time-frames. Previously there was only an accelerated option for the Restricted Procedure and the Negotiated Procedure (called ‘Competitive Procedure with Negotiation’ under the new Directive). The introduction of this new Accelerated Open Procedure is hoped to improve the flexibility within public procurement for buyers. It is expected that the introduction of this new procedure will result in a drop in the usage of the Accelerated Restricted Procedure.

These accelerated procedures can still only be used in states of urgency. However, the previous ambiguity around ‘urgency’ has been clarified and the reasons for justifying the ‘urgent’ nature will be more flexible. Unlike the current situation, where the urgent requirements must have been unforeseeable and not within the influence of the buyer, under the new Directive the accelerated procedures can be used where the buyer could foresee the need but failed to act in time to address it.

The time limits for the Accelerated Restricted Procedure and the Accelerated Competitive Procedure with Negotiation have also changed. Oddly, it would appear that the time limits for the first stage notice under the new rules will be longer. It is also worth noting that for sub-central contracting authorities, the need for these accelerated procedures may be unnecessary given the new, much more flexible, rules surrounding the timings that they can set.

When using the mytenders Pro service you will be advised of the correct time limits when creating and publishing notices ensuring that you meet your legal obligations.

Time Limits under the New Directive:

Open Procedure:

Normally 35 days.
30 if tender responses submitted electronically. – i.e. the use of an electronic postbox. There will no longer be a reduction for sending notices electronically or having documents available electronically as this will be mandatory.

or

15 if PIN published for 35 days (and no longer than 12 months).

Accelerated Open Procedure:

15 days for “state of urgency duly substantiated”.

Restricted Procedure:

1st Stage:

30 days.
No reductions applicable to this stage.
This stage can be replaced by the publication of a PIN however the PIN must clearly outline that it is a call for interest and not a prior warning and must be published for at least 35 days and no more than 12 months (only exception is social services which can be +12 months).

2nd Stage:

Normally 30 days.
25 if tender responses submitted electronically. – i.e. the use of an electronic postbox. There will no longer be a reduction for having documents available electronically as this will be mandatory.

10 if PIN published for 35 days (and no longer than 12 months). The PIN cannot have been the call for interest. This reduction can only be used if a stage 1 Contract Notice has been published.

For sub-central contracting authorities ONLY – they can agree a lesser time limit with bidders and if NOT agreed with bidders then the buyer can still set a time limit as low as 10 days.

Competitive Procedure with Negotiation:

Normally 30 days
No reductions as sending notice electronically will be mandatory.
This notice can be replaced by the publication of a PIN however the PIN must clearly outline that it is a call for interest and not a prior warning.

Accelerated Restricted Procedure and Accelerated Competitive Procedure with Negotiation:

1st Stage: 15 days – this is longer than what is available under the pre-existing 2004 Directive.

2nd Stage: 10 days

5 Responses to “The new EU Directive on Public Procurement: Accelerated Procedures”

  1. Hi, how would you suggest corporations from outside the UK put themselves in with a chance of winning public contracts? Thanks. Simon

    • Tim Williams said

      Hi Simon,

      It depends on which country they are located in. Companies based in the EU must be treated on a completely equivalent non-discriminatory basis when bids for public contracts are being evaluated. To a large extent this also applies to suppliers based in countries that are signatories to the Government Procurement Agreement (http://bit.ly/GPA-WTO).

      If neither of the above applies then using a local distributor or setting up a company in the UK or another EU Member State should resolve the problem although there are obviously additional costs in such an approach. There is also the option of forming a joint venture with, or acting as a sub-contractor to, a UK company.

      Regards

      Tim

  2. Jamie Fry said

    Are you advising your clients to start using the new Directive even though they haven’t been enshrined into local legislation yet?

    • Kim Postlethwaite said

      Hi Jamie,

      The purpose of this series of blogs is to provide further information on the changes that will be coming into force as a result of the new Directives. These have not been transposed into UK legislation yet but it is rumoured that this could be done as soon as autumn this year. We hope that these blogs will help prepare both buyers and bidders for the changes before they become law within the UK.

      Kind regards,
      Kim

      • Jamie Fry said

        Many Thansk for the clarification. I will be following your posts with keen interest. Regards

        Tweet as @publicproc

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