At the beginning of this week we saw a number of regulations being transposed in the UK. These are as follows:
Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015
New regulations transposing the 2014 EU Public Procurement Directive were laid in the Scottish Parliament on 18th December 2015 and came in to force earlier this week, 18th April 2016.
A brief summary of the changes that will affect Contracting Authorities are as follows:
The main changes for Contracting Authorities advertising their procurement requirements are with regard to timescale. These have now been reduced, meaning that contracts can now be put in place more quickly. These changes can be found under Section 3 of the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015.
Publication at National Level
With regard to advertising a Contract Notice in the Official Journal, Regulation 53 now specifies that they will appear nationally after it has been published in the Official Journal for 48 hours from the point of dispatch to OJEU. Further information on this can be found in a previous blog.
European Single Procurement Document (ESPD)
The European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) has now been introduced. This allows businesses to complete one document containing their basic selection and exclusion information and use this in competitions across Europe, building on the progress made in Scotland through the development of the standard pre-qualification questionnaire. This is now available on the Public Contracts Scotland portal.
The key changes made to the public procurement rules in Scotland can be found in this document provided by the Scottish Government.
NHS and CCGs’ Procurement
On the 18th April 2016, the NHS England and CCGs’ temporary exclusions from the UK Public Contracts Regulations 2015 when procuring healthcare services for the NHS come to an end.
What does this mean? It is now a statutory obligation to advertise healthcare services contracts, subject to only a few exceptions. If a contract for healthcare services is over £589,148 (€750,000) this must be awarded in line with the 2015 Regulations using the light touch regime, which requires publication of a Contract Notice or PIN notice in the Official Journal.
Contract Award procedures that started before 18th April 2016 will not be affected by this change, even if the NHS Commissioner enters into the contract after that date.
For further information on the Light Touch Regime, see here.
Concessions and Utilities
If you would like us to write about anything in particular with regard to the new Regulations above, please comment below.