General Procurement

E-communication: what does it mean for buyers?

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UPDATE: As of 18th October 2018 all public procurement exercises require e-communication between buyers and suppliers unless there are specific circumstances that make it impractical. In this blog we outline the requirements that buyers are now subject to.

What constitutes electronic submission?

E-communication became mandatory for Central Purchasing Bodies (CPB) in April 2018 and has now been rolled out to all purchasing authorities in the public sector.

This has brought an end to hard copy communications by requiring all interactions between buyers and suppliers relating to a procurement exercise to be conducted through a secure and auditable online system.

Regulation 22 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 states that electronic submissions from suppliers must use a tool where the exact time and date of submission is provided and that access rights are limited to authorised persons only.

Why has this change been implemented?

The overall rationale for the change is that e-communication is commonly agreed to help streamline and strengthen the procurement process for both buyers and suppliers.

The new rules are intended to improve transparency and auditability, make public contracts more accessible to suppliers, promote cross-border tendering, and reduce administrative costs.

What does this mean for buyers?

In order to comply with the regulations buyers must ensure that communication with suppliers is secure and that there is a comprehensive audit trail of all interactions.

This must be a dedicated tool with inbuilt safeguards – a secure electronic postbox – rather than a generic email system. Purchasing authorities need to have access to a platform that supports this.

Want to find out more?

myTenders Pro provides all the required functionality to allow buyers to publish tender notices, conduct competitions, manage contracts, and guarantee compliance with all applicable regulations including those relating to e-communication. Call us on 0800 222 9009 for more information.

 

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