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Who am I? Central or Sub-Central Organisation? And why does it matter?

Posted by Kim Postlethwaite on March 4, 2016

Contracting Authorities are divided into two types of organisations under both the 2014 EU Directive and 2015 UK Regulations. These are:

Central Government Authorities
Sub-Central Contracting Authorities

SO WHICH ARE YOU? AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KNOW?
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Posted in General Procurement, Procurement Law | Leave a Comment »

The 2015 Regulations on the aggregation of contracts and the use of Lots

Posted by Kim Postlethwaite on November 23, 2015

The aggregation of contracts refers to the grouping together of similar contracts. The requirement to aggregate contracts is not a new obligation however has been the subject of much confusion in the past. This blog post will aim to clarify when requirements are to be aggregated for the purpose of calculating the value of a contract and, more importantly, when specific Lots can be exempt from the rules. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in General Procurement, Procurement Law | Leave a Comment »

The 2015 Regulations on Electronic Submission of Tenders

Posted by Kim Postlethwaite on September 8, 2015

As discussed in my previous blog post, the new 2015 Regulations have brought in new requirements surrounding the issuing of procurement documents electronically. In addition to this the new Regulations have also brought in incentives for contracting authorities to require electronic submission of tenders. Under the EU rules this will also need to be made mandatory by the UK Government in the next few years. This blog post will focus on what the new rules currently say and what the future may hold. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in General Procurement | 3 Comments »

The 2015 Regulations on Electronic Documents

Posted by Kim Postlethwaite on August 11, 2015

The new 2015 Regulations have brought in new requirements surrounding the issuing of procurement documents. This blog post will focus on these new requirements and the key points that both contracting authorities and suppliers should be aware of.

What were the rules previously?

Under the previous 2006 Public Contracts Regulations providing access to documents electronically was optional but incentivised with a reduction of the OJEU time limits applicable if documents were made available in this way.

What are the new rules?

Simple Answer: All documents must be provided electronically (on a website) from the start of the procedure.

Regulation 53 of The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 is devoted in its entirety to the “electronic availability of procurement documents”. This new regulation declares that “contracting authorities shall, by means of the internet, offer unrestricted and full direct access free of charge to the procurement documents” from the point of publication or invite. The regulations continue by specifying that the “internet address at which the procurement documents are available” must be included in the text of the notice or ITT.

What documents need to be made available?
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Time-scales under the 2015 Public Contracts Regulations

Posted by Kim Postlethwaite on June 22, 2015

The recent Tenders Direct Blog posts have been explaining and commenting on the new rules applicable under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 that transposed the 2014 EU Directive. One of the most common queries received by the support desks at Millstream have been surrounding what the new minimum time-scales for the various procedures are. This blog post aims to assist in clarifying these time limits. A printable version of the time limits for the most common procedures can also be found on Millstream’s mytenders portal here.

The time limits refer to the number of calendar days prior to the deadline for submission of responses. They start from the date the notice is sent to OJEU for publication. This does cause some concern with both suppliers and buyers as it Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in General Procurement, Procurement Law | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Publication of OJEU notices at national level – the 48 hour publication rule

Posted by Kim Postlethwaite on May 11, 2015

The rules on when an OJEU notice can be advertised nationally have changed. This blog post will aim to clarify the new rules and discuss the benefits and shortcomings of these new rules.

What are the rules?

Under the new legislation OJEU notices are now not to be published nationally until AFTER they have been published in the journal or 48 hours from the point of dispatch to OJEU (Article 52 of the 2014 EU Directive transposed in Regulation 52 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015). The addition of the “or 48 hours from dispatch” is likely to be due to the fact that OPOCE (the publication office for OJEU) have 5 working days to publish a notice, if they were to exercise this full 5 working days then this may adversely affect the time the notice is publicly advertised for.

In addition, for contracting authorities in England, Regulation 106 states that OJEU notices MUST be published on Contracts Finder within 24 hours of them appearing in OJEU.

Please note that the minimum timescales for a notice to be advertised continues to be from the point the notice is dispatched to OJEU and NOT the point the notice is published. The legislation does continue to state that “adequate” time must be given so some consideration should be given to the delays caused by these new rules.

How has this changed?

Previously there was not a statutory obligation to advertise in Contracts Finder and an OJEU notice could be advertised nationally as soon as it was dispatched to OJEU (Article 36 of the 2004 EU Directive transposed in Regulation 42 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006).

What does this mean in practice? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Procurement Law | 2 Comments »

‘Part B Services’ verses ‘Light Touch Regime’

Posted by Kim Postlethwaite on March 30, 2015

Under the new regulations ‘Part B services’ have been abolished and replaced with the new ‘light touch regime’. Below we cover what the new rules are, what has changed and whether this is a change for the better.

Part B Services: What were the rules?

Under the previous regulations all services were split into two – Part A and Part B. All services fell into one of 27 service categories – service categories 1-16 were Part A and subject to the full procurement regulations whereas service categories 17-27 were Part B and were essentially exempt from the rules (although an award notice was required). The service category that the service fell under was determined by the CPV codes. The purpose of this was to exempt services which were considered to not have cross border interest from the strict EU publication rules. Services are considered to not have cross border interest when it is unlikely that a service provider in one country can (or will be willing to) provide their service in a different country – for example, hotel services or legal service.

However, part B was occasionally taken advantage of and notices that did have cross border interest were incorrectly excluded from the rules. This was often due to the use of service category 27 which was “Other services” and covered any service that did not fall into the CPV codes listed under any of the other, more specific, service categories 1-26.

Light Touch Regime: What now?

When reviewing the legislation it was deemed that services with no cross border interest do still need to be treated differently however, much discussion took place to determine WHICH services were to be considered to not have cross border interest and WHAT the rules would be. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Procurement Law | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

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:
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Posted in Procurement Law | 5 Comments »

The new EU Directives on Public Procurement have been published!

Posted by Kim Postlethwaite on April 8, 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. The first of this series will cover the history and a brief overview of the changes. Please sign up to the blog for updates on when the next in the series is published.

The new EU Directives on Public Procurement have been published!

On 28th March 2014 the three new Public Procurement Directives were published in the Official Journal of the European Union. These will come into force on 17 April 2014. The UK has two years to transpose these Directives into national law. It has been rumoured that this may, however, take place as soon as autumn.

The History:

In April 2011 the European Commission communicated its intention to modernise the legislative framework for public procurement and in December 2011 confirmed that this would be carried out by way of reviewing the existing directives. The key objectives of this reform outlined by the European Commission in 2011 were as follows:

  1. Simplify the rules and procedures and make them more flexible.
  2. Increased recourse to carry out negotiations.
  3. Increased use of e-procurement.
  4. Reduce administrative burden on suppliers.
  5. Facilitate a qualitative improvement in the use of public procurement.
  6. Improved integrity in public procurement.
  7. Appointment of national review body to monitor public procurement practices.
  8. Creation of a Concession Contracts Directive to complete the legal framework for European public procurement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Procurement Law | 16 Comments »

 
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