The EU Procurement Directives of 2014 have finally been transposed into Irish law. New Regulations came into effect on 5 May 2016.
The European Union (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2016 implement the Public Sector Directive 2014/24/EU.
The European Union (Award of Contracts by Utility Undertakings) Regulations 2016 implement the Utilities Directive 2014/25/EU).
As yet there has been no implementation of the Concessions Directive 2014/23/EU.
The Regulations introduce a host of new features and codify some of the good practice and case-law that has emerged in recent years. However, much of the previous legislative regime is re-stated, so it is not all new.
Key aspects of the legislation include:
- new rules on selection and award criteria, including changes to the rules on excluding contractors
- the introduction of a European Single Procurement Document to ease the administrative burden of the selection stage
- greater scope for use of the competitive dialogue and negotiated procedures
- a new light touch regime for the procurement of social, health and educational services
- new rules on the use of lots
- guidance on how to amend contracts that have been awarded without falling foul of procurement law
- mandatory provisions for inclusion in contracts
- new rules on abnormally low tenders
Contracting authorities and relevant utilities are now obliged to bring their procurement documentation and contracts into line with the new Regulations or face the possibility of legal challenge.