The European Commission has issued a proposal for a new directive updating public procurement rules. The aim of the proposed new directive is to modernise the procedure to make it simpler and more effective. The proposed directive includes changes to enable public bodies to take into account social and environmental benefits when awarding contracts. More importantly for the construction industry at this time is the proposal to assist small and medium-sized enterprises ("SMEs") in entering public markets. The directive reduces the documentation required by SMEs to be able to bid successfully for contracts and invites public bodies to break down contracts into smaller lots. If the public body refuses to do so it will be required to publish an explanation of its reasons.
Watch this space for further updates on the proposed directive.