The Cabinet Office has published a consultation on the transposition of the new EU public procurement directives. As part of the consultation, it has published a draft of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (New Regulations), which will implement Directive 2014/24/EU and repeal the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (PCR).
The consultation primarily focuses on the new Public Sector Directive, but also includes generic matters applicable to all three new Directives. There will be separate consultations in respect of implementing the new Utilities and Concessions Directives.
It is anticipated that the New Regulations will enter into force in spring 2015, however the New Regulations will not apply to:
- procurements for health care services contracts, within the meaning and scope of the National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No. 2) Regulations 2013, which are commenced before 18th April 2016 (in the interim commissioners of clinical healthcare services in England must continue to follow the existing "Part B" service regime and the PCR; and
- works and service concessions, which will continue to be governed by the PCR until the new Concession Directive is implemented (expected to be April 2016).
Notwithstanding the Government's 'copy out' policy (which is intended to avoid 'gold plating' European Directives), Part 4 of the New Directive includes additional provisions applicable to certain below-threshold contracts including: -
- requirement to advertise such opportunities in Contracts Finder
- abolishing the use of PQQs
- requirement to publish a contract award notice in Contracts Finder, including confirming whether the winning bidder is an SME or voluntary community and social enterprise
Responses to the consultation are invited by 17 October 2014.