Scotland’s new procurement law regime will apply to procurements commenced from Monday (18 April) onwards. The Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 impose new rules for above threshold contracts, including a mandatory new form of tender documentation; new thresholds and rules for ‘Part B’ services; new rules on excluding bidders; and a prohibition on price-only awards. The Regulations also prescribe the circumstances in which authorities may amend an above-threshold contract, regardless of when it was entered into.
The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 imposes new formal rules for lower-value contracts (£50K for goods and services and £2M for works), including a duty to publish contract and award notices on Public Contracts Scotland. Authorities will also be obliged to put in place a publicly-available contracts register, recording the details of all contracts awarded under the Act or Regulations.
Other changes will take effect in due course, including the introduction of the sustainable procurement duty and new obligations to consider the use of community benefit requirements; publish annual procurement strategies and reports; and use only electronic communications.
To help contracting authorities manage and track the transition, we have produced a checklist noting some practical steps that should be taken to ensure compliance with the new obligations and a timeline setting out when the key changes take effect.