David Willetts told the Conservative Party conference this week that the EU public procurement rules will shortly no longer apply to most UK Universities.
Its all to do with how much income a Univeristy gets from public sources -with a magic cut off of 50%.
Above that your caught, below your not caught. It also depends on what you include as public funding -so its really about how you "cut the cake"- what you add together to end up above 50%, or below.
That may lead to more direct supply agreements with local suppliers. However Universities combine to maximise their purchasing power and use the procurement rules to obtain best value.
They also voluntarily use a similar procurement process to have a good audit trail, even when they are not bound by the procurement rules.
So will procurement become simpler and easier- I confess I am a sceptic. What do you think?