On 30 March 2015, four new sets of guidelines were released by the UK Government to assist parties involved in tenders governed by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. These are:
- Guidance on amendments to contracts during their term.
- Guidance on awarding contracts.
- Dynamic Purchasing System guidance.
- Guidance on the standstill period.
Of the four, the guidance on amendments to contracts during their term may prove especially beneficial for both public authorities and contractors. We often encounter situations in practice where contracts need extension during their term. The new guidance provides detail on what constitutes a ‘substantial change’ and the circumstances in which it would be necessary to re-advertise in the OJEU.
Before taking any decisions including during the drafting on the original terms of a tender, public authorities in particular would do well to read the guidance to draft informed and flexible contracts to their advantage.