On 15 January 2014 the European Parliament announced that it has adopted the new EU Procurement Directives (public sector, utilities and concessions) at first reading.
The revised texts are now with the European Council for approval so that the Directives can be formally adopted. The Council is scheduled to consider Parliament’s adopted texts on 20 and 21 February 2014. The texts were provisionally agreed by the Council in June 2013, so adoption likely to be a simple formality
The new Directives will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member States will then have two years in which they must transpose the new rules. The Cabinet Office has previously indicated that it plans to transpose the new Directives in England, Wales and Northern Ireland relatively quickly, to enable authorities to enjoy the benefits of the new provisions as soon as possible. It is therefore likely that new procurement regulations will
be in force before the end of the year. The benefits introduced by these modernised procurement rules include increased efficiencies, improved access for SMEs, use of public procurement to achieve social goals and improved legal certainty.
Please watch this space for further news and a more detailed analysis of the new rules.