The European Union (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2016 and the European Union (Award of Contracts by Utility Undertakings) Regulations 2016 were published on 5 May 2016 and are deemed to have come into effect on 18 April 2016.
The new Regulations transpose new EU Public Procurement Directives into Irish law and introduce various updates to the public procurement regime. Some of the key changes introduced by the new rules include:
- "Lighter touch" procurement rules for certain social, health and educational services
- Expanded grounds for excluding suppliers from the tender process
- Provisions to encourage SME participation in tenders
- The introduction of shorter minimum time periods for the receipt of tenders
- Use of a self declaration of compliance with selection/exclusion criteria by suppliers (known as the European Single Procurement Document) to ease the administrative burden in procurement processes
- New rules on abnormally low tenders
The new regime applies to award procedures commenced after 18 April 2016.