Last week the Cabinet Office released the Draft Public Contracts Regulations 2015 together with a consultation on the draft regulations implementing the 2014 EU Directive 2014/24/EU.
The consultation documentation outlines that it is seeking comments on the draft Regulations to ascertain whether they effectively implement policy requirements, and whether the draft Regulations implement those requirements in the best way for the UK. The UK government has opted to 'copy out' the European Directive for the implementation legislation therefore the structure of the draft Regulations has a very European feel. The purpose of the consultation is to ensure compliance with the UK's transposition principles which are aimed at protecting the mechanism for the introduction of European law into national law and avoiding over regulation. Compliance with the UK's transposition principles should have the effect of preventing ‘gold-plating’ or placing unnecessary burdens on UK businesses, particularly in comparison to their EU counterparts. The draft Regulations relating to the new Utilities Directive and the new Concession Directive have not yet been released. It has been indicated that separate consultations will take place for each of these Regulations at a later date. However, as many of the provisions in the draft Public Contracts Regulations will reflect similar provisions in both the Utilities and Concession Regulations the current consultation intends to cover generic matters synonymous across all three new Regulations. Therefore, this consultation will be of interest to all bodies affected by the implementation of the three new Directives.
This consultation runs until 20 October 2014.