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Public procurement laws are changing. The UK Government’s Procurement Bill is working its way through Parliament and now could be introduced as early as the end of 2023.
In this briefing David Hansom of Clyde & Co and Susan Hilgers of Proxima look at what is changing, and what you can do now to prepare for the biggest changes to procurement practice since 2015.
What is changing?
The changes will be significant. The existing EU derived public procurement rules for public sector, utilities, concessions and defence are being incorporated into one Act.
The changes to procurement law are seen as a benefit of Brexit by the UK Government. Now that the UK is outside – for the most part – the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EU and EU Commission policy, the Government saw an opportunity to tailor the rules which apply to £300bn of public spending more to the UK market. Scotland has decided not to proceed with the new rules and so will continue to follow the EU based regulations.
Although many familiar concepts remain in the draft legislation, many ‘terms of art’ used in procurement have been changed and it will be interesting to see how the Courts interpret the new language.
Greater transparency requires buyer to publish more information more frequently over the life of the procurement and into the contract management phase.
Some of the wider ranging changes proposed in the Government Green Paper - for example, to the remedies rules in procurement, have not been followed through to the draft legislation. Other areas of policy will be set out in the promised guidance and regulations.
The Government has promised a six month advance warning before the new rules take effect. This time will pass by quickly, so what are the practical tips to prepare?
How you can prepare now
This series of updates has been prepared by international law firm Clyde & Co in partnership with world-leading procurement and supply chain consultancy Proxima.
For more information or advice please contact David Hansom, Clyde & Co or Suasn Hilgers, Proxima