Bevan Brittan has a nationally recognised specialist procurement team which advises on all aspects of the procurement regime and which contributes to the debate nationally and at European level on emerging procurement themes.
Our clients are central, regional and local government, health service bodies and the third sector as well as major corporates bidding to secure public contracts.
Our clients value, above all, our clear, practical advice and support on:
- the application of the EU procurement rules and the effective use of exemptions
- pre-procurement engagement with suppliers
- designing procurement strategies and new procurement models
- producing the OJEU contract notice; pre-qualification documents and tender documents
- drawing up effective selection and evaluation criteria and methodologies
- responding to bidder queries
- PQQ responses and tenders
- drafting and negotiating the contracts
- shaping and managing competitive dialogues
- framework agreements
- responding to or making legal challenges
Our advice is sought on national schemes for central government, such as Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and the DfT road pricing pilot project; complex PPPs, Equitable Access and shared services arrangements as well as the more routine procurement questions that inevitably arise on smaller procurements.
Our specialist team also advises on the state aid and competition law issues often arising from numerous projects.
The wider procurement team includes colleagues in dispute resolution, construction, finance, projects, employment, IT and regeneration.
Public sector bodies are still dealing with the practical impact of the 2006 Regulations on issues such as setting up frameworks, the role of central purchasing bodies, electronic purchasing, standstill requirements and competitive dialogue for PFI and PPP projects and more routine procurements.
There are further changes to take account of in this complex area including the new Remedies Directive which must be implemented by December 2009; changes to the CPV codes, rapidly developing case law (in the UK and at European level) on selection and evaluation criteria and methodologies, and the European Commission’s relaxation of the use of the accelerated restricted procedure in response to the global economic downturn.
There is significant discussion about the extent to which development agreements may be caught by the procurement rules and a marked increase in the number of contractors who are prepared to challenge procurement processes where they suspect a breach of the rules.