The Cabinet Office has published PPN 07/21 – “Update to legal and policy requirements to publish procurement information on Contracts Finder”, with new consolidated “Guidance on transparency requirements for publishing on Contracts Finder”. This replaces an earlier PPN and guidance.
The PPN explains that the guidance has been reissued to reflect changes following the end of the transition period and to provide further clarity on meeting transparency obligations. The key changes applicable to all contracting authorities relate to: new references to Find a Tender Service and further definition of the term “Contract award” - which triggers the time period for publication. The definition of “central government” has been aligned with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. For central government authorities, there are provisions concerning voluntary adoption of the transparency policy for agencies and bodies not explicitly listed and an amended requirement to publish details of award within 30 calendar days of award. Further clarity is provided on redactions of contract documents, publication of award notices relating to contracts awarded under framework agreements and DPS and contract modification notices.
The Guidance is in two parts and applies with immediate effect.
Part 1 Guidance applicable to all in-scope organisations** replaces PPN 07/16 and the associated guidance. It applies to all contracting authorities, with a few exceptions listed in Part 1, section 6.
** Note: Rather confusingly, this PPN 07/21 uses the term “in-scope organisations” to describe all contracting authorities, with limited exceptions. PPNs usually use the term “in-scope organisations” to describe central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies.
Part 1 sets out the requirements for publication on Find a Tender Service, relevant contract values, publication triggers, minimum data requirements and timing of publication as well as exemptions from requirements to publish.
Part 2 Additional policy guidance for central government authorities replaces previous guidance on publication of central government tenders and contracts. It applies to central government authorities as defined in Schedule 1 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015
The PPN confirms that NHS Trusts are sub-central contracting authorities for the purposes of Part 1 and are exempt from applying Part 2.
Part 2 addresses issues relating to publication of contract (tender) documentation at the opportunity stage and at award stage. It provides notes on preparing documents for publication including use of transparency clauses, exemptions and redaction and handling of commercial information. It also contains a section on extenuating circumstances where delay in publication may be permitted and confirms the option of quarterly publication of notices for high volume transactional frameworks and DPS.
There are three annexes:
Annex 1 summarises “Requirements to publish on Contracts Finder” in table form.
Annex 2 contains 18 FAQs on publishing central government contracts.
Annex 3 is a flowchart showing “How to calculate timescales”.
You can access PPN 07/21 and the guidance from the Cabinet Office PPN website or by following this link.
If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Procurement team.