The Cabinet Office has today published its response to the consultation on proposals for reform to UK public procurement law contained in the Green Paper “Transforming Public Procurement”.
The Cabinet Office’s response to the consultation published today paves the way for the Procurement Bill which will set out a new framework for the regulation of public procurement and replace the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the Concessions Contracts Regulations 2016, the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 and the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011. It is envisaged that the Procurement Bill will become law in 2023, with a 6-month implementation period to follow. Cabinet Office has confirmed that training will be provided across all sectors as the legislation is rolled out.
Having taken on board the range of views from the consultation, the response confirms the Government’s intended approach on a number of issues, and therefore provides a clear direction of travel for the new legislation. Key themes include:
- Simplification of the current legislation into a single, uniform regulatory framework, albeit retaining flexibilities for utilities and ensuring security concerns are addressed for defence contracts.
- Retention of the light touch regime, based on concerns raised about removing it.
- Strengthening of the approach to exclusion of suppliers for misconduct, and recognition of a clearer framework for exclusion.
- Detailed guidance to be published on how contracting authorities will implement transparency requirements.
- The proposal to cap damages in procurement challenges has not been taken forward.
The consultation ran from 15 December 2020 to 10 March 2021 and received 619 responses split fairly evenly between contracting authorities and suppliers.
The procurement law team at Bevan Brittan will be delivering a series of training, most likely through a mix of articles and webinars, taking you through what the reforms will mean for you. This will be practical guidance enabling our clients to be “Reform Ready”. Further details on this will be sent out early in 2022, but in the meantime, if you would like to express your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail, please contact: