On 15 December 2020 the Government published its long awaited Green Paper on proposed reform to the UK public procurement regime – “Transforming public procurement”.
The Green Paper can be read here.
It states that the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 “provides an historic opportunity to overhaul our outdated public procurement regime” and sets out a number of proposals for modernizing and simplifying the regime including:
- Removing the 350+ regulations governing public procurement and integrating the current regulations into a single, uniform set of regulations
- Overhauling inflexible and complex procedures, replacing them with three simple modern procedures
- Removing the Light Touch Regime as a distinct method of awarding contracts and applying the rules applicable to other contracts to services currently subject to this regime
- Establishing a single digital platform for supplier registration that ensures they only have to submit their data once to qualify for any public sector procurement
- Legislating for a new Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS+) that may be used for all types of procurement (not just commonly used goods and services)
- Allowing procuring authorities to include wider social benefits of the supplier, such as economic, social and environmental factors, when assessing who to award a contract to, while also still considering value for money
- Giving procuring authorities the power to properly take account of a bidder’s past performance, allowing them to exclude suppliers who have failed to deliver in the past
- Reforming the process for challenging procurement decisions to speed up the review system and make it more accessible
- Refocusing the redress that unsuccessful bidders have onto pre-contractual remedies, while capping the level of damages available to bidders, so reducing the attractiveness of speculative claims
The Green Paper invites comments on the proposals from interested parties by 10 March 2021.
There is a lot of detail in the proposals which we will be reviewing more fully in the coming weeks.
For further information, please contact Kris Kelliher.