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Deal or no deal

9th November 2018

During September the Government issued guidance on the impact a ‘no deal’ Brexit would have on public sector procurement. Should the UK withdraw from the EU without a deal it is highly likely we will lose access to the Open Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Should this be the case the Government has confirmed that a UK-specific e-notification service will be made available to UK businesses and individuals if OJEU access arrangements are not finalised before the 29 March 2019. The Government has also confirmed that changes to the procurement rules will be made via amendments to existing legislation to ensure continued operability.

Given the electronic communication regulations now in place, you will no doubt be using a e-tendering system to publish notices directly on OJEU, and it’s advisable, (closer to the time), to contact your e-tendering system provider to make sure they have been informed of the new arrangements and are capable of complying.

Whilst the guidance may address one question about the practical implications of the procurement regime post-Brexit, there remain many unanswered questions - expect further technical notes to come!

Brexit's Effect on Procurement Directives

17th October 2016

In a recent article published in Supply Management, a procurement lawyer has stated that it will be "business as usual" for procurement after Brexit. He believes that even if we exit the European Union it's doubtful that the first priority for the government will be to change or update procurement legislation. However, buyers should start to familiarise themselves with other regulatory environments including the World Trade Organisation agreements. Ultimately the names of certain things might change but the demand for consistency, transparency and non-discrimination will remain.

A recent survey was carried out where a total of 134 buyers across the UK were surveyed. According to the results around 58% of respondents said they would prefer to see procurement directives reformed rather than completely eliminated.

EU Referendum Result and Procurement Practices

28th June 2016

The result of the Referendum of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union has without doubt cast uncertainty for many of us and understandably there will be concerns about the impact on public sector procurement.  The purpose of this communication is to address any early concerns about the effect on how you do procurement and share the information that is currently available.

The UK's withdrawal from the European Union should have less of an impact on how the UK conducts its public sector procurement than it will in other areas, the OJEU regime is based on a system designed and managed by the EU.  The UK will still require a robust system to ensure that tax payer's money is spent appropriately on public sector contracts and even though the UK may leave the current EU regulatory system, the procurement principles are already enshrined in UK legislation and are UK law. It is also important to note that the UK played a major role in the development of the Procurement Directives and the subsequent Public Contracts Regulations so it is unlikely that any changes would be material.

The general consensus of procurement publications and procurement legal specialists is that it is unlikely that the UK would remove public procurement rules altogether. Public procurement is, at its core, there to prevent corruption and enable open and fair treatment and that driver would remain. The UK is a party to the World Trade Organisation's Government Procurement Agreement and as such, it is highly likely that those rules will continue to apply in some form. You can read more about the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) here. We do not know if or when any changes will take place and what they will look like, although it is likely that at some point the Government will issue a schedule of review for legislation that is impacted by the result.

In the short term nothing should change (at least for the next couple of years), the Public Contracts Regulations will continue to apply to public sector bodies, including CPC and it's members.

In the long term, the current regime may continue or a new set of similar rules will be drafted and introduced.  This could take several years to produce and implement and it is reasonable to assume that this set of Regulations will not be a priority for the UK, taking into account other key areas of legislation that must be addressed first.

The CPC business model is committed to being agile and responsive, this approach is embedded into everything that we do. Whatever the future looks like we will ensure that we position ourselves to continue to be the consortium of choice for you, our members. 

We will continue to provide you with information on how this impacts public sector procurement as the situation develops. If you have any specific queries or concerns please address them via your Regional Procurement Advisor who will pass them to our procurement experts.

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