The Public Contract Regulations 2015 come into effect in England on the 26 February 2015
This supports a less risk-averse approach and should set a legal framework which promotes the quality of the built environment by ensuring genuine competition and providing better value for money. This represent significant reform and modernisation of public sector procurement which will have significant impact on the preparations for a procurement, processes, procedures, awards, contracts and implementation through to life cycle completion.
There should now be greater flexibility, and application processes should become simpler, faster and - with the programmed emergence of full e-procurement - more streamlined. SME access has also been considered and sustainability embedded.
The Legislators, especially the UK, the European Parliament and the European Commission, have begun to recognise the most important problems in procuring architects’ services: the lack of real competition as a result of the misuse of selection criteria in for example, turnover and number of employees and, last but not least, to focus the awarding decision on price and not on quality.
The transposition of the new directive is an opportunity to create a basis for growth, stakeholder engagement, more competition, at lower economic cost and better results. Project Compass will continue to monitor this and report accordingly.
Part 1 and 2 implements the new Public Sector Procurement Directive 2014/24/EU; Part 3 re-enacts the relevant provisions of the Remedies Directives;
Part 4 embodies regulations relating to the establishment and publishing of notices on the national e-procurement portal ‘Contracts Finder’;
Part 4 also covers procurements that fall below the EU thresholds and terms of payment for undisputed invoices;
Part 5 covers miscellaneous and transitional arrangements including the programme for full adoption of e-procurement;
Whilst in Schedule 6 consequential amendments are made to existing Acts such as in Schedule 6.8 The Public Service (Social Value) Act 2012 which strengthens interoperability in alignment with the direction of the new regulations.
It should be noted that the Regulations do not apply to Scotland whilst the Part 4 provisions don’t apply to devolved functions in Wales or N. Ireland.
The legislative drafting including, greater reliance on a ‘copy out’ approach to embodying Directive 2014/24/EU has considerably improved legibility, accessibility, clarity and comprehension for all, which may also be expected to significantly reduce overall procurement costs and recourse to remedies.