Thursday, 30 April 2015

Questions raised by the new Public Contracts Regulations 2015

We (at BIP Solutions) have run a few of our courses about the impact of the new regulations, and have had some great questions from the delegates.  Most of which we could answer - but a couple we have had to dig into before we could give a full answer.  Which is great - because now we can tell anyone who is interested.

As I have said before, it takes time for new regulations to be bedded in and for people to understand what there is between the cracks.  Of course eventually we shall have case law, derived from challenges, but that could be a year or two away yet.

The questions include;
- When do we have to move to full electronic tendering?
- Do we need to advertise our tenders on Contracts Finder?
- as a consultancy/agency do only our fees count towards the OJEU limit?
- Do we need to have all our documentation available when we publish our Contract Notice?

Good questions all.  And if you want to know the answers, why not come along to one of our events in the next couple of months.  A few of the dates have been rearranged and others added but there should be an event (relatively) near you unless you live in Scotland (where the new PCRs have not yet been adopted).  Details are here.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

UK Public Procurement - change is coming

Just a reminder that Francis Maude is standing down at the election in 2 weeks, and so there will be changes at the Cabinet Office, and therefore potentially throughout public sector procurement in England (at least).   His swansong will have been the requirement for all contracts below the OJEU threshold but above £10 000 (Central government) or £25 000 (sub-central government) to be conducted using a single stage open process (i.e. no PQQ stage).    I have wittered on before about how I am far from convinced that this is a good idea (especially for Buyers, but also for suppliers) so let's leave it there.

Mr Maude spent a long time at Cabinet Office, and was notably interested in Procurement as a tool for government policy.  His replacement, of whatever political flavour, may share his zeal - or just see it as a stepping stone to a "real" job at HM Treasury.  Whichever, we need to be on the look out for any indicated change of direction.

Not least of all because (as again pointed out by Peter Smith and SpendMatters) Contracting Authorities have an obligation under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015
 to "have regard to any guidance for the time being in force under this section".

So don't forget to keep reading the PPNs (Procurement Policy Notes) from the Cabinet Office.

Friday, 10 April 2015

New Public Contract regulations - other blogs

On Wednesday I ran my first event of the PASS  series of Impact of the New Public Contracts Regulations 2015.  Not as especially catchy title, but as one of the delegates said "it's not something we want to know about, it's something we need to know about".

Very interesting session with very knowledgeable and engaged delegates, two of whom were good enough to give me a lift to the station because I over ran.

If you want some additional information, a pair of law lecturers from Swansea and Leicester are going through the regulations in tandem on their blogs - one per post.  This onerous task (which I discovered from Peter Smith's Spend Matters blog)  will take them until autumn, but it is an interesting exercise for anyone wondering (as I do) where the challenges to the new regulations are going to arise.

The blogs are;

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Impact of the new UK Public Contracts Regulations 2015

My friends at BIP Solutions PASS training are running a bunch of courses to help people understand the new UK Public procurement regulations and what it means in practice.  Remember the new regulations are already in place for Central government, and start today for other government bodies (unless you are in Scotland of course, when the regulations will come later in the year).

There is massive interest in these events (some of which are sold out, which is something to lift a trainer's spirits).  Full details are at the link here, but new dates and locations are being added quite regularly at the moment.

The locations are really spread around the country, so there should be one fairly near you - rather than the more standard axis of London, Birmingham, Manchester.

I am delighted to be one of the consultants delivering these events, along with my colleagues Eddie and Digby.

If you wish to attend (or miss) one of my events I should be presenting at:
Cambridge 8th April 2015
York           15th April
Newcastle   16th April
Sheffield     22nd April
Birmingham 30th April
(I'm mostly doing other things in May)
Lincoln        3rd June
Cambridge   4th June
Birmingham 10th June
Nottingham 17th June
Newcastle    23rd June

Oh, and I shall be at a new event in Birmingham on 4th July which I shall cover later.
All dates subject to change, and of course we may move around presenters depending on circumstances.

So, hope to see you there - do bring questions and examples