Operating the contract
We entered into the contract last week – do we need to publish an award notice in the OJEU?
You should publish an award notice for any contract which is entered into as a result of a contract award procedure (open; restricted; negotiated; competitive dialogue) under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 for which an OJEU notice was published. Each OJEU notice should have a corresponding award notice. In addition, an award notice should be published for the award of Part B services contracts.
Do we need to publish the contract anywhere else?
If your organisation is part of central government (including departments, their agents, agencies, all Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Trading Funds and National Health Service bodies) and the value of the contract is over £10,000, then the contract will be subject to the government's new transparency regime. This requires publication of contracts on a portal called "Contracts Finder", from January 2011. In some situations, redactions will need to be made, to protect commercially sensitive information. Please see our Q&A section on Transparency for more details.
Can we renew an existing contract on exactly the same terms without having to run the procurement process all over again?
In general, no. If the original contract was subject to a contract award procedure under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, the renewal should also be subject to a contract award procedure. Just because a certain supplier won the contract last time, does not mean they will succeed again. However, if the contract as originally awarded provides for a possible extension of the contract term (and this provision is consistent with the original procurement documents) this would allow for the contract to continue to run during such an extension without a further procurement.
We want to vary the terms of our contract with a supplier. Can we do this without having to run the procurement process all over again?
Yes, provided that the amendments do not result in a contract which is materially different to the original contract. Significantly changing the contract scope or financial provisions is likely to be regarded as material changes and essentially a new contract. If you need to make material changes, you may need to re-run the original procurement, or run a further procurement process for the goods or services that are the subject of the variation.
We want to extend our contract with a supplier so that it runs on the same terms for an extra two years. Can we do this without having to run the procurement process all over again?
It depends. You should check what it says in the relevant OJEU notice and the original procurement documents (such as the ITT). If the OJEU notice and contract documents provide for the proposed extension, then this is permissible. There are specific provisions about the maximum term of framework agreements (which in general should not exceed four years).
We need to extend the contract because the current supplier is the only one that can deliver the service. Is this permissible?
In general, no. You should carry out a new procurement exercise for the service to see if anyone else can provide it.