We have posted previously about a series of amendments that have been made this spring/summer to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (the “Regulations”). As part of this series of amendments, a new Schedule 1 to the Regulations comes into force on 16th August.
This is a key schedule which sets out a list of named “central government contracting authorities”. Central government contracting authorities are subject to a lower threshold for supplies and services contracts (£122,976, as opposed to sub-central authorities, which are not expressly listed in Schedule 1 and for whom that threshold is £189,330).
Schedule 1 has not been updated for some time. The new list of central government authorities has been divided into two parts – part 1 lists those authorities which are listed in the Government Procurement Agreement and part 2 lists those which are not. All the authorities listed in both parts 1 and 2 are central government authorities for the purposes of the Regulations.
The change is particularly relevant to NHS Foundation Trusts, which historically have regarded themselves as sub-central authorities but which are now listed in the new Schedule 1 as central government authorities. The lower threshold will therefore apply to NHS FTs from 16th August.
Other authorities, particularly those that consider themselves to be sub-central, may like to check the new list here, to confirm whether this remains the case, as failure to observe the lower of the two thresholds where this is now required would potentially be a significant breach of the Regulations.