While we await Royal Assent for the Procurement Bill (which is currently completing its progress through parliament and not expected to come into force until well into 2024) there are a couple of legislative/policy updates to be aware of, as follows.
Impact of The Public Procurement (International Trade Agreements) (Amendment) Regulations 2023
On 25 May 2023, the Public Procurement (International Trade Agreements) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 come into force, making amendments to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015), the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 (UCR 2016) and the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 (CCR 2016).
From 25 May 2023, three new key provisions apply in the PCR 2015 (and also where applicable in the UCR 2016 and CCR 2016):
- By new Regulation 6(15A) – if a contracting authority is not able to value a contract, then the PCR 2015 deem its value to exceed the relevant value threshold to trigger application of the PCR 2015.
- By new Regulation 18(4), contracting authorities are prohibited from terminating contracts in a way that “circumvents” the procurement rules.
- By new Regulation 48 (and other consequential amendments to other regulations) it is no longer possible to use a Prior Information Notice as a call for competition to commence a procurement (including where the procurement falls under the “light touch regime”.
Update to the standard CCS Selection Questionnaire
The CCS has produced an updated version of the standard SQ and related guidance – you can read the detail in our previous post here. This updated version is mandated for use from 1 June 2023.