Public procurement regulations govern every contract under which a public authority or other State entity is procuring construction works or supplies of goods or services, provided the likely value of the contract is above one of a range of financial thresholds.
Under the rules a contracting authority which wants to procure construction works or the supply or goods, or wants to buy in services must follow strictly one of the specified tender procedures – the open procedure, restricted procedure, competitive dialogue procedure, competitive procedure with negotiation, or an innovation partnership. Contracts granting concessions, for example, to build a toll road in exchange for a share of revenues, are subject to a special regime.
Suppliers who miss out on a contract because of defects in how the procurement has been conducted can go to court to stop the tender process and seek damages for wasted tender costs or even lost profits. In some circumstances the contract can be declared ineffective.
DWF is one of the leading advisers on public procurement issues. We act for a wide range of clients, including many contracting authorities and key suppliers to the public sector. We have the experience to understand how to apply the detailed technical rules in practice. We help public sector clients to design effective and compliant tender procedures.
When things go wrong we advise on robust defence strategies. And when acting for a supplier, we can use our detailed knowledge of best practice in tender procedures to ensure that a supplier achieves the best result, whether it is influencing the contracting authority to act fairly or if necessary challenging a process in court.
The UK Government has stated that contracting authorities must now take measures to ensure that suppliers at risk are in a position to resume normal contract delivery once the COVID-19 outbreak is over. The Government has issued PPN 02/20 which provides guidance on how public bodies should deal with their existing contractual arrangements so as to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Parliament has shut down for a month to combat the spread of coronavirus. One of its last acts, in the final session, was to pass through the Coronavirus Bill, which received Royal Assent on Wednesday night. At the same time Royal Assent was given to the very short Contingencies Funding Act 2020, which provides the Government departments with the authority to expend resources, capital and cash via the supply process.
Whilst some of the detail remains subject to further sub-ordinate legislation we have set out below a list of the key provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 (the "Act") as they relate to local authorities.
Recent reports suggest that hotel and leisure premises may need to be repurposed to support emergency and essential services in light of the COVID-19 crisis, we consider the implications on such businesses.
A significant five year package of funding has been announced which aims to overhaul bus and cycle links across the country (excluding London) "making every day journeys easier, greener and more convenient".
As part of its £220m funding package to improve bus services in England, the Government has this week pledged £50m to support the creation of England's first all-electric bus town (or towns).
DWF's Data Protection team set out your 10 Data New Year's Resolutions to help you deal with the ever-evolving world of data protection in 2020!
The Government has published its prospectus for the £3.6bn 'Towns Fund' and revealed it will soon select the strongest proposals for the first round of Town Deals in early 2020. State aid compliance is expected to feature strongly during the selection process.
We examine the most notable amendments resulting from the Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 which will be of relevance to all public sector bodies and potential suppliers in the UK.
This article explores the significance of a recent case, focusing on when a contract will likely comprise a "public works contract" and the use of VEAT notices to preclude procurement challenges.