09 September 2011 #Public Sector
As of 1 October 2011, the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (as amended by the Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2009) (the "Regulations") will be further amended by the Public Procurement (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2011.
The key change to the Regulations is that the time limit for bringing a procurement action will be reduced so that it is 30 days from the date of knowledge. The date of knowledge will be the date on which the economic operator first knew, or ought to have known, that grounds for starting proceedings had arisen. The court will have discretion to extend this period where there is good reason for doing so, subject to an absolute maximum period of 3 months. It should be noted that the new time limits will not apply where the date of knowledge was before 1 October 2011. In this case, the time limit for bringing the claim will continue to be 3 months from the date of knowledge (this can be extended on application to the court).
The Regulations will also be amended to reflect the changes brought about by the Bribery Act 2010. Specifically, the list of criminal offences in Regulation 23 has been updated to include new offences created since the Regulations were made.
Finally, it should be noted that proceedings will commence on the issue of the claim form. The claim form must be served on the contracting authority within 7 days after the date of issue.