Post-Brexit public procurement arrangements
08 January 2019
The government has published its draft Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 which are intended to come into force on exit day. The draft Regulations are based on the assumption that the UK will become party to the World Trade Organisation’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) in its own right – currently the UK is only party to the GPA in its capacity as an EU member state.
For the most part, there will be no substantive changes to the procurement regime and contracting authorities will continue to be obliged to advertise contracts above a certain threshold; observe duties of equality, proportionality and transparency in all aspects of running a tender; and observe procedural requirements such as holding standstill periods etc.
The key changes introduced by the Regulations will be:
- Rather than advertising above-threshold contracts in the Official Journal of the European Union, a new UK e-notification service will be established. This will be separate to Contracts Finder, and obligations to advertise contracts there will continue to apply alongside the new e-notification service.
- The financial thresholds will remain the same as they are now, but the responsibility for reviewing them every two years (the next review is due in January 2020) will pass to the Minister for the Cabinet Office.
- Post-exit, bidders from other EU member states will no longer automatically have the right to challenge the award of contracts in the UK. However, to comply with GPA requirements, the draft Regulations give bidders from countries which are party to the GPA (this includes EU member states) the same rights and remedies as they enjoy under the current procurement regime, for a period of eight months. It is expected that if and when the UK accedes to the GPA in its own right, these provisions will be amended.
It is likely that the draft Regulations will be amended further before they are passed into law. However, the key message from the draft is that there are, at least for now, no substantive changes planned to the public procurement regime as a result of Brexit.
Clarkslegal, specialist Public Procurement lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Public Procurement matter please contact Clarkslegal's public procurement team by email at email@example.com by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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