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Articles Local Government 27th Jul 2023

Procurement Regulations Update

As many will be aware, we are awaiting a new set of Procurement Regulations which, following Brexit, is stated by the Government to “Help deliver the Prime Minister’s promise to grow the economy by creating a simpler and more transparent system that will deliver better value for money, reducing costs for business and the public sector”.

Recently, the third reading of the New Procurement Regulations took place. A number of proposed changes made in the House of Lords were voted down. At the same time, the Government announced a consultation on the Draft Implementing Regulations that will form part of the new regime.

Notwithstanding the claims made by the Government, it seems that the base of the current regime will continue in place. One unified set of Regulation is intended to replace the current four sets of Regulations that deal with:

  • Public contracts awarded by central and local government.
  • Utilities contracts operated by utilities and the water, energy and transport sectors.
  • Concession contracts (where the provider does not get paid a fee by the public sector body for carrying out the service).
  • Defence and security contracts.

The current range of different Procurement Procedures will also be reduced.

Contrary to some of the speculation which we have heard, the Regulations will preserve the ability of Local Authorities to use “Teckal” and “Hamburg” exemptions, i.e. to let contracts to subsidiary bodies and to form contractual relationships with other public bodies for provision of services, based on principles of mutual co-operation, without having to go through a procurement process. This principle has at least received praise from the Local Government Association.

We will be carrying out a more detailed analysis and operational guidance following from the Bill once its implementation date, final form and the date on which it will receive Royal Assent is absolutely clear.

If you have any queries or want more information on this please contact Stephen Pearson or another member of our Local Government team.

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The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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