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Kim Nailor, MCIPS manages Pelican’s Tender Team, who handle all aspects of formal food and non-food tendering on behalf of our clients, adhering to the latest public procurement legislation and the highest standards of professional practice. 

Here, Kim shares a quick low down on the latest changes to the public procurement legislation: 

EU procurement legislation

EU legislation no longer applies in the UK with the exception of public procurement contracts that began before the end of transition period 31 December 2020. However there are new regulations that are similar and, in some cases, remain unchanged and apply under UK Procurement Legislation. Some regulations are already in place with more to be reviewed over the coming months, potentially continuing up to September 2021 and beyond. This means there may be continued changes for the foreseeable future – so watch out for further updates.

Public contracts regulations – thresholds

Pelican uses government guidelines for all public sector tendering and comply with the current thresholds. The threshold for the tenders that Pelican manages remains unchanged at £189,330 and will not change until 1 January 2022, when future thresholds will be determined by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) which the UK has been a member of since 1 January 2021.

New contract notice service

The UK government announced the new service for publishing contract notices, replacing the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU): “Find a Tender” went live on 1 January 2021. Pelican’s procedure for posting public tenders remains the same, via an online portal: this links through to “Find a Tender” so we’ve had no disruption to our usual procedure. 

Procurement policy paper – social value

Our Tender Team strives to ensure that they keep up-to-date with legislation when managing tenders and recent changes to social value is a great example. Social value has become increasingly important for our clients and in September 2020 the government introduced Procurement Policy Note 06/20 – taking account of social value in the award of central government contracts. So, from 1 January 2021 a minimum weighting of 10% is applied for social value in our tenders to ensure that it carries a heavy enough score to be a differentiating factor in our bid evaluations. This updates the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 where the subject matter was just considered. 

Green paper – transforming public procurement

Green Paper reforms are aimed to strengthen essential principles in public procurement. This Green Paper is intended to shape the future of public procurement in the UK. The Government’s goal is to speed up and simplify our procurement processes, put emphasis on value for money and give better opportunities to small businesses, charities and social enterprises to innovate in public service delivery. 

The Green Paper talks, amongst other things of principles to be used through public procurement which Pelican is already practices through their tender process:

  • Public good – procurement should support the delivery of strategic national priorities including economic, social, ethical, environmental and public safety 
  • Value for money – procurement should enable the optimal whole-life blend of economy, efficiency and effectiveness that achieves the intended outcome of the business case 
  • Transparency – openness that underpins accountability for public money, anticorruption, and the effectiveness of procurements 
  • Integrity – good management, prevention of misconduct, and control in order to prevent fraud and corruption 
  • Fair treatment of suppliers – decision-making by contracting authorities should be impartial and without conflict of interest 
  • Non-discrimination – decision-making by contracting authorities should not be discriminatory.

Pelican will continue to use the open procedure for its tenders and although there will be changes to other procedures this one remains unchanged.

For the full Green Paper details go to https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/green-paper-transforming-public-procurement

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