Transforming public procurement in the UK – The Green Paper
On 15 December 2020, at the end of the transition period for leaving the EU, the Cabinet Office published its Green Paper on “Transforming public procurement”. It sets out the Government’s proposals for reforming, modernizing, and simplifying the procurement regime in the UK to make the system more flexible, transparent, and uniform. The Green
Paper includes numerous proposals for the current regime, including proposals for new award criteria, removing Light Touch Regime, creating Dynamic Purchasing
System (DPS+) and open framework agreements, and a lot more. Three of the key proposals are briefly set out below:
1. A uniform set of regulations
Since the procurement regime includes over 350 regulations, the proposal is to consolidate Public Contracts
Regulations 2015, Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016, Concession Contracts Regulations 2016, and Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 into a single set of regulations for all contract awards. This is to make the regulations easier to understand while maintaining the basic structure of the existing regulatory framework.
2. Three simple new procedures
There are currently seven procurement procedures available to award contracts. The Government proposes to replace them with three procedures: the competitive flexible procedure, the open procedure, and the limited tendering procedure. The competitive flexible procedure would increase the freedom to negotiate and innovate in the competitive flexible procedure, for example.
3. Public procurement principles
The Government proposes that public good, value for money, transparency, integrity, fair treatment of suppliers, non-discrimination would be the key principles which would be included in the new legislation and followed in every procurement.
Apart from the proposals, the Green Paper asks after each chapter questions about the proposal to which the public is encouraged to answer in order to help the Cabinet Office to develop, implement and monitor the success of the reform. The publication is a subject to public consultation until 10 March 2021.
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