By Peter Brewer
1st Jul 2016
We have set up a dedicated area on our website for EU exit news which will enable you to keep up-to-date with how it may affect procurement practices. We will be updating the website as more information becomes available and we will also be canvassing our members in the coming weeks to find out your queries on this topic. If you missed our recent communication, please see below to read it in full.
The result of the Referendum of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union has without doubt cast uncertainty for many of us and understandably there will be concerns about the impact on public sector procurement. The purpose of this communication is to address any early concerns about the effect on how you do procurement and share the information that is currently available.
The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union should have less of an impact on how the UK conducts its public sector procurement than it will in other areas, the OJEU regime is based on a system designed and managed by the EU. The UK will still require a robust system to ensure that tax payer’s money is spent appropriately on public sector contracts and even though the UK may leave the current EU regulatory system, the procurement principles are already enshrined in UK legislation and are UK law. It is also important to note that the UK played a major role in the development of the Procurement Directives and the subsequent Public Contracts Regulations so it is unlikely that any changes would be material.
The general consensus of procurement publications and procurement legal specialists is that it is unlikely that the UK would remove public procurement rules altogether. Public procurement is, at its core, there to prevent corruption and enable open and fair treatment and that driver would remain. The UK is a party to the World Trade Organisation’s Government Procurement Agreement and as such, it is highly likely that those rules will continue to apply in some form. You can read more here. We do not know if or when any changes will take place and what they will look like, although it is likely that at some point the Government will issue a schedule of review for legislation that is impacted by the result.
In the short term nothing should change (at least for the next couple of years), the Public Contracts Regulations will continue to apply to public sector bodies, including CPC and its members.
In the long term, the current regime may continue or a new set of similar rules will be drafted and introduced. This could take several years to produce and implement and it is reasonable to assume that this set of Regulations will not be a priority for the UK, taking into account other key areas of legislation that must be addressed first.
The CPC business model is committed to being agile and responsive, this approach is embedded into everything that we do. Whatever the future looks like we will ensure that we position ourselves to continue to be the consortium of choice for you, our members.
We will continue to provide you with information on how this impacts public sector procurement as the situation develops. To keep up to date with all developments please visit our newsletter. If you have any specific queries or concerns, please address them via your Regional Procurement Advisor who will pass them to our procurement experts.