Public procurement – the implications of an uncertain future
Given the uncertainties caused by the current Coronavirus lockdown, now might be a good time to consider the implications of Brexit for those working in public procurement.
EU Procurement Directives
It is unclear whether there will be an extension of the transition phase we are currently working under. During this phase the EU procurement directives continue to apply. Regardless of when the transition period ends, the procurement regulations will continue to apply as they are now part of UK law. However, at that stage the UK will be free to change the regulations. It remains to be seen how high a priority this will be for the government.
Public Contract Regulations
We know for instance that thought is being given to freeing clinical health services from control under the regulations. The NHS long term plan aims “to free the NHS from wholesale inclusion in the Public Contract Regulations”. Who knows what this will mean in practice? A lot will depend on the final deal reached with the EU.
Even if no deal is reached, The UK will still be bound by the looser arrangements under the WTO Government Procurement Agreement to which the UK is a signatory.
Overall, in the short term, its business as usual, but watch out for changes later.
Specialist public procurement solicitors
Our specialist team of public procurement solicitors offer a commercially focused approach to advising on all aspects of the procurement process. We offer strategic advice in relation to the management of procurement deals, including complex negotiations and challenging procurement decisions. Find out more about our procurement services here.