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A new presumption?

14 May 2012

The Cabinet Office has published its latest Procurement Policy Note giving guidance to government departments (which includes their agencies and non-departmental public bodies) on how to implement the coalition’s procurement pledges. The main one is to reduce the number of procurement exercises carried out using competitive dialogue in what the paper calls a “presumption against competitive dialogue”. The Public Contracts Regulations 2006 already make it clear that this presumption is part of the EU’s procurement regime so this should be nothing more than a reminder of that.

However, the Note also gives guidance on how to manage pre-procurement engagement and use the Lean sourcing principles, both of which will no doubt be welcomed by contracting authorities (not just government departments) keen to better understand how to use these to reduce the time and expenditure of procurement exercises. One eye should be kept on the legislation and the case law to ensure that in using these techniques contracting authorities don’t unintentionally give unfair advantage to certain potential bidders.

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