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SME's to benefit from proposed changes to public procurement law

20 December 2011

Today (20 December 2011) marks the publication of the European Parliament’s and European Council’s proposed revisions to the procurement directives, setting out their vision for the future of procurement law which they anticipate being implemented into UK law by June 2014

The commission has signalled a clear intention to help SMEs navigate the public procurement minefield more successfully. Proposed changes include a reduction in potential barriers to participation and a requirement for contracting authorities to accept self-declarations as prima-facie evidence for selection purposes. Contracting authorities will also subject to certain exemptions, be required to consider subdividing public contracts above €500 000 into homogeneous or heterogeneous lots and, if they fail to do so, provide a reason as to why they have not. The draft directive also sees a restriction on what can be demanded in relation to turnover requirements on bidders for public contracts : this will now be limited to three times the estimated contract value, except in justified cases.

This will clearly be welcomed in the SME sector, although time will tell how burdensome some of these requirements will be on the public sector.

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