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Playing by the rules?

19 March 2012

Francis Maude’s speech at the Procurex conference last week may have been well received by SMEs but whether everything he is looking to do falls easily within the EU procurement regime is another question. Firstly, the Government would like less use of the restricted and competitive dialogue procedures and more of the open. The lack of ability to negotiate when using either the open or the restricted procedure rather than competitive dialogue means that contracting authorities may well try to fit square pegs into round holes and run procedures more open to challenge.

Secondly, the request that government departments talk informally to the market before beginning a procedure to ensure a quickening of the decision-making process must be carefully managed so as not to give the impression that decisions have been pre-determined rather than being made after an evaluation based on the requirements in the Public Contracts Regulations 2006.

The decision to break more contracts up into lots may be less contentious.

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