0370 270 6000

Procurement Policy Note 10/20: key changes and considerations for contracting authorities post the UK-EU transition period

16 December 2020

On the 10th December 2020, the Cabinet Office published Procurement Policy Note 10/20 titled ‘Public Procurement after the Transition Period ends on 31 December 2020’ (the “PPN”), together with a set of FAQs providing further guidance. Copies of both can be found here.

The PPN aims to outline how public procurement will be affected from the 1 January 2021 and is largely a consolidated reminder of what has previously been notified in earlier PPNs (notably PPN 08/20) and the Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.

When does the PPN apply?

The PPN applies to all contracting authorities, including Central Government Bodies, Executive Agencies, Non-Departmental Public Bodies, wider public sector, local authority, NHS bodies and utilities.

In essence, the PPN applies to all public procurements for goods, services or works which would currently be caught by the existing OJEU/TED regime pursuant the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 and Concession Contracts Regulations 2016

What action must be taken?

From 11pm on 31 December 2020 (the end of the UK-EU transition period), all new procurements are to be advertised through the UK’s new e-notification ‘Find a Tender’ service (“FTS”), which effectively replaces notifications through OJEU/TED.

Other existing notification portals such as Contracts Finder and MOD Defence Contracts Online, are unaffected by this change and will continue to operate in the same way as they do now.

What are the implications for procurements still ongoing at 1 January 2021?

All procurements which are planned to start before 1 January 2021, or which have already been commenced but will not be concluded before the 1 January 2021, must continue to follow the existing regime. This means that notices must continue to be published in the OJEU/TED, even after the FTS goes live. Similarly, contracting authorities must also continue to send details of contract awards to Contracts Finder (and the like) as required.

Additionally, the PPN advises that notices sent to OJEU/TED should subsequently be sent to FTS as well so that suppliers only have one place to look for UK opportunities. However, contracting authorities are not obliged to do so (for existing procurements) and in any event, publication must first be made in OJEU/TED.

Are future changes to the UK public procurement regime planned?

From the 1 January 2021, the UK is to accede to the WTO’s Agreement on Government Procurement (“GPA”) as an independent member and so for procurement purposes, UK companies will continue to have access to EU markets on similar terms to now, to the extent that procurement in the EU remains covered by the GPA’s coverage schedules.

The PPN also indicates that the UK has negotiated international trade agreements with non-EU countries which largely replicate the current rights and obligations that are in place with those countries with regards to public procurement.

However, the UK Government is considering whether further reforms should be made to the public procurement regulations and a Green Paper on the subject was published earlier this week. You can read our update on the Green Paper here.

The consultation on procurement reforms is open until 10 March 2021 and therefore, at least in the immediate short-term, there should be little difference for contracting authorities to adjust to when considering and running public procurement processes.

What is the current impact for contracting authorities of the PPN?

Other than the change to notifications mentioned in this article, the basic principles of the public procurement rules will remain the same after the UK-EU transition period for now.

A few of the other key points to note from the PPN are outlined below:

  • Threshold values have not changed, other than to represent the value in pounds sterling as opposed to euros. The values will continue to be aligned with the GPA, with the next scheduled review due to take place by January 2022.
  • If not already done so, contracting authorities who currently use a third-party provider to publish notifications (i.e. an eSender) should check that their provider will be ready and able to switch to FTS from 1 January 2021. A list of providers confirmed as ready can be found here.
  • The PPN confirms that contracting authorities cannot simply choose to “Buy British”. All suppliers should continue to be treated equally and fairly through open competition.
  • The use of Voluntary Ex-Ante Transparency Notices is still permitted and will be built into FTS.

Training and events

6Jul

New guidance on exclusions - what you need to know ON24 webinar platform

The department for Education is releasing new guidance on exclusions and suspensions, making changes to the behaviour, suspension and exclusion framework and guidance. Join us on 6 July as we explain the proposed changes and help you understand how they will affect you and your school.

View event

13Jul

ICS Forum webinar series: New rules for service reconfiguration Microsoft Teams

Chaired by Sir Neil McKay, this 1 hour webinar, presented by Gerard Hanratty will look at the Secretary of State’s new powers under the Health & Care Act 2022 over service reconfiguration and how that will impact on the current approach. The session will look at working with your local authority and the NHS England assurance process.

View event

Focus on...

Blogs

Homes England partners with local authorities to boost the levelling up agenda

Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator, has partnered with two local authorities, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Association of South Essex Local Authorities, in a new Strategic Place Partnership (SPP) which is designed to align with the government’s levelling up agenda by delivering new homes in the regions.

View

What’s the right level of risk?

In this on-demand webinar our procurement, health and social care and risk experts will discuss ‘what’s the right level of risk’. They also discuss what can be done to mitigate risk.

View

Legal updates

Public Matters - June 2022

Updates include Acclimatise! You can’t afford to cop-out, Responding to Grenfell – Slow progress is better than none and more.

View

Published articles

Levelling up – the role of public and private partnerships

With aims to level up the UK, and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to flourish, public and private partnerships will be critical success factor. In this article, we look at the role that private finance can play in the performance of a local area and how it might link to regeneration. We also consider the role of central government and regional mayors.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up