However, the EU procurement rules on frameworks have not been particularly well understood, even by those who are responsible for setting up and managing frameworks. There is also considerable legal uncertainty over what those rules actually say.

In an attempt to bring some clarity to this area of law and procurement practice, the Procurement Lawyers Association has just issued a briefing paper on framework agreements. This paper is free to download from the PLA website.

Some of the themes explored in the paper are:

  • the definition of what is a framework agreement and what distinguishes it from a public contract (including an analysis of the risk of some term contracts being regarded as framework agreements);
  • the requirement to identify potential purchasers when a framework agreement is being set up and how this applies to a number of practical situations;
  • the maximum permitted duration of contracts called-off under framework agreements;
  • permitted call-off arrangements under both single-supplier and multiple-supplier framework agreements, including the extent to which "direct award" and "mini competition" call-off procedures can be used within the same framework agreement;
  • whether the pricing mechanism for the called-off contracts has to be established through the framework agreement itself, or whether it can be left to a mini-competition (on which the working group was divided, so both alternative arguments are included in the paper);
  • abuses of framework agreements and the "improper use" rule; and
  • remedies for breach of the EU procurement rules on framework agreements including the risk of a contract that has been improperly called-off under a framework agreements being set aside for "ineffectiveness".

For more information

Andrew Millross was a member of the PLA working party that produced the guidance. If you would like to discuss any of the guidance with Andrew, or would like advice on setting up or using framework agreements, he and his team can be contacted on 0121 212 7473 or andrew.millross@anthonycollins.com.

Is £400m enough?
Is £400m enough?

The government announced on 16 May that it will provide a fund of £400m to cover the costs of removal and replacement of cladding to high rise residential blocks which have failed tests.

The problems with co-owned properties and attorneys
The problems with co-owned properties and attorneys

Whilst some people are under the impression that preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is simply a case of completing a form and ticking a few boxes, it is about far more than this.

What's mine is (not) yours!
What's mine is (not) yours!

A big fear for some people facing divorce and the inevitable carving up of the matrimonial assets. They seek assurances that such assets will be “ring-fenced” and retained for them.

How to avoid the PET trap
How to avoid the PET trap

When an individual is thinking about making a gift to another individual, consideration needs to be given to the Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) trap.

Fictitious divorces
Fictitious divorces

Arising from the recent Family Division announcement, people who think they are legally divorced may in fact still be married.