As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
Given this, “contracting authorities” (for example local authorities, housing associations, ALMOs) should be aware that new Cabinet Office guidance suggests that competitive dialogue procedure should not be used as often as it has been in the past. Government was concerned that the procedure has too often been used as an alternative to proper market testing before starting the procurement.
Although the guidance is binding only on Central Government, other contracting authorities should bear it in mind when considering whether to use the competitive dialogue procedure.
Competitive dialogue and when it can be used
Competitive dialogue is a procedure which allows clients to discuss aspects of the contract with the contracting authority with the selected tenderers after prequalification but before asking for final tenders. During this stage, an individual “solution” is worked out with each tenderer. Once the dialogue has generated potential “solutions”, final tenders are invited, with each tenderer pricing their own “solution” to the contracting authority’s requirements.
Technically the competitive dialogue procedure can be used only to procure “particularly complex contracts” (ie contracts where the client cannot objectively define at the outset either the technical means of carrying out the project or its legal and/or financial make-up).
The government proposes that competitive dialogue should not be used for projects where “market testing” is an acceptable alternative or where the procurement can be completed within four months.
The new guidance suggests that the competitive dialogue procedure should now only be used for projects such as:
- construction or economic infrastructure projects involving design and/or the need for planning permission (ie new build);
- projects involving complicated commercial arrangements, a public private partnership or a private finance element (ie joint ventures).
Clients proposing to use competitive dialogue should ensure they have a good reason to do so and that their contract is genuinely within the definition of “particularly complex”.
For more information
For advice on EU procurement procedures contact Andrew Millross on email@example.com or 0121 212 7473.
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
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