The High Court has ruled that retrospective changes to the LGPS exit credits regime were lawful – and gave some helpful guidance around the new discretion to pay an exit credit.
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 has brought forward draft laws to allow independent schools to close the Teacher’s Pension Scheme to new joiners but to allow existing members to continue.
The Government has started consultation on the regulations providing the detailed framework for collective money purchase pension schemes.
In June we took on the challenge to become a Sepsis Savvy organisation - I'm really pleased to announce we've done it!
In 2020 the court rules were changed to require that all residential tenants must be given 14 days’ notice of an eviction. What happens though if the eviction is cancelled on the day?
We are delighted to announce that our private wealth law department has continued to maintain its Band 2 position in the latest edition of Chambers and Partners High Net Worth.
The new CHF is set to launch and open for applications with £4 million set to be allocated to community-led housing groups to support an increase the supply of affordable housing in England.
Charities, like other organisations, may be subject to or choose to voluntarily comply with the reporting requirements under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
The draft regulations making it mandatory for anyone entering a registered care home in England to have been double vaccinated unless they are clinically exempt were made on 22 July 2021.
Doug Mullen and Michelle Knight discuss the recent judicial review of regulations changing the regime governing exit credits in the local government pension scheme.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.