After that date each EU member state, including the UK, has 2 years in which to implement the new Directives (other than the electronic tendering provisions, where the period is 54 months). Cabinet Office is looking to expedite implementation, at least for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and this could happen later this year. Scotland will make its own implementing Regulations.

There are some key changes that public sector contracting authorities need to be aware of (watch out for future briefings on some of these). Some of the 'big picture' changes include:

  • a fundamental change to the procurement of services – with a more limited group of services benefiting from an exemption from the rules than is now the case;
  • the introduction of 'self-declarations' with a view to reducing the administrative burden on bidders;
  • a new Directive governing public works and services concessions;
  • a new 'negotiated procedure with competition' that might sit alongside competitive dialogue for complex projects;
  • an increased focus on social and environmental matters in procurement; and
  • codification of key pieces of case law from recent years – including a detailed test for a 'Teckal' company, and rules governing when a material change to a contract requires a new procurement exercise.

Anthony Collins Solicitors are working with the Cabinet Office through their consultation programme on those aspects of the new Directives that involve discretion on the part of the member state in their implementation. Discussion papers we have responded to recently include discussions on:

  • central purchasing bodies;
  • compliance with social and environmental law, and group bidding;
  • tender assessment;
  • electronic procurement and security; and
  • new forms.

And in the meantime…

The EU tendering thresholds for those EU countries which have not adopted the euro are benchmarked against the euro every two years. The European Commission has now set out the revised thresholds from 1st January 2014. These are:

Works: £4,322,012

Services and Supplies: £172,514

For Part B services, which are not subject to the EU procurement rules in full, the thresholds will only be relevant to the completion of a contract award notice.

The new thresholds for 'small lots' are:

Works: £833,400

Services and Supplies: £66,672

These are where up to 20% of a 'single requirement' for works, services or supplies can be let without OJEU tendering, as long as each contract is valued below the 'small lots' threshold.

We expect these thresholds to be in force until the new Directives are implemented in the UK.

For more information

For more information or advice on the EU procurement rules, copies of our responses to the Cabinet Office discussion programme, or to discuss any aspect of the new public sector Directive, please contact Gayle Monk on gayle.monk@anthonycollins.com, Sarah Lines on sarah.lines@anthonycollins.com, Andrew Millross on andrew.millross@anothonycollins.com, or your usual contact within Anthony Collins Solicitors.

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.