Our experienced team of procurement solicitors provides support and advice to social enterprises on all aspects of procurement, procurement challenges and state aid.
Procurement is the process of buying or selling goods, works or services. We work with social enterprises to understand their procurement needs and challenges. In addition to advising on procurement issues we also advise on state aid and help social enterprises to reduce the risk of ‘claw back’ of funds, which can arise when there is unlawful state aid use.
The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015) are a key piece of legislation relevant to clients who are bidding for public contracts or must themselves run a PCR 2015 compliant procurement process, for example under the terms of a funding agreement. We assist social enterprises to deliver or bid for publicly funded projects where compliance with EU and domestic law surrounding public procurement and state aid is required.
Our procurement team has considerable experience working with social enterprises to ensure compliance with PCR 2015, improve consistency with in-house procurement, update staff on changes to the law and provide specialist advice for an out-of-the-ordinary procurement.
We understand that many of our social-enterprise clients are looking to maximise the positive impact they can have on society and in their communities by developing, regenerating and maintaining the built environment. We are the legal pioneers of securing community benefits through contracts and supported Chris White MP with the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.
Our leading work supporting public-sector clients in delivering social value means we are well-placed to help social enterprises achieve the same in their projects. We will work with when you are bidding for public contract opportunities to identify how you achieve social value in bid responses to improve your prospect of winning public-sector opportunities.
For those buying in works, services and supplies, this means working with you to identify social-value objectives before procurement starts and ensuring it is delivered through careful design of the procurement process and documents.
Our public-procurement and state-aid service
At Anthony Collins Solicitors our experienced procurement team regularly works with co-operatives and mutuals, social enterprises and community organisations to provide advice and support on all aspects of public procurement and state aid, including:
- Providing pre-procurement advice on soft-market testing and delivering social value.
- Advising on the choice of procurement process under PCR 2015, including the use of framework agreements and “buying clubs”.
- Drafting and advising on PCR-compliant procurement documents and underlying contracts.
- Supporting with bidders’ clarification questions and tender evaluation.
- Running full tender processes, including complex processes such as those involving negotiation or dialogue.
- Advice on the possibility of contract negotiations and variations after contract award.
- Empowering in-house teams through training or drafting procurement policies and toolkits.
- Advising on procurement challenges.
- Reviewing funding streams to highlight and mitigate state-aid risks.
- Advising on de minimis declarations.
- Advising on the application of exemptions and notifications to the Commission.
- Reviewing and negotiating state-aid conditions within funding agreements.
- Providing strategic advice on avoiding state aid through competitive selection of suppliers.
We have been recognised for the work we do
In a comprehensive judgement, the High Court rejected a challenge by Stagecoach to the procurement of new franchises for the South Eastern, East Midlands and West Coast rail lines.
The Government has released Procurement Policy Note 04/20 “Recovery and Transition from Covid-19” (the PPN), building on and updating PPN 02/20.
The new thresholds will apply to all contracts let and procurements that begin after 1 January 2020.
“Frustration” enables a party to get out of a contract where new circumstances make performance of that contract impossible or illegal.
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