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Construction firms are being urged to sign up for the government’s new Find a Tender website, which replaces the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
All future public sector contracts are set to be advertised
on Find a Tender, following the UK’s departure from the European Union at the
start of this year. While the UK is no longer bound by EU Procurement
Regulations, the public sector is still bound by the Public Contracts
Pagabo national framework manager Jonathan Oram said the
government was preparing to make to the current suite of procurement
regulations, with some “interesting thoughts” in its ‘Transforming Public
Procurement’ green paper published in December last year. Among the proposals to
attract Oram’s attention were plans for a ‘Competitive Flexible Procedure’ which
would replace some existing procedures (such as competitive dialogue,
competitive procedure with negotiation, innovation partnerships and design contests)
and give commercial teams flexibility to design a compliant procurement process
that meets the needs of the market.
Oram said: “The green paper also talks about the possibility
of open frameworks to introduce more flexibility. As it stands, frameworks are
locked, and once suppliers are appointed there is currently no mechanism within
the regulations to add on new suppliers during the term of a framework
agreement. The new proposed open type of framework would, at specified
intervals, allow new organisations to bid to be part of the framework and for
existing organisations to update their previously successful bid to reflect the
prevailing market conditions.
“The Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) process is also set to
be reviewed again. The rules were made more user-friendly in PCR2015 compared
to PCR2006, but the expansion of the scope and flexibility of DPS could see it
fit for wider purposes, with the creation of DPS+. Dynamic purchasing systems
are starting to be become more prevalent and are proving to be a very useful
tool for public sector organisations in supporting local and social value
“Ultimately, introducing much more flexibility is the biggest thing we are expecting to see in procurement over the coming years, ensuring that the best results can be delivered for clients on a case-by-case basis.”
Meanwhile, the government is working towards a centralised
procurement database, on which company details will exist and link together
with tender processes.
Oram added: “In reality, this is something that has needed
to happen for a number of years and making this standard practice will really
help to reduce costs, as well as remove barriers for SMEs, and help with
government initiatives to engage with these companies more on procurement
“There is also a proposed requirement to provide more
information throughout the life of a contract. This could be via an opensource
data standard such as Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), which is used by
more than 30 governments around the world and would allow more transparency and
quicker transfer of information. By having this openness, supply chains should
run more smoothly and ensure that the correct suppliers can be engaged at the
And he said he expected to see a tightening up around
suppliers past performance and how that may influence a bid.
Oram predicted that short-term Brexit is going to have “minimal
impact” on the procurement regulations (PCR2015). Amendments to PCR2015 are
expected to take place over the next 12 to 18 months and to be released as
However, there are already some additional requirements
being implemented alongside the current PCR2015 requirements that tie into the
government’s procurement strategies surrounding social value, carbon neutrality
and SME engagement.
Any future amendments would still have to be in line with
the principles of the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), which is an
agreement for World Trade Organisation (WTO) members, including the UK.