How the New UK Procurement Regulations Affect Public Sector Housing

With only a few weeks to go until the new UK Procurement Regulations are implemented in February 2015 (and the new Scottish Procurement Regulations following in August 2015), public sector housing buyers are finding it necessary to put their plans into action now.

Additionally, the new UK Utilities Regulations are expected to be implemented in late spring, along with the first ever Concession Contracts Directive.

The changes that have been implemented are intended to simplify rules and procedures; increase the use of e-procurement; reduce the administrative burden on suppliers; and improve public procurement.

Of particular interest to public sector housing are modification of contracts (the new Regulations now clarify specifically what is and is not permitted) and the lifecycle cost of contracts (gone are the days of buying cheap at the outset then incurring very high lifetime costs).

Key changes will see a much simpler process for assessing bidders’ credentials with increased use of supplier self-declarations, meaning more responsibility for suppliers but less paperwork as only the winning bidder should have to submit various certificates/documents to prove their status. There is also more freedom to negotiate, with the Negotiated Procedure to be less constrained.

Prior Information Notices can now be used as a call for competition, meaning that buyers do not need to issue a second invitation.

The Regulations will mean penalties for previous poor performance; where a supplier has been guilty of poor performance under a previous contract, buyers are now explicitly permitted to exclude them from new contracts. It is also intended to reduce red tape on suppliers’ response times through shorter deadlines.

The Regulations affect digital procurement as public authorities are freed from detailed procurement submissions. Statistics on a public authority’s procurement activity will be collected directly by the European Commission from the online system. This will save time for public authorities.

For Member States, e-procurement is to become mandatory 30 months after the main EU Directives’ adoption, offering clarity over use of e-procurement. New requirements coming into force under the new Public Contracts Directive include that all notices are to be sent to the OJEU electronically, that all documents are to be made available electronically, and that all responses to notices are to be submitted electronically.

With an impressive track record in public sector housing, Delta eSourcing offers a secure EU-compliant e-tendering service, from notice publication to PQQ and ITT creation and exchange; and from online response evaluation to contract award. It is a solution that streamlines the full tender process and reduces the cost of procurement for buyers and suppliers alike.

Delta eSourcing offers buyers in public sector housing access to an established supplier community to engage, identify, assess and qualify suppliers through online supply chain management activities. It can also connect distributed teams pre and post tender for one-off tender exercises, repetitive procurements or as part of longer-term joint ventures.

In the age of e-procurement and the new EU Directives, Delta eSourcing offers a tendering solution that more than meets the demands of public sector housing procurement.