How the New UK Procurement Regulations Affect the NHS

With only a few weeks to go until the new UK Procurement Regulations are implemented in February 2015 (and with the new Scottish Procurement Regulations following in August 2015), NHS procurement is finding it necessary to put plans into action now.

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

This is welcome news to the Department of Health which is working closely with the Cabinet Office to maximise the efficiencies available to the NHS through the “Better Procurement, Better Value, Better Care” programme. In its recent guidelines, the Department of Health’s Procurement Division places a strong emphasis on generating savings across the organisation and visibility of the procurement department to suppliers.

Of particular interest to the NHS in the new UK Procurement Regulations are the 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 for buyers as only the winning bidder should have to submit the required 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.

For Member States, eProcurement is to become mandatory 30 months after the main EU Directives’ adoption, offering clarity over use of eProcurement. 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 NHS eProcurement, Delta eSourcing offers a secure EU-compliant eTendering 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 the NHS 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 eProcurement, the new EU Directives and the Department of Health Procurement Division guidelines, Delta eSourcing offers a tendering solution that more than meets the demands of NHS eProcurement.

 

 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0