One year has passed since the introduction of Regulation 22.
Last year, Delta eSourcing gave guidance on how the law around communication with regard to public contracts was changing.
From 18 October 2018, under Regulation 22 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, all public sector organisations must, by law, make sure that communication and information exchange for above-threshold procurement is carried out using electronic means of communication.
The UK Government introduced this regulation to improve transparency and visibility throughout the supply chain.
Communication and information exchanged during the tender process (for contracts above the EU thresholds) is now required to be carried out electronically. This includes the electronic submission of pre-qualification questionnaires and tenders, as well as call-offs under framework agreements.
What does Regulation 22 mean for the public sector?
The Local Government Association (LGA) gives advice on Regulation 22 on its website; it states that:
“‘Electronic means’ equals ‘electronic equipment for the processing (including digital compression) and storage of data which is transmitted, conveyed and received by wire, by radio, by optical means or by any other electromagnetic means.’
“Dynamic purchasing systems (DPS) and electronic auctions are by definition already electronic, and, in addition, the regulations now explicitly allow tenders to include electronic catalogues.”
The Association states that changes have been implemented around the governing of DPS exercises, which means “it is likely to be used much more as a consequence”. The LGA insists that the rules on electronic auctions have not changed.
eProcurement and eCommunication
In the Crown Commercial Service’s Guidance on Electronic Procurement & Electronic Communication document, the CCS outlines the differences between eProcurement and eCommunication.
It states that:
“The directive and the UK regulations do not use the term electronic procurement or eProcurement, referring only to electronic [e-] communications…
“While Regulation 22 sets out specific requirements for systems used to communicate with bidders and on the processing of tender information, the internal processes conducted by the authority, and post-award activities, remain largely out of scope of the rules. But of course, contracting authorities may choose to use such tools and solutions to complement the use of e-communications as required in the rules, in order to reap the full benefits of ‘end-to-end’ e-procurement.”
As you may already know, eProcurement is the method which many UK public sector organisations already use when purchasing goods, works and services. This electronic process includes everything from notice creation to contract management; to do this procurement teams will often use specialist eProcurement software.
What are the benefits of eProcurement?
Although many public sector organisations had no choice but to switch to eProcurement after 18 October 2018, when the changes in PCR 2015 (Regulation 22) came into force, there are many benefits to using electronic procurement over traditional methods.
The main purpose of an eProcurement tool is that it opens the marketplace, which in turn gives buyers more choice.
Communication is one of the biggest advantages of eProcurement as buyers and suppliers can submit questions and answers in relation to the bid, 24 hours a day. This flexibility speeds up the process and makes the market more accessible for suppliers with less experience.
Other benefits include cost savings and compliance. By using an eProcurement solution, buyers save on printing, postage and physical document storage, and remain compliant with the regulations.
How can Delta eSourcing support your organisation?
Delta’s eProcurement tools, such as our Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), allow public sector buyers to quickly procure goods, works or services that are available in the market.
DPS is an efficient electronic procedure that would benefit buyers across the public sector. The main benefit of a DPS is that it remains open to new suppliers, unlike a framework agreement. It also gives buyers access to fresh innovations.
It is incredibly important that your organisation is refreshing its pool of suppliers; this ensures that you are consistently benefiting from the eProcurement process and gaining value for money from the supply chain. Working with new suppliers also ensures that your current suppliers remain competitive and your organisation stays fair and compliant.
Stay compliant with Delta eSourcing
If your organisation is still adapting its eProcurement strategy, Delta will have a solution that will fit the requirements and needs of your organisation perfectly.
We support public sector organisations to transform the way that they procure goods and services with an electronic procurement system. With Delta eSourcing your team can be confident that their strategy is fully EU-compliant at every stage and that it will comply with the Regulation 22 eCommunication requirements.
Our Delta Helpdesk team will make the switch a comfortable and easy one for you! Book a demo with our expert procurement team to find out how you can join Delta eSourcing.