EU rules hit poor contractors

Published on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:39
Written by Vicki Mitchem

Last week, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude expressed delight after the European Parliament voted through new directives to transform the rules on procurement, approving several UK-backed reforms.

One directive will allow civil servants to exclude suppliers from a procurement procedure on the basis of "significant or persistent poor performance". Ruth Smith, national head of procurement law at lawyers Mills & Reeve, said: "There have been some pretty high-profile contract failures recently.

"There may well have been instances where authorities found themselves looking at a contractor they would prefer not to award a contact with, but they haven't been able to find a way out of it."

A separate measure will boost the government's mutualisation drive, by allowing tendering bodies to reserve contracts for such companies. And another, which codifies contracting relationships between government bodies, is designed to make it easier to create shared service centres.

Member countries have two years to implement the changes, but the government this week said it will press ahead as fast as possible, holding an initial consultation with stakeholders before Christmas.

Maude said that one of the new directives "includes several wins for the UK government. We will seek to transpose these rules into UK law quickly, as the regulations will help British companies win business in other European countries."

Source: Civil Service World

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