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The procurement net spreads wider

Some of us are aware of the shenanigans that certain public bodies can get up to, to avoid the fairness and transparency demanded by the Public Contracts Regulations. It is well established that bodies that are governed by public law are required by the EU to follow its procurement regime when they purchase works, services or supplies above the current value threshold.

Nowadays, most of these purchases are covered by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, but certain tenders run by Utilities (such as Network Rail, the National Grid and others) have so far escaped the full implications of this net.

Introducing the Utilities Contracts Regulations

We await the introduction of the new Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016, which is due to be in force from 18th April this year. This legislation will do much to bring the activities of Utilities under the same control as other Public Sector procurement. While the changes are not extensive, there is certainly enough for the bid team to demand that they get the same treatment as they would in any other Public Sector contract competition. Moreover, the regulations will open up the new dialogue and innovation procurement routes for Utilities contracts, which should be welcome to all involved.

Author: Andy Haigh PPM APMP Director and Public Sector Bid Consultant, Sixfold International Ltd

We have no doubt that mid-April will still bring some surprises, so watch this space. If you would like to discuss the forthcoming changes please do get in touch on 020 8158 3952 or

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