Covid-19 and Procurement

March 19th, 2020

The Cabinet Office has published a note entitled “Procurement Policy Note – Responding to COVID-19”, PPN 01/10.  It says

“5. There will be a range of commercial actions that must be considered by contracting authorities in responding to the impact of COVID-19. In such exceptional circumstances, authorities may need to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency. This is permissible under current public procurement regulations using regulation 32(2)(c). 

6. This PPN and associated guidance covers options that may be considered in relation to procurements under the Public Contract Regulations 2015 (for the current financial thresholds, see PPN 06/19): 

      • direct award due to extreme urgency (regulation 32(2)(c);
      • direct award due to absence of competition or protection of exclusive rights;
      • call off from an existing framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system;
      • call for competition using a standard procedure with accelerated timescales;
      • extending or modifying a contract during its term.

7. Contracting authorities procuring under the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011, the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 and the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 will need to check similar provisions in those regulations

8. The COVID-19 outbreak is likely to give rise to supply chain disruption and contracting authorities may need to take action in response to supplier claims of ‘force majeure’ or contract ‘frustration’.  These and other issues will be covered in future PPNs.”

The PPN is at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0120-responding-to-covid-19

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