Public Procurement

February 26th, 2019 by James Goudie KC

On 22 February 2019, the Cabinet Office has issued a Procurement Policy Note (“PPN”) on “Applying Exclusions in Public Procurement, Managing Conflicts of Interest and Whistleblowing” to “deepen understanding” and “supplement and strengthen existing practices”.

An accompanying Information Note explains:-

“When the UK leaves the EU the public procurement regulations will remain broadly unchanged. If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, the existing scheme of UK procurement rules, which implement the EU public procurement directives, will be preserved under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the current regulations will be amended to ensure they remain operable and functional on exit.”

The PPN itself addresses Mandatory Exclusion (paragraphs 3-7 inclusive, PCR Regulation 57), Discretionary Exclusion (paragraphs 8-10 inclusive, Regulation 57), Self-declaration of status against the exclusion grounds (paragraphs 11-14 inclusive, Regulation 59), Verification (paragraphs 15-18 inclusive, Regulations 57, 59 and 60), “self-cleaning” (paragraphs 19-21 inclusive, paragraph 57) Conflicts of Interest (paragraphs 22-27 inclusive, Regulations 24, 41, 57 and 84), and “Whistleblowing” (paragraphs 28 and 29).

Paragraph 17 of the PPN emphasizes as follows:-

“In-scope Organisations must request up to date evidence from the winning bidder before award of the contract. If the supplier fails to provide the required evidence within set timeframes, or the evidence demonstrates that a mandatory exclusion ground applies, the award of the contract should not proceed.”


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