The official directive was published on OJEU on 28th March 2014 and has been transposed into UK law, coming into effect from 26th February. These measures are not a great departure from existing practice but as there is a strong inference on social and environmental factors in the new legislation now would be a good time to start collating data/case studies/information etc. on what positive action your company has taken in these areas for upcoming tenders.
- Electronic versions of procurement documentation must be available through an internet URL immediately on publication of the notice.
- Full electronic communication (with some exceptions) will become mandatory by October 2018.
- Contracting authorities are encouraged to break contracts into lots to facilitate SME participation.
- A turnover cap has been introduced to facilitate SME participation. Contracting authorities will not be able to set company turnover requirements of more than two times contract value.
- A simpler process of assessing bidders’ credentials will be rolled out, involving greater use of self-cleaning, only winning bidders should have to submit various certificates and documents to prove their status.
- New mandatory exclusions include poor performance under previous contracts is explicitly permitted as grounds for exclusion.
Bid Stage Considerations
Improvements to rules on social and environmental aspects, making it clear that:
- Social aspects can now be taken into account in certain circumstances (in addition to environmental aspects which have previously been allowed);Contracting authorities can require certification/labels or other equivalent evidence of social/environmental characteristics;
- Full life-cycle costing can be taken into account when awarding contracts; this could encourage more sustainable and/or better value procurement which might save money over the long term.