The procurement process - A level playing field?

29 February 2012

Bird & Bird is delighted to invite you to the first of a series of breakfast seminars on Wednesday 29 February 2012, which will look at critical issues arising in the field of public procurement.

The value of public sector work awarded across the EU annually is enormous. Notwithstanding the planned spending cuts, it is estimated that public sector spend under procured contracts in the UK alone will still be in excess of £200bn in 2011. Competition for work, however, remains intense and procurement exercises are often time consuming and expensive. Suppliers need to know what a bid will cost, whether they can provide a competitive bid and that the competition will be conducted fairly. When public bodies break the rules, suppliers want to be able to challenge and get meaningful remedies but not fear harming the rest of their public sector business through being seen as difficult to deal with.

While procurement law is meant to guarantee a level playing field it remains the case that contracting authorities and bidders are not always aware of their rights and responsibilities. In certain areas, authorities and bidders have more flexibility than they think they do. In other areas, sensible restrictions are often ignored or not even recognised. Avoiding conflict and achieving a successful outcome remains a significant challenge even though this is in all parties' interests.

This seminar will consider a number of current hot topics relating to the procurement process itself and pose the question of how level a playing field is the public sector market?

For further information, or to register to attend this workshop please contact the Events Team at or call +44 (0)20 7415 6000.

The programme

08.00 - 08.30
Registration and breakfast

08.30 - 08.55
The principles behind the procurement procedures - The basics and latest hot topics

08.55 - 09.20
Practical experiences - Pre-procurement discussions, PQQ, the dialogue process, post-BAFO negotiations/clarifications

09.20 - 09.45
Challenging procurement procedures

09.45 - 10.00
Questions and top tips