The Cabinet Office’s much anticipated Green Paper on procurement reform in the UK has now been published. The Government’s characterisation of it as representing a “fundamental change” is accurate.
The Green Paper proposes making radical changes to the UK procurement rules aimed at streamlining and simplifying current processes, including:
- Introducing new principles of “value for money”, “the public good”, “integrity” and “efficiency”;
- Combining the legislation covering public contracts, defence, utilities and concessions procurements into a single uniform set of rules;
- Condensing the current spectrum of procurement processes into three simple procedures;
- Widening the scope for authorities to exclude bidders on the basis of poor past performance and establishing a debarment “black-list”;
- Reforming the rules on framework agreements, dynamic purchasing systems and qualification systems;
- Overhauling the way in which bidders are informed of decisions through a procurement, including removing the requirement for a written debrief at the conclusion of a procurement; and
- Reforming the legal challenge process, including potentially introducing a tribunal system to deal with specific/discrete issues.
Leading procurement expert, Prof. Arrowsmith of the University of Nottingham will lead the webinar to talk through some of the proposed changes in more detail and provide further insight into the reform proposals. Sue was heavily involved in advising on the Green Paper as a member of the Cabinet Office’s Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel. She has been at the forefront of analysis and reform of procurement regulation since the 1980s, her book on EU/UK procurement has been described by the High Court as the “the leading academic authority” and “highly persuasive” for the courts in making decisions on procurement law, and in 2019 she was appointed as an honorary QC in recognition of her contribution to development of procurement law.
We are delighted to offer our clients the opportunity to hear more from Prof Arrowsmith on this topic. Following the webinar, we intend to participate in the Government’s consultation process. As part of that process, we also intend to invite our clients to provide us with their own feedback on the Green Paper, rather than responding individually, which can then be consolidated into a single response representing the views of Bird & Bird and our clients.