The Single Source Contracting Regime: is it about to change?

By Mark Leach, Elizabeth Reid, Lucy England


On 24 January 2018 the Single Source Regulations Office (SSRO) published its recommendations to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the changes it thinks are needed to the single source contracting regime. One of the SSRO's roles is to keep the regulatory framework under review and this is the first review since the regime came into force in December 2014. We have an expert team who regularly advise on the single source contracting regime. We have set out below our thoughts on the SSRO recommendations. If you have any questions or comments on this or the regime more generally then please get in touch.

The first thing to note about the SSRO's recommendation paper is that it is dated June 2017 but it has only just been published. We understand the delay in publication was to allow the MoD to carry out its own review of the framework but we do not known whether that review has been completed.

After two rounds of consultation with the MoD and industry, the SSRO finally recommends 14 changes to the regulatory framework which it says are all designed to improve the functioning of the framework. The framework is still quite new and so its recommendations are focused, they say, on areas where it has sufficient evidence to suggest that a change is needed.

This paper does not look at all 14 recommendations in detail but focuses on the main ones and what these changes may mean for industry. Not surprisingly, the common thread from the majority of the recommendations is a suggestion to extend the reach of the regulatory framework so as to include more contracts within it.

When we refer to the 'Act' in this paper we mean the Defence Reform Act 2014 and the 'Regulations', we mean The Single Source Contract Regulations 2014.

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