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Procurement reforms come into force throughout the UK

Apr 28, 2016

A raft of new procurement rules came into effect across the UK on 18th April 2016. The Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 and the Concessions Contracts Regulations 2016 are now in force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 and the Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016 now apply, along with the Concession Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016. Pinsent Masons procurement law expert, Stuart Cairns, said "These new regulations introduce some fundamentally different concepts into procurement in the UK and it is imperative that those that run or place contracts through procurement get up to speed as quickly as possible." "From the supplier perspective, bidders who engage with the public sector through formal procurement processes need to understand how these provisions will change their clients' approach. The more bidders can understand about the approach the more they will be able to tailor their bids to clients' needs and more likely it will be that they will be successful in winning new contracts," One of the major changes that will be introduced under the new Utilities Contracts Regulations will be a new competitive dialogue regime. The competitive dialogue framework allows contracting bodies to run their procurement in stages, encouraging a wide-range of bids from utilities suppliers initially but whittling down the number of options at successive stages until a preferred bidder is found. Cairns said that the new Concessions Contracts Regulations are also "entirely new" and have the potential to capture many contracts that would not previously have been subject to competition. New public procurement laws in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, stemming from the EU reforms, are already in force. You can find more information here. Thornton & Lowe has a wealth of experience in Public Sector Procurement. We believe client engagement and communication is key, that’s why all of our projects are managed in line with PRINCE2 project management. With specialist knowledge of value for money assessments, spend analyses, asset management and procurement best practice, the value of Thornton & Lowe is easily measurable across your organisation. Thornton & Lowe have supplied procurement assistance on projects worth over £400m since 2011. You can contact a member of our bid-management team at one of our offices across the UK. Greater Manchester – 01204 238 096, Midlands – 0121 523 1051, Central Scotland – 01334 208 312, North East – 0191 580 0636, London – 203 405 1850 or email:

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