11/03/2019

On 7 March 2019, the Cabinet Office published Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 02/19 “Preparing for the UK Leaving the EU”.

PPN 02/19 is directly applicable to all contracting authorities. It warns contracting authorities that they should “be prepared to apply the provisions of this PPN in either deal or no deal scenarios from the point of the UK’s exit from the EU (29th March 2019)”.

It confirms that, in either a deal or no-deal scenario, the public procurement regime will remain broadly unchanged.  Two annexes to the PPN set out draft guidance to apply, as appropriate, in the event of (1) a deal – Annex 1;  or (2) a no deal – Annex 2.

  • In the event of a deal the current procurement regulatory framework will continue to apply, un-amended, during the implementation period.

The implementation period is currently expected to run from 11pm on 29 March 2019 to 31st December 2020[1].  Contracting authorities will not need to take any immediate action.

Some additional detail is set out in Annex 1, which confirms that further guidance will be provided towards the end of the implementation period.

  • In the event of a no deal, contracting authorities will need to take action.

In particular, they will need to publish notices on the new UK e-notification service, which will replace the OJEU publication requirements.

Annex 2 confirms that the majority of the procurement regulations will remain exactly the same. Some changes will be made by Statutory Instruments to ensure they remain operable.

New UK e-notification service: The key difference will be the need to send notices to the new UK e-notification service, which will be available for active use from the time that the UK leaves the EU.

Contracting authorities who use a third-party provider for advertising should check that their provider has integrated their systems with the new UK e-notification service.

Annex 2 explains that existing Contracts Finder users need take no action as they will be enabled to publish on the new UK e-notification service automatically. We suggest that, at least initially, contracting authorities do double check that publication has occurred.

Contracting authorities who are not current users of Contracts Finder will need to register as a Buyer with Contracts Finder.

Notice requirements for procurements in progress on Exit day

For procurements that have already been advertised in the OJEU before the UK leaves the EU, contracting authorities will need to comply with notice requirements under new/amended regulations - for example, by posting contract award notices on the new UK e-notification service.

Frequently Asked Questions note

There is also a “Frequently Asked Questions” note published on the same webpage as PPN 02/19.

This covers additional questions about the new UK e-notification service. It also deals with a number of other issues, including: thresholds - which remain the same for the time being; timing – particularly concerning procurements in progress on Exit day, procedures – which will remain the same; grounds for exclusion; continued use of NUTS codes, CPV codes and EU technical standards and CE mark. There is a section on “suppliers”, which includes brief information on accession to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and GPA coverage.

You can access PPN 02/19 and the Frequently Asked Questions at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0219-preparing-for-the-uk-leaving--he-eu

 


[1] These dates may change, in the light of rapidly changing political developments.