Impact of Brexit on UK Procurement

Impact of Brexit on UK Procurement

When Brexit finally goes into effect, and it will, it will have effects on a wide range of businesses throughout the UK and the EU as well. One business in particular that will feel the greatest effects of Brexit, is the procurement industry. With bid writing an important part of British public sector procurement, any changes could upset the framework which many companies in this industry depend on.

Typically, public procurement in the UK and the European Union has been governed by a set of Directives and Regulations. These have been implemented in national legislation making them separate per country to meet that country’s specific requirements. The idea that Brexit could change that, for the UK at least, has many companies concerned about the validity of their pan-European contracts.

No Initial Changes as a Result of Brexit

If Brexit does have an effect on procurement regulations for the UK public sector, it may take years to see and it will depend mainly on the relationship held between the UK and the EU. There will definitely be greater flexibility for UK procurement as far as applying or changing the public procurement legislation. One potential change that industry experts are talking about is the fact that Parliament could reduce the ability for challenges to be made against public sector organisations.

No Changes to Public Contracts Regulations 2015

Although Public Contracts Regulations 2015, which encompass the EU procurement directives, won’t see many changes initially, there might be some alterations made as the effects of Brexit are seen. Any directives that are currently part of UK law, will not see any changes, Brexit or not, but we might begin to see questions about the interpretation of these principles especially when it comes to procedures for public sector procurement.

Procurement Law Changes Based on Interpretation

While much of procurement law has been based on EU regulations and the interpretation of these regulations, post-Brexit interpretation will be left up to UK courts which many are guessing will be more flexible in their approach.

Another factor that is of concern to UK tenderers is whether contracting authorities will be able to publish Official Journal of the European Union notices. After all, with a withdrawal from the EU, contracting authorities might not be able to stay compliant with the procurement regulations unless they can publish their OJEU notices.

More Flexible Options

Current procurement legislation is more rigid and unwavering when it comes to changing the way the system works. Under Brexit, we could see a more flexible method to the modification of contracts making it easier for contracting authorities to make the changes needed without having to begin the procurement stages over again.

Many public sector purchasers are hoping for some specific changes beginning 1 JAN 2020. These include the authority to use credit-checking agencies and having more control over financial due diligence using up-to-date financial information as a guide.

Whatever Brexit holds for the public sector procurement industry, we feel it will include more control and greater flexibility when it comes to the creation and modification of contracts.

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