The Office of Government Procurement has finally published clear guidance about tendering for goods and services. Here are Ten Key Messages.
1. All tender competitions regardless of their value have to respect the general principles of EU law, including principles set out in the 2014 Procurement Directives.
2. The OGP should be consulted by public buyers before tenders of a value over €25,000 are published.
3. It is the responsibility of public buyers to train staff involved with procurement to ensure tender competitions are compliant.
4. A new suite of template documents and model letters has been issued.
5. Buyers are now required to conduct a risk assessment and market soundings where high value and complex tenders are under consideration.
6. Public buyers are ‘strongly encouraged’ to provide written feedback to unsuccessful bidders.
7. Less formal procedures must be used for contracts below the EU threshold (€135,000).
8. Buyers must justify the decision they take to use a particular procurement procedure (there are seven options available).
9. Stricter reporting and monitoring arrangements now apply, including the preparation of a verifiable Procurement Audit Report.
10. Guidance is provided about the new features of the 2014 Directives, including issues such as dealing with abnormally low tenders, contract changes and using the European Single Procurement Document.
Despite the fact that over €90 billion in works, goods and services may be procured over the coming five years, the ‘Must Read’ OGP guidance was barely mentioned by the media.