EU Directives Update
This is the first in a series of communications to stakeholders in the UK procurement community with an interest in getting ready for the new EU procurement rules. In due course we'll be making use of digital tools including blogs and twitter feeds - please let us know your preferred means of keeping in touch.
In this piece we cover:
· the latest news on the state of play in Brussels
· more information about UK transposition
· progress on our embedding plans, including a call for support from willing trainers
The latest state of play in Brussels
As reported in July, a provisional deal has been done in Brussels . But the new directives can't be finalised until the European Parliament formally agrees in plenary. What's happening now is a detailed process where the lawyer-linguists refine the detailed English texts and translate them into all other official EU languages. But the process is intensive and is taking longer than expected, so the forecast date of the EP plenary has now slipped to early 2014. This and any further changes to the EU timetable will have knock-on effects on the UK 's plans. We'll keep you posted.
About the new rules
The new rules are an excellent negotiating result for the UK . They support UK Government priorities of economic growth and deficit reduction by making the public procurement process faster, less costly, and more effective for business and procurers alike. These changes provide a much more modern, flexible and commercial approach compared to the existing regime. Outdated and superfluous constraints have been removed, and many new features have been added to streamline and modernise public procurement. For contracting authorities, this means being able to run procurement exercises faster, with less red tape, and more focus on getting the right supplier and the best tender. And for suppliers, the process of bidding for public contracts should be quicker, less costly, and less bureaucratic, enabling suppliers to compete more effectively. It is right for the UK to take advantage of these benefits as soon as possible.
You can read more detail about the background, a summary of the main changes, and our approach to implementing the changes in our Procurement Policy Note
Member States are required to transpose (implement) these within 2 years of adoption at EU level. Cabinet Office is preparing to transpose early, to realise economic benefits quickly. Briefly, our plans and progress include;
· Drafting of the public sector regulations is well underway (based on the provisionally agreed Directive text).
· Discussion papers have been issued on some of the policy choices, and up to 15 papers in total will be issued before the end of the calendar year.
· Discussion paper responses will help inform decision-making on preferred options.
· A formal consultation on the draft implementing regulations will follow.
· The final stage is to make and lay the regulations in Parliament
For those that are really interested in the full detail of the new directives, you can read the provisionally agreed drafts at:http://www.consilium.europa.eu/documents?> and insert the relevant reference into the "Document Number" field:
- For the Public Sector Directive, insert: 11745/13; Concessions Directive, insert: 11748/13; Utilities Directive, insert:11746/13
We want to support all public sector organisations to understand the changes in the new Directives and how to put these into practice. We are aiming to provide a blended learning package free of charge.
The team held a stakeholder engagement event on the 08.10.13 where over 70 representatives from across public sector attended to help the team identify the types of training required, the types of products needed and the volume of employees needing to be trained and at what level. The training package is still being developed but we are looking to include:
· e-learning - available on a small number of platforms, this modular learning approach will offer an awareness level of training and provide an online test to check understanding.
· Face to Face - delivered at a local level across the country by local practitioners.
· Handbook - available via a number of websites across public sector for access by all to support in the day to day procurement practice or for general understanding.
The team has received an overwhelming response of support for the roll-out of training with organisations and employees volunteering to host platforms and events and staff to train. However, we still need more venues to host face to face training across the country and trainers to deliver the training - if you would like to support this project and can offer any of the above (free of charge!) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org