TfC response to the Government consultation on the draft Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Deadline 17th October 2014
Following the publication and approval on 14th April 2014 of the EU Public Services Directive 2014 which covers procurement, the governments of EU Member States are required to adopt the rules into national law. There is a time limit of two years to complete this exercise. The consultation documents were issued on 19th September and the period ends on 17th October 2014
As the majority of the membersip of TfC provide services which fall under a specific section of the draft Regulations we have not responded to all of the consultation questions, but rather have selected the six which are most likely to affect our Members.
A considerable number of concerns were raised across a range of areas. These address aspects of fair competition for organisations both very large and very small. Key areas include:
- mismatch between the draft Regulations and other legislation;
- draft Regulations which are counterproductive in terms of increasing the engagement of SMEs in public procurement; and
- the potential impact of the Regulations in terms of the possibility of the limitation of choice for the ultimate users of services and patients.
It is understood that the draft Regulations are generic applying across all areas of public procurement. But it is felt that as the Health and Social Care Services Sector represent a significant proportion of public purchasing in terms of the numbers of tenders published and the potential impact of the contracts procured on the lives of often vulnerable individuals, extreme care should be taken to get this right. In drawing up mandatory requirements, we beleieve that Government should take into account the views of providers who have frequently struggled under the current Regulations over the past eight years.