New PPN published; Requirements for contracts covered by the WTO Government Procurement Agreement & the UK-EU Trade & Co-operation Agreement
The second Procurement Policy Note of 2021 was published at the end of last week.
PPN 02/21- Requirements for contracts covered by the WTO Government Procurement Agreement and the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement, applies to all contracting authorities and reminds them of the commitments required as a consequence of:
- the UK’s membership of the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
- the public procurement obligations in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)
Requirements for procurements covered by the World Trade Organisation GPA
The PPN states that where a procurement is covered by the GPA, certain basic requirements must be met:
- Contracts are advertised;
- Minimum timescales are observed;
- Rules on technical specifications and award criteria are followed; and
- There is no discrimination against, and no less favourable treatment to, other GPA member parties than that accorded to domestic goods, services and suppliers.
The TCA aims to protect UK-owned businesses based in the EU from the risk of discrimination in EU public procurements due to their UK ownership and vice-versa.
The PPN also highlights that the TCA provides that if a supplier submits a tender with an abnormally low price, the contracting authority may ask the supplier if the price takes into account subsidies (i.e. what would have been “state aid”).
In practice this PPN simply restates the current position and reaffirms that suppliers from other countries that are established in the UK should not be discriminated against when processes are run. The remedies in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 remain available to providers in other countries.
Hempsons’ specialist procurement team can advise you on the issues raised within this PPN or any other procurement issues.
If you have any questions regarding this then please do get in touch with Oliver Crich or Andrew Daly.