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The new EU Procurement Directives – Opportunity knocks

Monday February 9th, 2015

PASS is running training events on The Impact of the new UK Public Contracts Regulations 2015. You cannot afford to be caught out, book your training HERE now!

 

Andrew Rudd (PASS Consultant)

Andrew Rudd (PASS Consultant)

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” If you are a buyer working in the public sector, or a supplier to it, I would propose an addition to that well-known phrase: ‘You will eventually have to understand the new EU Procurement Directives’.

How did you react when it was announced that the new Directives had arrived? “I have only just grasped the current rules… I can’t cope with more bureaucracy… How do I get around them?” or “They will ensure fairness and transparency… I must understand the changes…. They are an opportunity”. OK, initially I expect it was the first set of responses, but then reality bites and you have to accept that you cannot ignore the inevitable. That would result in lost business if you are a supplier or lost value if you are a buyer.

The Cabinet Office has implemented European Directive 2014/24/EU with the publication of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. So the impacts will be felt imminently. What will you do when you receive a tender based on an amended or possibly completely new procedure? Anyone who has dealt with tenders knows that time is always the enemy and every opportunity to get organised beforehand should be taken.

I consult with both public sector buyers and suppliers and have worked with them for over 30 years. It is those who recognise the need to keep ahead of any changes who really stand out. They have their processes in order and recognise the need to keep them that way to minimise the panic mid-tender. It is nothing to do with size or scale but more an inherent professionalism and a recognition that, to do the best for their organisation, they need to understand the way the market operates. Another vital element often overlooked is to ensure that the rest of the organisation understands how the system works and any changes that influence it. For suppliers, this may be educating the sales force and management; for buyers, the clients/customers of the procurement function.

I believe the reforms in the EU Procurement Directives are generally positive for both buyers and suppliers. They take an approach more grounded in normal commercial activity with simplified and more flexible rules for both buyers and suppliers. They reduce barriers to small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) access. They facilitate innovation. Dependent as ever on choosing the appropriate procedure for the project, the new or amended procurement routes are also generally positive e.g. reduced timescales, greater buyer-supplier collaboration in innovation partnerships, negotiation where appropriate, clarity on inclusion of social, environmental and employment aspects, clarity over use of eProcurement etc.

If you are a supplier, don’t risk loss of business or missed opportunities; if you are a buyer, don’t miss out on the opportunities for increased value for your organisation. Get informed and be ahead of the game.

Words: Andrew Rudd (PASS Consultant)

 

PASS also runs additional procurement training events for the public and private sector, including Drafting a Compliant PQQ, Writing a Tender SpecificationPre-Qualifying for Tenders and Preparing Perfect Tenders.  To view the brand new schedule of events, click HERE

 

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