4 April 2024
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Race to the finishing line: Procurement Act secondary legislation and guidance

To The Point
(2 min read)

As the Easter break approached, the Cabinet Office released a bumper set of updates on the Procurement Act 2023 (the Act). This article is a short update explaining what these are and how they impact the Act coming into force. We will follow-up with in-depth analysis in the coming weeks. 

With the Act having gained royal assent in 2023, the next task on the agenda was secondary legislation and guidance documents. Those familiar with the Act will know that there are a number of practical questions waiting to be answered: what feedback is given to bidders; what do notices need to contain; how do various new definitions operate?

On 22 March 2024 the Government published its response to the consultation on the regulations implementing the Act (the Regulations). This was broadly positive and only a few changes were made to the draft Regulations as a result. Some other more complex issues were deferred to be addressed through guidance. Overall, the emphasis is on passing the Regulations into law so that the promised 6 month go-live window for the Act can begin in time to achieve the planned October 2024 date for the Act coming into force.

On 25 March 2024 the draft Regulations were laid before Parliament. These will progress through the legislative process and we expect them to pass before the end of the month in order to hit the October 2024 deadline (though the Easter recess leaves only two weeks to achieve this, so October may become November). They include eagerly anticipated detail on important parts of the procurement process which we will cover in more detail in a separate update.  

With a final flurry before the break, the first batch of guidance on the Act was published on 26 March 2024 dealing with: the Contracting Authority and Covered Procurement definitions; valuation of contracts; mixed procurement; exempted contracts; and thresholds.

In addition to the work on the Act, the Cabinet Office also published an updated Selection Questionnaire on 27 March 2024 (PPN 03/24) which includes some minor updates to the existing PPN 03/23. The new Selection Questionnaire can be used now, but must be used for all procurements from 27 June 2024.

In the coming weeks we will digest these updates and highlight the key impacts for contracting authorities, utilities and bidders. If you have any questions in the meantime, do contact a member of our procurement team who would be happy to discuss this further with you.

To the Point 

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