Public Procurement and Property
UK Government technical notice on public procurement
The UK Government has published a second batch of ‘technical notices’, outlining preparations for leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement, which would see the UK exit the EU on 29 March 2019 with no transition period in place.
One of these notices refers to public procurement. It explained that in the event of a ‘no-deal’ exit from the EU, public bodies in the UK which are awarding contracts above the EU thresholds will no longer advertise these in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU). These contracts will instead need to be advertised in a new UK e-notification system.
This is in order to meet the requirements of the World Trade Organisation’s Government Procurement Agreement, which the UK is hoping to become a signatory to in its own right by exit day.
The requirement to publish notices in Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) will remain in place. Public bodies which currently rely on PCS to send notices to the OJEU will be able to continue to rely on PCS to send these notices to the new UK e-notification service.
Responding to the publication of these notices, Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell said that “Time is running out for the UK Government to do the right thing which, short of staying in the EU, is remaining part of the Single Market and Customs Union. That is what will protect our economy, jobs and living standards. A ‘no deal’ Brexit should be unthinkable, which is why it should be ruled out, if necessary by extending the Article 50 process.”