The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 requires the publication of electronic versions of procurement documents for above threshold procurements on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), via Tenders Electronic Daily. However if the UK withdraws from the EU without a deal, it is highly likely that UK public sector businesses will lose access to this platform. Transparency of procurement opportunities is a key part of the government agenda.
The government has confirmed that a UK-specific e-notification service will be made available to UK businesses and individuals if OJEU access arrangements are not finalised before the 29 March 2019.
This will not affect the requirement for relevant contracts to be advertised on domestic platforms such as 'Contract Finder' and 'Sell2Wales' which will continue.
For those public sector bodies who place contracts on OJEU directly, they will be contacted closer to 29 March 2019 with further information about the new UK system. Many public sector bodies will use third parties who publish contract opportunities on their behalf - for those bodies the advice is to continue doing so.
Whilst the technical note may address one question about the practical implications of the procurement regime post-Brexit, there remain many unanswered questions, such as whether the UK specific system will be available for utilities procurements and what will happen about the recently introduced European Single Procurement Document (ESPD). Expect further technical notes to come!
The full 'Accessing Public Contracts' notice can be read here.