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Procurement - Promoting Greater Transparency

on Thursday, 18 January 2018.

A recent Procurement Policy Notice (PPN) published by the Crown Commercial Service focuses on transparency and the use of Contracts Finder.

The PPN reminds authorities that there is no automatic link between Contracts Finder and Tenders Electronic Daily (TED), the EU portal for above OJEU threshold spend. Contracts advertised on TED must be manually transferred to Contracts Finder within 24 hours (or the next working day). If you are using a procurement portal for this service, you should monitor performance closely and promptly take up instances of non-compliance with your portal provider. 

Advertising Opportunities

Where required to advertise on Contracts Finder the advert must, as a minimum, contain the following information:

  • the time by which a supplier must respond

  • how and to whom a supplier is to respond, with appropriate contact details

  • any other requirements for participating in the procurement (eg suitability requirements or explanatory information)

Publishing Awards

Information about contract awards must be published on Contracts Finder for all central government contracts above £10,000. For most other contracting authorities this obligation applies to contracts above £25,000.

Information including the name of the winning bidder, the date of the contract, the contract value and whether the contractor is a small business, voluntary organisation or charity must be published within a reasonable time. The CCS recommends this is published within 90 days.

Please note: call-off contracts awarded under a framework agreement, and contracts awarded without any prior advertisement (eg through a 'request for quote' process), are also caught under this requirement. Information about the award must be published on Contracts Finder.

Additional Policy Requirements

The PPN reminds central government authorities of the requirements (under the Transparency Principles) to proactively release information during the life of the contract. You should agree with bidders what can be disclosed during the procurement phase or at contract award.

Similar provisions for local authorities are contained in the Local Government Transparency Code 2015.

Comment

It is a contracting authority's responsibility to ensure transparency in their procurement. This includes ensuring adverts are placed on Contracts Finder. It is important to ensure that this requirement is not forgotten about when advertising contracts above the OJEU threshold on TED.


For more information please contact Robert Prater in our Procurement Law team on 020 7665 0927.

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