Are you ready for the new procurement rules?

Are you ready for the new procurement rules?

The late Maya Angelou once said:

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way she/he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights

As intensely erudite and talented as she was (50-odd honorary degrees don't award themselves you know), I think that she could have easily added one further critical activity to this list: 'dealing with the EU procurement rules'.

OK, admittedly, it's not the most snappy of additions but many a lawyer has struggled to make sense of the rules. Even those who are strong of heart and keen of mind have often ended up weeping quietly as they try to make sense of the reams of statutory instruments, case-law and guidance in this area.

And now the rules are going to change (to the end, check our recent post: Contracting with public authorities? Here’s what may change soon).

In theory, the new regulations are designed to simplify things and provide for greater flexibility.

We recently spoke to Ruth Smith, national head of procurement law at Mills & Reeve, about this new regime. Below, she comments on this and the background to the government consultation on it (which closed on 17 October 2014). Here's what she had to say:

What is the background to this consultation?

The last major reform of the EU procurement rules was ten years ago in 2004 and, recognising the need to update and modernise them, proposals were tabled by the European Commission back in 2011. These developed through negotiations between member states and resulted in the three new EU Procurement Directives which were adopted at a European level on 17 April 2014:

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