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Can a public contract that has expired be extended if it contained a provision for extension?

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Last updated on 12/12/2017

The following Public Law Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a public contract that has expired be extended if it contained a provision for extension?

Can a public contract that has expired be extended if it contained a provision for extension?

Contracts governed by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015), SI 2015/102, often envisage a service arrangement that will last over a period of time and, because of that, the contract may contain sophisticated mechanisms by which various categories of change can be effected during the contractual term. This may include extensive clauses in relation to the extension of the contract.

Whether the expired contract can be extended depends on the extension clause in question. If, for example, the clause provided that the contract could be extended after its expiration, the contract could be extended in accordance with PCR 2015, SI 2015/102.

The relevant provision of PCR 2015, SI 2015/102, reg 72 sets out a comprehensive set of principles that will determine when a contract or framework agreement may be modified without a new procurement and when a new procurement procedure will be required. PCR 2015, SI 2015/102, reg 72(1)(a) has the effect of permitting a modification of the original contract so long as the modification was:

‘...provided for in the initial procurement documents in clear, precise and unequivocal review clauses, which state the scope and nature of possible modifications or options as well as the conditions under which they may be used, and do not provide for modifications or options that would

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Key definition:
Framework agreement definition
What does Framework agreement mean?

An agreement put in place between two parties which sets out the basic agreed rules by which the parties will work together on numerous projects.

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