Public procurement—a short guide for bidders
Produced in partnership with Jane Crees of Sharpe Pritchard
Public procurement—a short guide for bidders

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Jane Crees of Sharpe Pritchard provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Public procurement—a short guide for bidders
  • Brexit impact—public procurement
  • What is public procurement law?
  • Who must comply with the public procurement regulations?
  • What activities do the public procurement regulations cover?
  • What are the financial thresholds?
  • What is the 'light touch' regime?
  • What does the contracting authority have to do to comply with the 'full' regime?
  • What if the contracting authority does not comply with its obligations?
  • What can bidders do to help themselves?
  • More...

Public procurement—the supply of goods, services and works to the public sector—is big business. Even in more austere recent times, the sums remain significant.

Public procurement processes can be lengthy and complex and bidding can be an expensive exercise in terms of time and resources. Over time, and facilitated by changes in procurement law, bidders have become more likely to challenge the processes and decisions of public authorities. As a result, the basis on which public contracts are awarded has inevitably come under increasing scrutiny.

Knowing the legal framework is vital if you are a public body governed by the procurement rules. Yet it is also essential if you are a supplier wishing to sell your products or services to the public sector. This knowledge enables a bidder to identify and protect its rights as a participant in a procurement process, and also to develop and pursue optimal strategies when competing for work.

This is a short introduction to the public procurement regime, aimed at a first-time bidder in a public procurement exercise conducted by a UK contracting authority.

Brexit impact—public procurement

The UK public procurement regime derives from EU public procurement laws, and is therefore impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. For general updates on the process and preparations for Brexit, see: Brexit timeline. For further reading on the impact of Brexit on public procurement, see

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