What is going to change?
Very little is going to change for contracting authorities as the public procurement rules and the procedures available will largely remain the same. However, if the UK leaves the EU on the 31 October without a deal, contracting authorities may not have access to the EU Publications Office or the OJEU. The UK Government has created a new service called Find a Tender which will be deployed at 11pm on 31 October if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
What do Contracting Authorities need to do now?
Many third party providers that publish notices on behalf of contracting authorities have already completed integration work to post notices to Find a Tender. Contracting authorities should check with their third party provider to ensure that they are ready for the switch.
Existing Contracts Finder users will automatically be able to publish directly to Find a Tender and do not need to take any action.
Contracting authorities that publish notices directly to the OJEU or TED and are not registered as a buyer on Contracts Finder will need to register with Find a Tender. It will be important to action this as soon as possible to take account of possible delays as checks may need to be undertaken.
What about Suppliers?
Suppliers wishing to access public sector contract opportunities in the UK will need to access these via Find a Tender instead of the OJEU or TED. Find a Tender is free to use and Suppliers do not have to register to search the site.
Suppliers who wish to access contract opportunities in the EU may continue to do so via the OJEU or TED.
What about procurements that are in progress?
For procurements that have commenced before the 31 October (i.e. they have been advertised in the OJEU already), contracting authorities will need to comply with the new regulations from that point (i.e. by posting subsequent contract award notices on the new UK e-notification service instead of the OJEU or TED).
Where can I obtain further information?
The UK Government has released a procurement policy note and guidance on this topic. A link to both the PPN and guidance is set out below: