Where the total value of the proposed procurement does not exceed the current OJEU thresholds, you do not need to follow the detailed procedures set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. However, the relevant EU principles of equal treatment, non-discrimination, transparency and proportionality should still be complied with. Whatever the value, if a bidder requests clarification on any aspect of the tender, your response should be sent to all bidders within a resonable time to ensure they are all treated equally.
A fair and transparent process should be followed regardless of value and a PROPORTIONATE AND RISK-BASED approach should be taken in line with SQuID principles. The process should be kept as simple as possible so suppliers are not put to unnecessary effort and expense which is disproportionate to the requirements. The selection criteria and information requested from suppliers should be sensible and proportionate and should reflect the value and risk of whatever is being bought - the SQuID question set and wizard can be used to select appropriate questions.
In accordance with the refreshed Wales Procurement Policy Statement 2015, all requirements over £25,000 (but below the applicable OJEU threshold) should be advertised as widely as possible using www.sell2wales.gov.uk to ensure that smaller firms have greater visibility of the opportunity and ample opportunity to bid.
Depending on your own organisation's thresholds for competitive procurement, the business should be advertised using either the RFQ (RFQ user guide) or Non-OJEU Notice (Adding Notices user guide) facility on www.sell2wales.gov.uk.
Please note the RFQ should not be used for advertising contract opportunities over £25k - open and accessible competition is required for these contracts, in line with the Policy Statement, and that is not achievable through the RFQ function only the non-OJEU facility.
Please visit www.sell2wales.gov.uk to add notices and advertise contract opportunities (for buyers) and to view public sector tender opportunities (for suppliers).
Changes to Services
Under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR), the distinction between Part A and B services has been removed. A new light touch regime now applies to social and other specific services (see Schedule 3 of PCR 2015 for a full list). The EU Commission has recognised the special characteristics of social services and the importance of cultural context and sensitivity in this area.
Contracts for these services are only covered by the EU procurement rules if above £589,148. Below that, authorities have wide discretion to organise the choice of the service providers in the way they consider most appropriate. There are publication requirements – authorities will need to place a contract notice or PIN (Prior Indicative notice) at the start of the process and a contract award notice at the end. Authorities have the flexibility to decide which procedure to use taking into account ‘specificities of services in question’. The principles of transparency and equal treatment of bidders must also be observed.
Time limits under the light touch regime are not prescribed but must be reasonable and proportionate.
Advertise all contracts over £25k on Sell2Wales to make them more accessible to smaller firms….and utilise e-tendering tools to standardise the process.