Find a Tender Service
As per the guidance published by the Cabinet Office in late 2020 (discussed by my colleague Caroline Foster in her blog which can be found here), from 1 January 2021 the Find a Tender Service (FTS) is now in use and has replaced the Official Journal of the European Union in the UK for above threshold tenders. This means that contracting authorities will need to publish public procurement notices for new procurements to the FTS.
However for any procurement which was started (and did not complete) before 23:00 on 31 December 2020, the EU procurement regulations will still apply until the contract has been awarded. Any suppliers wishing to bid for opportunities in the EU, or wanting to find out information about existing procurements by UK contracting authorities, may continue to do so via OJEU/TED.
The existing UK government portals (Contracts Finder, Public Contracts Scotland, Sell2Wales and eTendersNI) will remain in operation and any applicable requirements to advertise on these, will be unchanged.
The EU thresholds introduced on 1 January 2020 (which can be found here ), will remain in place until 1 January 2022. Future thresholds will be determined by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) – which the UK has been a member of since 1 January 2021.
While there will be no immediate changes to procurement policies, from 1 January 2021 the government will have the power to introduce new or temporary legislation.
The Cabinet Office has recently published a Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement. This sets out a wide range of proposals which, if adopted, would bring significant change to the regulatory regime. The consultation period ends on 10 March 2021 so we would expect to have a clearer idea of any future changes at some point after that.