The recently issued Procurement Policy Note 11/20 raises a couple of interesting points for below threshold contracts. It suggests that, after the end of the Brexit transitional period, central government contracting authorities should consider the possibility of reserving "below threshold" contracts for suppliers from particular geographical areas or for social enterprises. There are two interesting points on this.
Firstly, it is a confirmation that the requirement for "sufficient advertising", as part of the transparency obligations on contracting authorities for below threshold contract will no longer apply in the New Year. This is because this obligation was part of the EU Treaty requirements, as was the requirement not to discriminate between suppliers on the basis of their location. The precise status of EU Treaty requirements after the end of the Brexit transitional period as part of "retained EU law was unclear". This PPN confirms the Government's view these EU Treaty requirements will not longer apply at all since, if one of these no longer applies, then neither does the other.
Secondly, these reserved procurements must still be advertised on Contracts Finder if they have a value over £10,000, (£25,000 for contracting authorities other than central government). If this "localism" approach is adopted by large numbers of contracting authorities (and why wouldn't it be, given that a social value requirement in numerous procurements is to increase local spend) this raises the prospect of suppliers being alerted to large numbers of contract opportunities they are not eligible to bid for.
The PPN is at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-1120-reserving-below-threshold-procurements
PPN 11/20 raises the prospect of suppliers being alerted to large numbers of contract opportunities they are not eligible to bid for.