The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 are a set of rules and regulations that govern the process of public procurement in the UK. These regulations were introduced in order to simplify and streamline the procurement process, as well as to increase transparency and competition.
The regulations apply to all public sector contracts, including those in the fields of construction, IT, and professional services. The main aim of the regulations is to ensure that public sector contracts are awarded fairly, transparently, and without discrimination.
One of the key features of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 is the use of electronic procurement methods. This means that most procurement processes must be conducted online, using electronic systems that are accessible to all potential bidders. This is designed to increase competition and make the procurement process more efficient.
The regulations also require public sector buyers to consider the wider social and environmental impacts of their procurement decisions. This means that they must take into account issues such as fair trade, environmental sustainability, and social inclusion when deciding who to award contracts to.
In addition, the regulations provide protection for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by requiring public sector buyers to break down large contracts into smaller lots where possible. This makes it easier for SMEs to bid for contracts and compete on a level playing field with larger companies.
Another important feature of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 is the introduction of a new standstill period. This is a period of 10 days that must be observed after the award of a contract, during which unsuccessful bidders can challenge the decision if they feel that the process was unfair.
Overall, the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 are an important set of rules that have had a significant impact on the way that public sector contracts are awarded in the UK. By increasing transparency and competition, and by requiring buyers to consider wider social and environmental factors, these regulations help to ensure that public money is used appropriately and that the best suppliers are chosen to deliver public services.