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Changes to public procurement law in 2024 — an update for authorities and companies

AuthorsVictoria Trigwell

3 min read

Commercial & Contracts, Procurement

Changes to public procurement law in 2024 an update for authorities and companies

The current public procurement regime — as embodied in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (and its counterparts) — is being replaced this year following the UK’s departure from the EU. 

Here, Victoria Trigwell outlines what you need to know ahead of the new regime coming into force.


What is the new public procurement regime?

The Procurement Act 2023 (the Act) received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023 and applies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The new regime is designed to:

If you aren’t already competing for these contracts, it’s worth noting that around £300bn is spent on public procurement contracts each year, according to Government reports. 


What can we expect in 2024?

The new procurement regime is expected to go live in October 2024.

The Government is promising a package of learning and development materials to support the introduction of the Act. It has already made a series of ‘knowledge drops’ available which provide a high-level overview of the changes.

However, the Act does depend on secondary legislation being introduced. The latest update states that the Government will publish its formal response to the consultation on the proposed secondary legislation in the coming weeks and that the legislation will be laid in mid-to-late March (subject to Parliamentary timescales).


What changes are being made under the new procurement regime?

While many of the requirements and obligations of the new procurement regime look familiar, there will be various changes (including to some of the key terminology used). 

The Act consolidates the different regimes currently governing procurement (public contracts, utilities, concessions and defence and security) into one Act — and the existing overarching principles have been replaced with new objectives:

  1. Value for money.
  2. Acting with (and being seen to act with) integrity.
  3. Maximising public benefit.
  4. Treating suppliers the same (unless otherwise justified). 

The existing rules around framework agreements remain, though the new concept of an ‘open framework’ — which can last for up to eight years — has been introduced.

Further changes include adjusting the current ten-day standstill period to eight working days from the day on which a contract award notice is published. Automatic suspension will only be available if a claim is brought within that period. There are also changes to the information provided to each tenderer (including the successful tenderer) before contract award. 

The Act introduces a centralised debarment list managed by a central government ‘Procurement Review Unit’. This excludes named suppliers from applying for public contracts for a specified period, which could be as a result of previous poor performance. 


What can public sector authorities and companies be doing now?

While there is a need to start preparing for the new regime, the existing one will remain in effect for all public procurements started prior to the new regime going live. 

We recommend accessing the ‘knowledge drops’ and signing up for relevant alerts to keep up to date. 

Contracting authorities should also begin to review their internal processes, standing orders and procurement portals to ensure that they’re ready to comply with the new regime.

Want to know more about the proposed changes and how they may affect you? Talk to us.

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