How the EU referendum will affect public sector procurement

By Nye Longman
Within the UK, well established EU procurement regulations provide a framework in which goods and services can be bought by public sector organisations...

Within the UK, well established EU procurement regulations provide a framework in which goods and services can be bought by public sector organisations. With the EU referendum set for the 23rd June, many companies will be uncertain about how this will affect procurement.

Procurement specialists Bidbetter has suggested that businesses seeking to build or maintain public sector supplier relationships should consider the impact of an EU withdrawal on procurement. To allay business fears, Bidbetter has highlighted that major changes to procurement policy are unlikely. EU procurement regulations currently set out rules aimed at achieving, quality, value for money and, following the 2014 EU procurement directives, social benefits and innovation in all public sector purchases. As a result of this, Bidbetter will advise businesses to continue to display these attributes when responding to public tenders.

Secondly, EU treaties and directives from which the procurement rules in the UK derive would cease to apply. However, in the event of a Brexit, the legislation that has been put in place to deliver those directives would continue to have an effect. Having worked with a huge number of different business across almost every major industry, Bidbetter believes that the Government is unlikely to reverse EU based procurement laws which have firm principles aimed at transparency, equal treatment, open competition, and sound procedural management.

Philip Norman, the Director of Bidbetter said: "Whilst there is uncertainty over what the consequences of an out vote might be, from a procurement perspective at least, it seems highly unlikely that the procurement landscape will change significantly. Should the UK decide to leave the European Union, we will continue to adapt, identify opportunities and guide businesses through the public sector bid process."

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