Procurement Regulations during the COVID-19 update

Important message from the Procurement For All Team:

These are extraordinary times we are currently facing and I know that many of you, like all of us here at Procurement For All, are concerned about coronavirus (COVID-19). Please be rest assured that the health and safety of our customers and team members remain a priority and we are committed to supporting them in the best possible way during this complex and fast-evolving situation.

We would like to thank all our stakeholders for their dedication and hard work through these unprecedented times.  Lastly, but most importantly, our thoughts are with all those affected by the virus and we continually offer our heartfelt thanks to all the people working tirelessly to care for them.

Procurement Policy Note responding to COVID-19:

As the world reacts to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Procurement For All team would like to make you aware of the current procurement regulations regarding the current outbreak.

We are aware that the public sector may be required to purchase essential goods and services more quickly than usual (or will experience substantial demand for particular goods and services). This may be complicated by supply chain difficulties with previously procured suppliers being unable to provide the level of goods or services required due to stock and resource issues.

To combat this, the procurement process procedure has become quicker and faster to allow for the purchase goods or services in certain limited circumstances and in some specific cases via direct award of contracts without a full tender procedure.

Please bear in mind the situation changes on a daily basis and as our understanding of the virus develops, our information to you may change.

Given the exceptional circumstances we currently find ourselves in and knowing our customers may require to procure goods, services and work at an accelerated speed, we would like you be aware of the importance of using regulation 32 (2)© under the Public Contract Regulations 2015.

There are various options available:

1) Direct award due to extreme urgency - This means negotiations can be undertaken without prior advertisement. The ‘accelerated’ open         procurement procedure already allows the award of a contract within as little as ten days.

2) Direct award due to absence of competition or protection of exclusive rights

3) Call off from an existing framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system (DPS)

4) Call for competition using a standard procedure with accelerated timescales

5) Extending or modifying a contract during this time

Don’t forget to always think of value for money and use sound commercial judgement as prices may increase or be higher than usual and be mindful that extreme urgency does not provide complete freedom to appoint a supplier by way of a direct award. There should always be a causal link between such unforeseeable event (Coronavirus) and the resulting extreme urgency to appoint quickly due to it being impossible to apply the timescales in the procurement rules.

We also advise that you are aware of the economic support to the supply chain during and after the current COVID-19, outbreak. It is best practise to continue to pay suppliers who are at risk and be more lenient in their payment terms.

Throughout this very uncertain time, please be rest assured that the Procurement For All team continue to share our knowledge, expertise and advise to all our customers. If you have a contract that requires urgent procurement, our suite of framework agreements and dynamic purchasing systems can help you with quick access to a compliant supply chain solution for your organisation. Simply get in touch with a member of the team for support.

A message from Keith Armstrong, MD of Procurement For All;

As a responsible procurement provider we are here to assist customers every step of the way with any issue, concern or query they may have now and in the future and we thank you for your support continued support. Stay safe, be responsible and lets stay connected together to get through this.