15 Sep 2016
Three leading trade bodies have today launched new guidance aimed at helping local authorities better understand when to implement tender procedures that can have the adverse effect of stifling development.
Public procurement rules dictated by EU legislation say that public bodies must award development contracts in a fair and transparent manner by introducing a competitive tendering process, known as "OJEU" procurement or tenders. The complexity of determining when this process applies, however, often means that the process is used unnecessarily and acts as a deterrent to potential developers.
The British Property Federation, Local Government Association and Local Partnerships launched the updated guidance today at the 2016 Revo conference. The guidance seeks to help local authorities navigate the process quickly and easily, and ensure that important regeneration schemes can be brought forward more efficiently.
The organisations will follow the launch by holding a series of roundtables across the country in partnership with government departments, to promote the newly updated guidance to local authorities and developers.
Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “Although the future of these procurement rules is uncertain when we leave the EU, for the time being they are here to stay. The principles of transparency and fairness are ones that we very much support, but and often the complexity and length of the process can end up stifling development, and all its associated benefits, across the country. We hope that the updated guidance that we are launching today will help public bodies to make swift, efficient decisions about when to use OJEU to go through the tendering process and not do so unnecessarily.”
Fiona Beattie, counsel at KWM, said: “There are a number of ways in which transactions can be structured and the "OJEU" route need not be the default position. However it is important that all parties consider procurement issues as early as possible to maximise their flexibility. The flowchart helps parties to compare and contrast options and to identify those factors which may indicate whether an OJEU regulated process is more or less likely.”
Simon Bandy, growth and sustainability programme director at Local Partnerships, said: “We are very pleased to be working with BPF and LGA, assisting local authorities, other public bodies and private sector partners understand the procurement requirements associated with public sector land and property. A well-understood and thought-out procurement process is an effective tool for attracting the most appropriate partner. The guidance will help overcome barriers to success, delivering the best outcomes for local authorities and the communities they serve.”