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Cabinet Office plans changes to UK procurement rules on supplier exclusion

By December 17, 2021No Comments

The Cabinet Office has set out new Government measures which will see the exclusion of poor performing suppliers, as the UK departs from EU procurement laws. The plans would see exclusion criteria being changed to better suit the UK’s legal landscape.

As a result, suppliers may be excluded from a contract based on their past performance, only where that performance “was so poor as to create risks to the delivery of any future public contracts”.

Various reasons for supplier exclusion have been laid out under the new rules, some of which are mandatory (e.g. a conviction for offences related to crime), and others are discretionary (e.g. bankruptcy or insolvency).

Changes are also planned to the wording of procurement rules. Contracts would now be awarded based the “most advantageous tender” rather than the “most economically advantageous tender” (referred to as MEAT) as present procurement measures state.

According to HSJ, the rules are unlikely to come into effect before 2023, allowing primary and secondary legislation to be passed. A six-month lead time has been promised by the Government for suppliers and procurers for them to prepare.

Ben Kemp