Publication - Consultation analysis

Changes to the Public Procurement Rules in Scotland Consultation - Analysis of the Responses

Published: 10 Aug 2015
ISBN:
9781785445484

An analysis of the responses to the 2015 consultation on public procurement reform.

120 page PDF

1.2 MB

120 page PDF

1.2 MB

Contents
Changes to the Public Procurement Rules in Scotland Consultation - Analysis of the Responses
Appendix 1: Consultation questions

120 page PDF

1.2 MB

Appendix 1: Consultation questions

Statutory guidance - Organisational Procurement Strategy

Q1 What are your views about what should be included in this Statutory Guidance? Please explain your answer.

Statutory Guidance - Sustainable Procurement Duty

Q2 What are your views about what should be included in this Statutory Guidance? Please explain your answer.

Statutory Guidance - Community Benefits in Procurement

Q3 What are your views about what should be included in this Statutory Guidance? Please explain your answer.

Principles of procurement

Q4 We believe that a statutory obligation on public bodies to include relevant clauses in their contracts is the best way to ensure that contractors comply with all relevant laws and collective agreements. This should also ensure that public bodies are able to end contracts where a contractor does not meet these requirements. Do you agree or disagree with this position? Please explain your answer.

Reserved contracts for supported businesses

Q5 Is there still a case for reserving contracts for supported businesses in Scotland?

Disadvantaged workers

Q6 Do you think that the definition of a "disadvantaged person" in this context should be "the unemployed, members of disadvantaged minorities or otherwise socially marginalised groups"? If not, what do you think the definition should be and why?

Reserved contracts for health, social and cultural services

Q7 Our view is that we are not aware of any arguments that currently support reserving contracts for mutual and other non-public sector bodies in Scotland, and we believe this is less of an issue in Scotland. Do you think there are any advantages or disadvantages to applying this provision to the procurement activities of public bodies in Scotland? Please explain your answer.

Labels

Q8 Should the rules about labels which apply to contracts that are EU regulated procurements also apply to lower value regulated procurement contracts covered by the Act? Please explain your answer.

Technical specifications

Q9 Do you think we should align the rules on technical specifications for all regulated procurements, including those lower value procurements regulated by the Act? Please explain your answer.

Q10 We believe that contracts should not be awarded on the basis of price or cost alone? Do you agree or disagree? Please explain why.

Breaking contracts into smaller lots

Q11 We believe that public bodies should retain discretion to split requirements into smaller lots and to award more than one lot to the same bidder. Do you agree or disagree with this? Please explain your answer.

Asking for information about sub-contractors

Q12 To avoid creating unnecessary confusion, we believe that public bodies should have the discretion to decide whether to request additional information about sub-contractors. What are your views about this?

Q13 The Directives also make clear that public bodies are responsible for obtaining any information about sub-contractors from the main contractor. There is an option to transfer this obligation (to deliver the information) to the main contractor. We do not plan to transfer that obligation to the main contractor. What are your views about this?

Q14 We believe that we should not apply similar provisions on subcontracting to contracts covered by the Act, as we do not think this would be proportionate. Do you agree or disagree with this?

Paying sub-contractors directly

Q15 We believe that similar payment terms for sub-contractors, as for main contractors, is a good thing and there are some measures underway, or in place, to address this. We also believe that direct payments to subcontractors could be complicated and could mean public bodies assuming some responsibilities that should arguably remain with the main contractor. In light of this, we believe that public bodies should be able to make direct payments to sub-contractors only where the contract allows this to happen and parties agree. Do you agree or disagree?

Selection criteria

Q16 Do you think that the same rules on selection criteria should apply to lower value regulated contracts as to higher value EU regulated public contracts? In particular, should the same rules apply on: The use of turnover as a selection criterion? The right of a public body to assume that a business does not have the professional ability needed for the performance of a specific contract, if that business has a conflict of interest which might mean that it is less able to deliver the contract? Please explain your answer.

Groups of businesses

Q17 Do you agree or disagree that public bodies should retain the flexibility to decide for themselves the basis upon which groups of businesses will be able to meet tests of economic and financial standing and technical and professional ability that will be necessary to perform a particular contract or should there be national standards? Please explain your answer.

Criminal convictions

Q18 Should the list of criminal convictions which may result in exclusion from bidding be the same for all regulated contracts, regardless of value? Please explain your answer.

Q19 Should public bodies be required to exclude a business from bidding for lower value regulated contracts if it, or someone who holds a senior position in it, has been convicted of any of the offences on the list?

Tax evasion

Q20 Should public bodies retain the discretion to decide whether or not to exclude a business from bidding for a contract where the body can demonstrate by appropriate means, short of a court, tribunal or administrative decision, that the business has breached its obligations to do with paying tax or social security contributions?

Q21 Should public bodies be given the discretion not to exclude a business which has breached its obligations to do with paying tax or social security contributions, and where this has been established by a court, tribunal or administrative decision, if it would be disproportionate to do so?

Q22 Should public bodies also have the discretion to exclude a business from bidding for lower value regulated contracts if it has breached its obligations in relation to the payment of tax?

Bankrupt or insolvent businesses

Q23 Should public bodies retain the discretion to decide whether or not to exclude a business which is bankrupt, or is in insolvency proceedings from bidding? Please explain your answer - in particular, if you think that public bodies should have discretion in these situations, do you think that discretion should apply in every circumstance?

Q24 Should the same rules apply to EU regulated contracts and to lower value regulated contracts? Please explain your answer.

Exceptional circumstances

Q25 Should a public body be allowed not to exclude a business with disqualifying criminal convictions, or which has breached its obligations to pay tax or social security, in exceptional circumstances? Please explain your answer.

Q26 Should the same rules apply to EU regulated contracts and to lower value regulated contracts? Please explain your answer.

Other grounds for exclusion

Q27 Should the law allow public bodies the discretion to decide whether or not to exclude bidders in situations where there is evidence of a breach of environmental, social and labour law obligations, grave professional misconduct, distortion of competition, a conflict of interest, a significant failure to perform in an earlier contract, or a security risk (in the case of defence and security concessions)? Please explain your answer.

Q28 Should the same rules apply to EU regulated contracts and to lower value regulated contracts? Please explain your answer.

The length of time a business can be excluded

Q29 Do you agree or disagree with our proposed maximum periods of exclusion? Please explain your answer.

Q30 Should the same rules apply to EU regulated contracts and to lower value regulated contracts? Please explain your answer.

Excluding sub-contractors

Q31 Should public bodies be required to check that sub-contractors do not fail any of the exclusion criteria?

Statutory guidance - Selection of tenderers and award of contracts

Q32 What are your views about what should be included in this Statutory Guidance? Please explain your answer.

'Light-touch' regime

Q33 We expect to apply only limited rules to contracts for social and other specific services to the person. These will require compliance with the basic Treaty Principles and publication of contract opportunity and award notices as described in this section. Do you agree or disagree that these rules will be sufficient for an effective light-touch regime? Please explain your answer.

Q34 We believe that contracts should not be awarded on the basis of price or cost alone? Do you agree or disagree with this position? Please explain why.

Statutory guidance - procurements for health or social care services

Q35 What are your views about what should be included in this Statutory Guidance? Please explain your answer

Using a prior information notice as a call for competition

Q36 Should provision be made for the use of a Prior Information Notice by non-central authorities (where they choose) as the call for competition in restricted procedures and competitive procedure with negotiation? Please explain your answer.

Q37 Do you agree or disagree that this provision should also apply to lower value regulated contracts, that is, those that are below European regulated thresholds and are regulated by the Act? Please explain your answer.

Negotiated procedure without prior publication

Q38 Do you agree or disagree that public bodies should be permitted to award a contract without competition in the circumstances permitted by the Directives? Please explain why.

Q39 Do you agree or disagree that public bodies should also be permitted to award lower value regulated contracts in similar situations? Please explain why.

Reduced timescales in a restricted procedure

Q40 Do you agree or disagree that all non-central authorities using the restricted procedure should be able to set the time limit for the receipt of tenders by agreement with candidates? Please explain why.

Examining tenders before verifying qualification criteria

Q41 When using the open procedure, should public bodies retain the flexibility to determine whether to evaluate bids before evaluating qualification and exclusion criteria? Please explain your answer.

Incomplete or wrong information

Q42 Should public bodies be allowed to ask for supplementary or missing information and to ask a company to provide clarification of their bid?

Modifying contracts

Q43 Do you agree or disagree that the rules in the Directives about modifying contracts should not apply to contracts under the Act? Please explain why.

Electronic communication

Q44 We believe we should continue to progress the work plan from the Construction Review report, rather than requiring the use of BIM or similar in works contracts and design contests. Do you agree or disagree? Please explain your answer.

Q45 Do you agree or disagree that we should establish an overall confidentiality and security framework which individual public bodies would use to inform their own approach to the security handling of electronic communication? Please explain your answer.

Q46 Do you agree or disagree that we should maximise the time available to implement fully electronic procurement processes and defer the requirement for full electronic communication for the maximum permissible time?

Electronic communication in concession contracts

Q47 Do you agree or disagree that all communications about concession contracts in a procurement exercise should be by electronic means?

Electronic catalogues

Q48 Do you think that public bodies should retain the flexibility to decide when the use of electronic catalogues is appropriate? Please explain your answer.

European single procurement document

Q49 Do you agree or disagree that we should defer the requirement to provide the European Single Procurement Document in electronic form only until 18 April 2018? Please explain your answer.

Q50 Do you agree or disagree that we should defer until 18 October 2018 the provision that says businesses should not have to submit supporting documents where the public body awarding the contract holds these? Please explain your answer.

E-Certis

Q51 Do you agree or disagree that we should defer the obligation on public bodies to use e-Certis until October 2018?

Award notices when calling-off a framework

Q52 Do you agree or disagree that we adopt this option for utilities contracts? Please explain your answer.

Dynamic purchasing systems

Q53 Do you think that dynamic purchasing systems should be available as a tool for purchasers in respect of regulated procurements?

Q54 Do you think that the same rules which apply in Article 34 of the Public Procurement Directive should be extended to lower value regulated procurements under the Act?

Central purchasing bodies in Scotland

Q55 Do you agree or disagree that we should continue to allow public bodies in Scotland to use central purchasing bodies as described in this section?

Q56 Do you agree or disagree that we should not require the use of central purchasing bodies for particular types of procurement, thereby allowing public bodies to exercise discretion as to when, and which, central purchasing body to use?

Central purchasing bodies in other countries

Q57 Do you agree or disagree that we should not restrict access by Scottish public bodies to European centralised purchasing activities? Please explain your answer.

Options

Q58 Do you agree or disagree that the monitoring and enforcement body for Scotland should be the Scottish Ministers, acting through the existing Single Point of Enquiry? Please explain your answer.

Remedies Directives

Q59 Do you agree or disagree that we should simply copy the provisions on applications to the court from the existing 2012 Regulations? Please explain your answer.

Q60 Do you think there is a need for a review body which sits beneath the national courts?

Q61 If so, do you think the review body should be established as a tribunal within the Scottish tribunals system?

Q62 Or do you think it should take some other form, for example, a Scottish Procurement Ombudsman?

Open contracting

Q63 What is your view of the Scottish Government's position to broadly endorse the principles of open contracting and commitment to work with civil society and wider stakeholder groups to improve transparency in its procurement practices as part of its continuing programme of procurement reform?


Contact

Email: Graeme Beale