UK Government lays Procurement Bill before Parliament

Not long after Prince Charles stood in for the Queen for the Queen’s Speech and the Government was laying before Parliament the new Procurement Bill, thus meaning we went straight from the consultation on the Green Paper to the (almost) final product without the intermediate step of a White Paper to tide us over.

As for the Bill itself I do not have much to say yet as I simply scanned it. The first impressions are that some of the most outlandish ideas from the Green Paper died in the vine and that it is a lot longer and more prescriptive at stages than I had anticipated. The latter is no bad thing in my view since it means a bigger share of potential problems are being solved at the legislative level instead of relying on guidance which makes for a patchwork regime that breeds legal uncertainty.

As for the content, my overarching impression remains unchanged. The vast majority of these changes could have been done under EU law (except the bonfire of procedures of course) and once we look at the bigger picture the changes are more limited than one had anticipated.

But then, the Government is constrained by the GPA and that acts as a siginficant limiting factor in terms of the legal architecture as myself and Albert Sanchez-Graells concluded back in 2018.