Public Procurement - Horizon Scanner: Infrastructure, Construction, Energy, June 2024

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Regulation (EU) 2024/1252 establishing a framework for ensuring a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials entered into force on 23 May 2024 (and a corrigendum has been published).
European Union Government, Public Sector
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Critical Raw Materials

Regulation (EU) 2024/1252 establishing a framework for ensuring a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials entered into force on 23 May 2024 (and a corrigendum has been published).

As we have mentioned previously, provisions include mechanisms for the identification and support of strategic projects that contribute to lowering dependencies and diversifying imports. In Ireland, DECC has drawn attention to the Regulation, here.

Article 26 requires each Member State, by two years from the date of entry into force of an act to be made by the Commission, to adopt and implement measures to increase the use of secondary critical raw materials, including through measures such as taking recycled content into account in award criteria related to public procurement.

Court of Auditors Report

The Council adopted conclusions on a Court of Auditors Report which found decreasing competition in public procurement over the last decade, a low proportion of contracts awarded to SMEs, and an insufficient use of strategic public procurement. The Council proposes an EU-wide strategic action plan for public procurement, and calls


Public Construction Projects

New guidance is to be provided for public bodies relating to the design of projects and procurement of cement and concrete products. The intention is to achieve a consistent approach to reducing embedded carbon in construction. Further information is available here. The OGP has also added a green public procurement area to its website.


Public Procurement Act 2023

The Procurement Regulations 2024 supplement the Public Procurement Act 2023. They come into force on 28 October 2024 (except Regulation 48, which is in force). The Regulations set out further detail to regulate transparency of procurements, including requirements around notices, and required contracting authority information and core supplier information. It also specifies services for which a light touch procurement regime applies.

Procurement Act 2023 (Commencement No 3 and Transitional and Savings Provisions) Regulations 2024 have also been made. They bring into force the majority of provisions of the new regime not already brought into force. They also provide for determining the legislation that applies to procurements commenced under the previous regime.

The UK Government's guidance centres around four main phases of a commercial pathway for procurement - plan, define, procure and manage – and is being made available here. The UK Government also presented a National Procurement Policy Statement which sets out strategic priorities for public procurement, and to which contracting authorities have a statutory obligation to have regard.

Discovery Decision

In ongoing proceedings in the High Court in Northern Ireland in RiverRidge Recycling (Portadown) Ltd v arc21 [2024] NIKB 19, the Court has ordered discovery of certain classes of documents. The applicant in these proceedings challenges a decision to award a contract within a dynamic purchasing system.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.

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