Procurement Reform: Statutory Guidance on the Selection of Tenderers and the Award of Contracts – Living Wage
Yesterday, the Scottish Government published its Statutory Guidance on the Selection of Tenderers and the Award of Contracts.
The Procurement Reform Act 2014 was passed in summer 2014, at which point a small number of its provisions came into force. On 28 September 2015 a number of additional provisions were brought into force by the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2015/331.
One of the provisions enabled the Scottish Ministers to publish guidance about the selection of tenderers and the award of contracts, published yesterday.
Alongside the above, living wage developments have been topical at UK government level.
The Statutory Guidance
The guidance applies to “regulated procurements”, where the estimated value of the contract is equal to or above certain thresholds, currently £50,000 for goods and services contracts and £2 million for works contracts.
The guidance addresses workforce matters, including how contracting authorities should approach fair working practices. It provides that international labour standards should be respected by those who deliver public contracts. The guidance also addresses the living wage and refers to recent European case law on the application of the living wage in procurement.
The statutory guidance will be of considerable interest to contracting authorities and economic operators engaging with the public sector.
The coming into force of the above provisions of the Act is one of several significant developments in procurement law in Scotland expected over the coming months, including new Scottish procurement regulations to replace the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012 and the Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012. The remaining provisions of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 are still to come into force and statutory guidance is expected covering the following areas: production of corporate procurement strategies and annual report, the new sustainable procurement duty, including community benefits in procurement and procurement of health and social care contracts.