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Statutory Instruments

2009 No. 2992

Public Procurement, England And Wales

Public Procurement, Northern Ireland

The Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2009

Made

11th November 2009

Laid before Parliament

12th November 2009

Coming into force

20th December 2009

The Treasury are designated(1) for the purposes of section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972(2) in relation to public procurement.

The Treasury makes these Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by section 2(2) of, as read with paragraph 1A(6) of Schedule 2 to, that Act.

These Regulations make provision for a purpose mentioned in section 2(2) of that Act, and it appears to the Treasury that it is expedient for certain references to provisions of Community instruments to be construed as references to those provisions as amended from time to time.

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.  (1)  These Regulations may be cited as the Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2009 and come into force on 20th December 2009.

(2) In these Regulations, “the principal Regulations” means the Public Contracts Regulations 2006(3).

Amendment of the principal Regulations

2.  The principal Regulations are amended as follows.

3.  In the Arrangement of Regulations—

(a)after the entry relating to regulation 29, insert—

29A.Notification;

(b)after the entry relating to regulation 32, insert—

32A.Standstill period;

(c)for the entry relating to regulation 47 substitute—

47.Interpretation of Part 9

47A.Duty owed to economic operators

47B.Duty owed to GPA economic operators

47C.Enforcement of duties through the Court

47D.General time limits for starting proceedings

47E.Special time limits for seeking a declaration of ineffectiveness

47F.Starting proceedings

47G.Contract-making suspended by challenge to award decision

47H.Interim orders

47I.Remedies where the contract has not been entered into

47J.Remedies where the contract has been entered into

47K.Grounds for ineffectiveness

47L.General interest grounds for not making a declaration of ineffectiveness

47M.The consequences of ineffectiveness

47N.Penalties in addition to, or instead of, ineffectiveness

47O.Ineffectiveness etc. in relation to specific contracts based on a framework agreement

47P.Injunctions against the Crown.

4.  In regulation 2—

(a)in paragraph (1), in the definition of “working day”, after “Sunday” insert “, Christmas Day, Good Friday”; and

(b)in paragraph (4)—

(i)at the beginning, for “Where” substitute “Except in Part 9, where”; and

(ii)in sub-paragraph (c), omit “except for regulation 32(3),”.

5.  In regulation 20(9), at the end insert “and shall do so in writing if requested by the economic operator”.

6.  After regulation 29, insert—

Notification

29A.  (1)  Where a contracting authority decides, prior to the stage at which it makes a decision to which regulation 32(1) (award decision) applies, to exclude an applicant, the contracting authority shall notify the applicant of that exclusion.

(2) In this regulation, “applicant” means an economic operator which submitted an offer, applied to be included amongst the economic operators to be selected to tender for or to negotiate the contract, or applied to be a party to the framework agreement.

(3) For the purposes of this regulation, an applicant is excluded if, and only if—

(a)the applicant, or the applicant’s tender, is excluded as mentioned in regulation 15(11), 16(7), 17(9) or 18(10); or

(b)the applicant is not among those selected to be—

(i)invited to tender as mentioned in regulation 16(8);

(ii)invited to negotiate, as mentioned in regulation 17(10) or (23), or for the purposes of regulation 17(22); or

(iii)invited to participate, as mentioned in regulation 18(11) or (23), or for the purposes of regulation 18(22)..

7.  In regulation 31(1) and (2) after “1564/2005” insert “as amended from time to time”.

8.  In regulation 32—

(a)For paragraphs (1) and (2) substitute—

Award decision notice

(1) Subject to paragraph (13), a contracting authority shall, as soon as possible after the decision has been made, inform the tenderers and candidates of its decision to—

(a)award the contract; or

(b)conclude the framework agreement,

and shall do so by notice in writing by the most rapid means of communication practicable.

(2) Where it is to be sent to a tenderer, the notice referred to in paragraph (1) shall include—

(a)the criteria for the award of the contract;

(b)the reasons for the decision, including the characteristics and relative advantages of the successful tender, the score (if any) obtained by—

(i)the economic operator which is to receive the notice; and

(ii)the economic operator—

(aa)to be awarded the contract; or

(bb)to become a party to the framework agreement,

and anything required by paragraph (10);

(c)the name of the economic operator—

(i)to be awarded the contract; or

(ii)to become a party to the framework agreement; and

(d)a precise statement of either—

(i)when, in accordance with regulation 32A, the standstill period is expected to end and, if relevant, how the timing of its ending might be affected by any and, if so what, contingencies; or

(ii)the date before which the contracting authority will not, in conformity with regulation 32A, enter into the contract or conclude the framework agreement.

(2A) Where it is to be sent to a candidate, the notice referred to in paragraph (1) shall include—

(a)the reasons why the candidate was unsuccessful; and

(b)the information mentioned in paragraph (2), but as if the words “and relative advantages” were omitted from sub-paragraph (b).;

(b)omit paragraphs (3) to (6);

(c)immediately before paragraph (7), insert—

(6A) Where the contract or framework agreement is permitted by these Regulations to be awarded or concluded without prior publication of a contract notice, the contracting authority need not comply with paragraph (1).

(6B) Where the only tenderer is the one who is to be awarded the contract or who is to become a party to the framework agreement, and there are no candidates, the contracting authority need not comply with paragraph (1)..

(d)in paragraph (7), after “agreement”, insert “or a dynamic purchasing system”;

(e)omit paragraph (8);

(f)immediately before paragraph (9), insert the following heading—

Reasons to be given on request to unsuccessful economic operators;;

(g)in paragraph (9), for the text from the beginning of the paragraph to “20(8)” substitute “Except to the extent that the contracting authority has already informed the economic operator (whether by notice under paragraph (1) or otherwise), and subject to paragraph (13), a contracting authority shall within 15 days of the date on which it receives a request in writing from any economic operator which was unsuccessful (whether in accordance with regulation 15(11), 16(7), 16(8), 17(9), 17(10), 17(22), 17(23), 18(10), 18(11), 18(22), 18(23), 19(9), 20(8), 20(14)”;

(h)in paragraph (10), for “paragraph (9)(a) substitute “paragraphs (2)(b) and (9)(a)”;

(i)immediately before paragraph (11) insert the following heading—

Abandonment or recommencement of procedure;;

(j)in paragraph (11), for the words from “economic operators which” to “admitted to a dynamic purchasing system,” substitute “candidates and tenderers”;

(k)immediately before paragraph (13), insert the following heading—

Grounds for withholding information;;

(l)in paragraph (13), omit “(4), (8),”;

(m)immediately before paragraph (14), insert the following heading—

Records and reports; and; and

(n)after paragraph (16), insert—

Definitions

(17) For the purposes of this regulation—

(a)“candidate” means an economic operator (other than a tenderer) which applied—

(i)to be included amongst the economic operators to be selected to tender or to negotiate the contract; or

(ii)to be a party to the framework agreement,

but does not include any economic operator which has been informed of the rejection of its application, and the reasons for it; and

(b)“tenderer” means an economic operator which submitted an offer..

9.  After regulation 32, insert—

Standstill period

32A.  (1)  Where regulation 32(1) applies, the contracting authority must not enter into the contract or conclude the framework agreement before the end of the standstill period.

(2) Subject to paragraph (6), where the contracting authority sends a regulation 32(1) notice to all the relevant economic operators by facsimile or electronic means, the standstill period ends at midnight at the end of the 10th day after the relevant sending date.

(3) Subject to paragraph (6), where the contracting authority sends a regulation 32(1) notice to all the relevant economic operators only by other means, the standstill period ends at whichever of the following occurs first—

(a)midnight at the end of the 15th day after the relevant sending date;

(b)midnight at the end of 10th day after the date on which the last of the economic operators to receive such a notice receives it.

(4) In paragraphs (2) and (3), “the relevant sending date” means the date on which the regulation 32(1) notices are sent to the relevant economic operators, and if the notices are sent to different relevant economic operators on different dates, the relevant sending date is the date on which the last of the notices is sent.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6), where the contracting authority sends a regulation 32(1) notice to one or more of the relevant economic operators by facsimile or electronic means and to the others by other means, the standstill period ends at whichever of the following two times occurs latest—

(a)midnight at the end of the 10th day after the date on which the last notice is sent by facsimile or electronic means;

(b)the time when whichever of the following occurs first—

(i)midnight at the end of the 15th day after the date on which the last notice is sent by other means;

(ii)midnight at the end of the 10th day after the date on which the last of the economic operators to receive a notice sent by any such other means receives it.

(6) Where the last day of the standstill period reckoned in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (5) is not a working day, the standstill period is extended to midnight at the end of the next working day.

(7) In this regulation—

“regulation 32(1) notice” means a notice given in accordance with regulation 32(1); and

“relevant economic operators” means economic operators to which regulation 32(1) requires information to be given..

10.  For Part 9, substitute—

PART 9APPLICATIONS TO THE COURT

Interpretation of Part 9

47.  (1)  In this Part, except where the context otherwise requires—

“claim form” includes, in Northern Ireland, the originating process by which the proceedings are commenced;

“contract”, except in regulation 47O, means a public contract or a framework agreement;

“contracting authority” has the extended meaning given to it by regulation 47A(3);

“declaration of ineffectiveness” means a declaration made under regulation 47J(2)(a) or 47O(3);

“economic operator” has the extended meaning given to it by regulations 47A(3) and 47B(4);

“grounds for ineffectiveness” has the meaning given to it by regulation 47K;

“proceedings” means court proceedings taken for the purposes of regulation 47C; and

“standstill period”, and references to its end, have the same meaning as in regulation 32A.

(2) In this Part, except in regulation 47D(2), any reference to a period of time, however expressed, is to be interpreted subject to the requirement that, if the period would otherwise have ended on a day which is not a working day, the period is to end at the end of the next working day.

Duty owed to economic operators

47A.  (1)  This regulation applies to the obligation on—

(a)a contracting authority to comply with—

(i)the provisions of these Regulations, other than regulations 14(2), 30(9), 32(14), 40 and 41(1); and

(ii)any enforceable Community obligation in respect of a contract or design contest (other than one excluded from the application of these Regulations by regulation 6, 8 or 33); and

(b)a concessionaire to comply with the provisions of regulation 37(3).

(2) That obligation is a duty owed to an economic operator.

(3) Where the duty owed in accordance with this regulation is the obligation on a concessionaire to comply with the provisions of regulation 37(3)—

(a)references in this Part to a “contracting authority” include, despite regulation 3, the concessionaire; and

(b)references in this Part to an “economic operator” include, despite regulation 4, any person—

(i)who sought, who seeks or would have wished, to be the person to whom a contract to which regulation 37(3) applies is awarded; and

(ii)who is a national of a relevant State and established in a relevant State.

Duty owed to GPA economic operators

47B.  (1)  Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the duty owed to an economic operator in accordance with regulation 47A is a duty owed also to a GPA economic operator.

(2) The duty is not owed in relation to—

(a)a Part B services contract;

(b)a contract for research and development services specified in category 8 of Part A of Schedule 3;

(c)regulation 34;

(d)regulation 36;

(e)regulation 37(1); or

(f)regulation 37(2).

(3) The duty owed to a GPA economic operator in accordance with this regulation is owed by the Secretary of State for Defence only in relation to public supply contracts for the purchase or hire of goods specified in Schedule 5.

(4) References to an “economic operator” in this Part, except in regulation 47A or in relation to the duty owed in accordance with that regulation, also include a GPA economic operator.

(5) In this regulation—

“GPA economic operator” means a person from a GPA State who sought, who seeks, or would have wished, to be the person to whom the contract is awarded;

“GPA State” means any country, other than a relevant State, which at the relevant time is a signatory to the GPA and has agreed with the European Community that the GPA shall apply to a contract of the type to be awarded; and

“relevant time” means the date on which the contracting authority sent a contract notice in respect of the contract to the Official Journal or would have done so if it had been required by these Regulations to do so.

Enforcement of duties through the Court

47C.  (1)  A breach of the duty owed in accordance with regulation 47A or 47B is actionable by any economic operator which, in consequence, suffers, or risks suffering, loss or damage.

(2) Proceedings for that purpose must be started in the High Court, and regulations 47D to 47P apply to such proceedings.

General time limits for starting proceedings

47D.  (1)  This regulation limits the time within which proceedings may be started where the proceedings do not seek a declaration of ineffectiveness.

(2) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), such proceedings must be started promptly and in any event within 3 months beginning with the date when grounds for starting the proceedings first arose.

(3) Paragraph (2) does not require proceedings to be started before the end of any of the following periods—

(a)where the proceedings relate to a decision which is sent to the economic operator by facsimile or electronic means, 10 days beginning with—

(i)the day after the date on which the decision is sent, if the decision is accompanied by a summary of the reasons for the decision;

(ii)if the decision is not so accompanied, the day after the date on which the economic operator is informed of a summary of those reasons;

(b)where the proceedings relate to a decision which is sent to the economic operator by other means, whichever of the following periods ends first—

(i)15 days beginning with—

(aa)the day after the date on which the decision is sent, if the decision is accompanied by a summary of the reasons for the decision; or

(bb)if the decision is not so accompanied, the day after the date on which the economic operator is informed of a summary of those reasons;

(ii)10 days beginning with—

(aa)the day after the date on which the decision is received, if the decision is accompanied by a summary of the reasons for the decision; or

(bb)if the decision is not so accompanied, the day after the date on which the economic operator is informed of a summary of those reasons;

(c)where sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) do not apply but the decision is published, 10 days beginning with the day on which the decision is published.

(4) The Court may extend the time limits imposed by this regulation (but not the limits imposed by regulation 47E) where the Court considers that there is a good reason for doing so.

(5) For the purposes of this regulation, proceedings are to be regarded as started only when the claim form is served in compliance with regulation 47F(1).

Special time limits for seeking a declaration of ineffectiveness

47E.  (1)  This regulation limits the time within which proceedings may be started where the proceedings seek a declaration of ineffectiveness.

(2) Such proceedings must be started—

(a)where paragraph (3) or (5) applies, within 30 days beginning with the relevant date mentioned in that paragraph;

(b)in any other case, within 6 months beginning with the day after the date on which the contract was entered into.

(3) This paragraph applies where a relevant contract award notice has been published in the Official Journal, in which case the relevant date is the day after the date on which the notice was published.

(4) For that purpose, a contract award notice is relevant if, and only if—

(a)the contract was awarded without prior publication of a contract notice; and

(b)the contract award notice includes justification of the decision of the contracting authority to award the contract without prior publication of a contract notice.

(5) This paragraph applies where the contracting authority has informed the economic operator of—

(a)the conclusion of the contract; and

(b)a summary of the relevant reasons,

in which case the relevant date is the day after the date on which the economic operator was informed of the conclusion or, if later, was informed of a summary of the relevant reasons.

(6) In paragraph (5), “the relevant reasons” means the reasons which the economic operator would have been entitled to receive in response to a request under regulation 32(9).

(7) In this regulation, “contract award notice” means a notice in accordance with regulation 31(1).

(8) For the purposes of this regulation, proceedings are to be regarded as started only when the claim form is served in compliance with regulation 47F(1).

Starting proceedings

47F.  (1)  Where proceedings are to be started, the economic operator must, after filing the claim form, serve it on the contracting authority.

(2) Paragraph (3) applies where proceedings are started—

(a)seeking a declaration of ineffectiveness; or

(b)alleging a breach of regulation 32A, 47G or 47H(1)(b) where the contract has not been fully performed.

(3) In those circumstances, the economic operator must, as soon as practicable, send a copy of the claim form to each person, other than the contracting authority, who is a party to the contract in question.

(4) The contracting authority must, as soon as practicable, comply with any request from the economic operator for any information that the economic operator may reasonably require for the purpose of complying with paragraph (3).

(5) In this regulation, “serve” means serve in accordance with rules of court, and for the purposes of this regulation a claim form is deemed to be served on the day on which it is deemed by rules of court to be served.

Contract-making suspended by challenge to award decision

47G.  (1)  Where—

(a)proceedings are started in respect of a contracting authority’s decision to award the contract; and

(b)the contract has not been entered into,

the starting of the proceedings requires the contracting authority to refrain from entering into the contract.

(2) The requirement continues until any of the following occurs—

(a)the Court brings the requirement to an end by interim order under regulation 47H(1)(a);

(b)the proceedings at first instance are determined, discontinued or otherwise disposed of and no order has been made continuing the requirement (for example in connection with an appeal or the possibility of an appeal).

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (1), proceedings are to be regarded as started only when the claim form is served in compliance with regulation 47F(1).

(4) This regulation does not affect the obligations imposed by regulation 32A.

Interim orders

47H.  (1)  In proceedings, the Court may, where relevant, make an interim order—

(a)bringing to an end the requirement imposed by regulation 47G(1);

(b)restoring or modifying that requirement;

(c)suspending the procedure leading to—

(i)the award of the contract; or

(ii)the determination of the design contest,

in relation to which the breach of the duty owed in accordance with regulation 47A or 47B is alleged;

(d)suspending the implementation of any decision or action taken by the contracting authority in the course of following such a procedure.

(2) When deciding whether to make an order under paragraph (1)(a)—

(a)the Court must consider whether, if regulation 47G(1) were not applicable, it would be appropriate to make an interim order requiring the contracting authority to refrain from entering into the contract; and

(b)only if the Court considers that it would not be appropriate to make such an interim order may it make an order under paragraph (1)(a).

(3) If the Court considers that it would not be appropriate to make an interim order of the kind mentioned in paragraph (2)(a) in the absence of undertakings or conditions, it may require or impose such undertakings or conditions in relation to the requirement in regulation 47G(1).

(4) The Court may not make an order under paragraph (1)(a) or (b) or (3) before the end of the standstill period.

(5) This regulation does not prejudice any other powers of the Court.

Remedies where the contract has not been entered into

47I.  (1)  Paragraph (2) applies where—

(a)the Court is satisfied that a decision or action taken by a contracting authority was in breach of the duty owed in accordance with regulation 47A or 47B; and

(b)the contract has not yet been entered into.

(2) In those circumstances, the Court may do one or more of the following—

(a)order the setting aside of the decision or action concerned;

(b)order the contracting authority to amend any document;

(c)award damages to an economic operator which has suffered loss or damage as a consequence of the breach.

(3) This regulation does not prejudice any other powers of the Court.

Remedies where the contract has been entered into

47J.  (1)  Paragraph (2) applies if—

(a)the Court is satisfied that a decision or action taken by a contracting authority was in breach of the duty owed in accordance with regulation 47A or 47B; and

(b)the contract has already been entered into.

(2) In those circumstances, the Court—

(a)must, if it is satisfied that any of the grounds for ineffectiveness applies, make a declaration of ineffectiveness in respect of the contract unless regulation 47L requires the Court not to do so;

(b)must, where required by regulation 47N, impose penalties in accordance with that regulation;

(c)may award damages to an economic operator which has suffered loss or damage as a consequence of the breach, regardless of whether the Court also acts as described in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b);

(d)must not order any other remedies.

(3) Paragraph (2)(d) is subject to regulation 47O(3) and (9) (additional relief in respect of specific contracts where a framework agreement is ineffective) and does not prejudice any power of the Court under regulation 47M(3) or 47N(10) (orders which supplement a declaration of ineffectiveness or a contract-shortening order).

Grounds for ineffectiveness

47K.  (1)  There are three grounds for ineffectiveness.

The first ground

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), the first ground applies where the contract has been awarded without prior publication of a contract notice in any case in which these Regulations required the prior publication of a contract notice.

(3) The first ground does not apply if all the following apply—

(a)the contracting authority considered the award of the contract without prior publication of a contract notice to be permitted by these Regulations;

(b)the contracting authority has had published in the Official Journal a voluntary transparency notice expressing its intention to enter into the contract; and

(c)the contract has not been entered into before the end of a period of at least 10 days beginning with the day after the date on which the voluntary transparency notice was published in the Official Journal.

(4) In paragraph (3), “voluntary transparency notice” means a notice—

(a)which contains the following information—

(i)the name and contact details of the contracting authority;

(ii)a description of the object of the contract;

(iii)a justification of the decision of the contracting authority to award the contract without prior publication of a contract notice;

(iv)the name and contact details of the economic operator to be awarded the contract; and

(v)where appropriate, any other information which the contracting authority considers it useful to include; and

(b)which, if Commission Regulation (EC) No 1564/2005 as amended from time to time sets out a form to be used for the purposes of paragraph (3), is in that form.

The second ground

(5) The second ground applies where all the following apply—

(a)the contract has been entered into in breach of any requirement imposed by—

(i)regulation 32A (the standstill period);

(ii)regulation 47G (contract-making suspended by challenge to award); or

(iii)regulation 47H(1)(b) (interim order restoring or modifying a suspension originally imposed by regulation 47G);

(b)there has also been a breach of the duty owed to the economic operator in accordance with regulation 47A or 47B in respect of obligations other than those imposed by regulation 32A (the standstill period) and this Part;

(c)the breach mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) has deprived the economic operator of the possibility of starting proceedings in respect of the breach mentioned in sub-paragraph (b), or pursuing them to a proper conclusion, before the contract was entered into; and

(d)the breach mentioned in sub-paragraph (b) has affected the chances of the economic operator obtaining the contract.

The third ground

(6) Subject to paragraph (7), the third ground applies where all the following apply—

(a)the contract is based on a framework agreement or was awarded under a dynamic purchasing system;

(b)the contract was awarded in breach of any requirement imposed by—

(i)regulation 19(7)(b), (8) and (9) (award of particular contracts under framework agreements through re-opening of competition); or

(ii)regulation 20(11) to (14) (award of contracts under dynamic purchasing systems); and

(c)the estimated value of the contract exceeds the relevant threshold for the purposes of regulation 8.

(7) The third ground does not apply if all the following apply—

(a)the contracting authority considered the award of the contract to be in accordance with the provisions mentioned in paragraph (6)(b)(i) or (ii);

(b)the contracting authority has, despite regulation 32(7), voluntarily complied with the requirements set out in regulation 32(1) to (2A); and

(c)the contract has not been entered into before the end of the standstill period.

General interest grounds for not making a declaration of ineffectiveness

47L.  (1)  Where the Court is satisfied that any of the grounds for ineffectiveness applies, the Court must not make a declaration of ineffectiveness if—

(a)the contracting authority or another party to the proceedings raises an issue under this regulation; and

(b)the Court is satisfied that overriding reasons relating to a general interest require that the effects of the contract should be maintained.

(2) For that purpose, economic interests in the effectiveness of the contract may be considered as overriding reasons only if in exceptional circumstances ineffectiveness would lead to disproportionate consequences.

(3) However, economic interests directly linked to the contract cannot constitute overriding reasons relating to a general interest.

(4) For that purpose, economic interests directly linked to the contract include—

(a)the costs resulting from the delay in the execution of the contract;

(b)the costs resulting from the commencement of a new procurement procedure;

(c)the costs resulting from change of the economic operator performing the contract; and

(d)the costs of legal obligations resulting from the ineffectiveness.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b), overriding reasons may be taken to require that the effects of the contract should be maintained even if they do not require the Court to refrain from shortening the duration of the contract by an order under regulation 47N(3)(a).

The consequences of ineffectiveness

47M.  (1)  Where a declaration of ineffectiveness is made, the contract is to be considered to be prospectively, but not retrospectively, ineffective as from the time when the declaration is made and, accordingly, those obligations under the contract which at that time have yet to be performed are not to be performed.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not prevent the exercise of any power under which the orders or decisions of the Court may be stayed, but at the end of any period during which a declaration of ineffectiveness is stayed, the contract is then to be considered to have been ineffective as from the time when the declaration had been made.

(3) When making a declaration of ineffectiveness, or at any time after doing so, the Court may make any order that it thinks appropriate for addressing—

(a)the implications of paragraph (1) or (2) for the particular circumstances of the case;

(b)any consequential matters arising from the ineffectiveness.

(4) Such an order may, for example, address issues of restitution and compensation as between those parties to the contract who are parties to the proceedings so as to achieve an outcome which the Court considers to be just in all the circumstances.

(5) Paragraph (6) applies where the parties to the contract have, at any time before the declaration of ineffectiveness is made, agreed by contract any provisions for the purpose of regulating their mutual rights and obligations in the event of such a declaration being made.

(6) In those circumstances, the Court must not exercise its power to make an order under paragraph (3) in any way which is inconsistent with those provisions, unless and to the extent that the Court considers that those provisions are incompatible with the requirement in paragraph (1) or (2).

Penalties in addition to, or instead of, ineffectiveness

47N.  (1)  Where the Court makes a declaration of ineffectiveness, it must also order that the contracting authority pay a civil financial penalty of the amount specified in the order.

(2) Paragraph (3) applies where—

(a)in proceedings for a declaration of ineffectiveness, the Court is satisfied that any of the grounds for ineffectiveness applies but does not make a declaration of ineffectiveness because regulation 47L requires it not to do so; or

(b)in any proceedings, the Court is satisfied that the contract has been entered into in breach of any requirement imposed by regulation 32A, 47G or 47H(1)(b), and does not make a declaration of ineffectiveness (whether because none was sought or because the Court is not satisfied that any of the grounds for ineffectiveness applies).

(3) In those circumstances, the Court must order at least one, and may order both, of the following penalties—

(a)that the duration of the contract be shortened to the extent specified in the order;

(b)that the contracting authority pay a civil financial penalty of the amount specified in the order.

(4) When the Court is considering what order to make under paragraph (1) or (3), the overriding consideration is that the penalties must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

(5) In determining the appropriate order, the Court must take account of all the relevant factors, including—

(a)the seriousness of the relevant breach of the duty owed in accordance with regulation 47A or 47B;

(b)the behaviour of the contracting authority;

(c)where the order is to be made under paragraph (3), the extent to which the contract remains in force.

(6) Where more than one economic operator starts proceedings in relation to the same contract, paragraph (4) applies to the totality of penalties imposed in respect of the contract.

Civil financial penalties

(7) Where a contracting authority is ordered by the High Court of England and Wales to pay a civil financial penalty under this regulation—

(a)the Court’s order must state that the penalty is payable to the Treasury;

(b)the Court must send a copy of the order to the Office of Government Commerce;

(c)the contracting authority must pay the penalty to the Treasury through the Office of Government Commerce; and

(d)the Treasury must, when they receive the penalty, pay it into the Consolidated Fund.

(8) Where a contracting authority is ordered by the High Court of Northern Ireland to pay a civil financial penalty under this regulation—

(a)the Court’s order must state that the penalty is payable to the Department of Finance and Personnel;

(b)the Court must send a copy of the order to the Department;

(c)the contracting authority must pay the penalty to the Department; and

(d)the Department must, when it receives the penalty, pay it into the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland.

(9) Where a contracting authority is a non-Crown body—

(a)any payment due under paragraph (7) may be enforced by the Treasury as a judgment debt due to them; and

(b)any payment due under paragraph (8) may be enforced by the Department of Finance and Personnel as a judgment debt due to it.

Contract shortening

(10) When making an order under paragraph (3)(a), or at any time after doing so, the Court may make any order that it thinks appropriate for addressing the consequences of the shortening of the duration of the contract.

(11) Such an order may, for example, address issues of restitution and compensation as between those parties to the contract who are parties to the proceedings so as to achieve an outcome which the Court considers to be just in all the circumstances.

(12) Paragraph (13) applies where the parties to the contract have, at any time before the order under paragraph 3(a) is made, agreed by contract any provisions for the purpose of regulating their mutual rights and obligations in the event of such an order being made.

(13) In those circumstances, the Court must not exercise its power to make an order under paragraph (10) in any way which is inconsistent with those provisions, unless and to the extent that the Court considers that those provisions are incompatible with the primary order that is being made, or has been made, under paragraph (3)(a).

(14) In paragraph (3)(a), “duration of the contract” refers only to its prospective duration as from the time when the Court makes the order.

Ineffectiveness etc. in relation to specific contracts based on a framework agreement

47O.  (1)  In this regulation, “specific contract” means a contract which—

(a)is based on the terms of a framework agreement; and

(b)was entered into before a declaration of ineffectiveness (if any) was made in respect of the framework agreement.

(2) A specific contract is not to be considered to be ineffective merely because a declaration of ineffectiveness has been made in respect of the framework agreement.

(3) Where a declaration of ineffectiveness has been made in respect of the framework agreement, the Court must, subject to paragraph (5), make a separate declaration of ineffectiveness in respect of each relevant specific contract.

(4) For that purpose, a specific contract is relevant only if a claim for a declaration of ineffectiveness in respect of that specific contract has been made—

(a)within the time limits mentioned in regulation 47E as applicable to the circumstances of the specific contract;

(b)regardless of whether the claim was made at the same time as any claim for a declaration of ineffectiveness in respect of the framework agreement.

(5) Regulation 47L (general interest grounds for not making a declaration of ineffectiveness) applies for the purposes of paragraph (3), insofar as the overriding reasons relate specifically to the circumstances of the specific contract.

(6) This regulation does not prejudice the making of a declaration of ineffectiveness in relation to a specific contract in accordance with other provisions of these Regulations on the basis of—

(a)the third ground of ineffectiveness set out in regulation 47K(6) and (7); or

(b)the second ground of ineffectiveness set out in regulation 47K(5), where—

(i)the relevant breach of the kind mentioned in regulation 47K(5)(a) is entering into the specific contract in breach of regulation 47G or 47H(1)(b); and

(ii)the relevant breach of the kind mentioned in regulation 47K(5)(b) relates specifically to the award of the specific contract and the procedure relating to that award, rather than to the award of the framework agreement and the procedure relating to it.

(7) A declaration of ineffectiveness must not be made in respect of a specific contract otherwise than in accordance with paragraph (3) or on a basis mentioned in paragraph (6).

(8) Where a declaration of ineffectiveness is made in respect of a specific contract in accordance with paragraph (3)—

(a)regulation 47M (the consequences of ineffectiveness) applies;

(b)regulation 47N(1) (requirement to impose a civil financial penalty) does not apply.

(9) Where the Court refrains, by virtue of paragraph (5), from making a declaration of ineffectiveness which would otherwise have been required by paragraph (3), the Court must, subject to paragraph (10), order that the duration of the contract be shortened to the extent specified in the order.

(10) The extent by which the duration of the contract is to be shortened under paragraph (9) is the maximum extent, if any, which the Court considers to be possible having regard to what is required by the overriding reasons mentioned in paragraph (5).

(11) In paragraphs (9) and (10), “duration of the contract” refers only to its prospective duration as from the time when the Court makes the order.

Injunctions against the Crown

47P.  In proceedings against the Crown, the Court has power to grant an injunction despite section 21 of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947(4)..

Transitional provisions

11.  (1)  Nothing in these Regulations affects any contract award procedure commenced before 20th December 2009.

(2) For that purpose, a contract award procedure has been commenced before 20th December 2009 if, before that date—

(a)a contract notice has been sent to the Official Journal in accordance with the principal Regulations in order to invite offers or requests to be selected to tender for or to negotiate in respect of a proposed public contract, framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system;

(b)the contracting authority has had published any form of advertisement seeking offers or expressions of interest in a proposed public contract, framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system; or

(c)the contracting authority has contacted any economic operator in order to—

(i)seek expressions of interest or offers in respect of a proposed public contract, framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system; or

(ii)respond to an unsolicited expression of interest or offer received from that economic operator in relation to a proposed public contract, framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system.

(3) Nothing in these Regulations affects the award of a specific contract based on a framework agreement where the framework agreement was concluded—

(a)before 20th December 2009; or

(b)on or after that date following a contract award procedure which, by virtue of paragraph (1), was not affected by these Regulations.

(4) Nothing in these Regulations affects the award of a specific contract under a dynamic purchasing system where the system was established—

(a)before 20th December 2009; or

(b)on or after that date following a contract award procedure which, by virtue of paragraph (1), was not affected by these Regulations.

(5) In this regulation—

(a)“dynamic purchasing system”, “framework agreement” and “public contract” have the same meanings as in the principal Regulations; and

(b)“these Regulations” does not include regulation 4(a).

Tony Cunningham

Steve McCabe

Two of the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury

11th November 2009

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations amend the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (“the principal Regulations”). The principal Regulations implemented, for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and Council on the co-ordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public services contracts (OJ L 134, 30.4.2004, p114) (“the 2004 Directive”) and Council Directive 89/665/EEC on the coordination of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the application of review procedures to the award of public supply and public works contracts (OJ L 395, 30.12.1989, p33) as amended(5) (“the principal Remedies Directive”).

Except where otherwise stated below, these Regulations implement, for England, Wales and Northern Ireland article 1 of Directive 2007/66/EC of the European Parliament and Council amending Council Directives 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC with regard to improving the effectiveness of review procedures concerning the award of public contracts (OJ L 335, 20.12.2007, p31) (“the amending Remedies Directive”), which amends the principal Remedies Directive.

Regulation 10 substitutes new provisions for the existing Part 9 in the principal Regulations. Part 9 governs the proceedings that may be taken in the High Court for remedies in respect of breaches of the principal Regulations. In particular, the new provisions—

Regulations 8 and 9 change requirements about information that must be given by contracting authorities about its decision to award a contract or conclude a framework agreement, and modify the obligation on contracting authorities not to enter into a contract or conclude a framework agreement within a certain period of time (“the standstill period”) after such information is given to various participants in the procurement process. In particular, the amendments—

Regulation 6 introduces a specific requirement to notify applicants who are excluded prior to the stage at which the contracting authority makes its contract award decision. This is not required by the amending Remedies Directive, but arises out of the 2004 Directive.

Regulation 7 ensures that the form of contract award notice to be used by contracting authorities reflects amendments to the annex which prescribes that form in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1564/2005.

Regulation 4(a) amends the definition of “working day” in the principal Regulations to add Christmas Day and Good Friday to the days which are not working days. This affects references throughout the principal Regulations, including provisions which implement the 2004 Directive as well as the principal Remedies Directive as amended.

Regulation 11 contains transitional provisions. Their effect is that these Regulations (except the amendment to the definition of “working day”) do not affect contract award procedures commenced before the commencement date of these Regulations, or the award of specific contracts under a dynamic purchasing system that was established, or a framework agreement that was concluded, before that date.

A transposition note and a full Impact Assessment of the effect that this instrument will have on the costs to business and the voluntary sector are available from the OGC website (www.ogc.gov.uk). They are also annexed to the Explanatory Memorandum which is available alongside the instrument on the OPSI website (www.opsi.gov.uk).

(3)

S.I. 2006/5, amended by S.I. 2007/3542; there are other amending instruments but none is relevant

(5)

By Council Directive 92/50/EEC relating to the coordination of procedures for the award of public services contracts (OJ L 209, 24.7.1992, p1)

(6)

Paragraph 1A was inserted by the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (c. 51), section 28.