Public Procurement Bill Passes with Amendments
The House of Commons’ latest amendments that have been added to the Bill include the following:
- If a supplier or a connected person poses a threat to the national security of the UK, this would be a mandatory exclusion ground. This is a change from previous versions of the Bill which classed this exclusion ground as discretionary.
- A ‘debarment standstill period’ has been tabled which would require the Minister to give a supplier eight working days’ notice before the supplier’s name is entered onto the debarment list. This will allow suppliers time to apply for interim relief from the courts.
- Contracting authorities must keep records to explain a material decision made behind awarding and entering into public contracts.
Additionally, the Cabinet Office will host a new specialist National Security Unit which will regularly monitor Government supply chains to determine if suppliers should be investigated for debarment on national security grounds.
The Procurement Bill is now set to return to the House of Lords, where they will consider the House of Commons’ amendments. This is the final stage before the Bill receives Royal Assent.