EU Publishes New Procurement Directives And Sets Timetable For Implementation In UK

The EU Official Journal has today published the definitive versions of the three new procurement Directives that will replace and change the existing law throughout Europe governing the award of public contracts.

One Directive deals with granting concessions (contracts in which the public authority does not pay for the work and instead allows the contractor to take the benefit of what it has done – for example building a road and then getting to keep the tolls), the second is the general public procurement directive (repealing the 2004 Directive which is behind the current 2006 Public Contracts Regulations in the UK) and the third is the replacement Directive for the utilities sector.

To see the Directives as published go to

The Directives have legal effect 20 days from publication in the OJEU and have to be transposed into national law across the EU member states by 18 April 2016 at the latest. In its previous comments on the Directives as they were being negotiated in July 2013 the UK government indicated what it called an ambitious plan to get the new Directives implemented in the UK as soon as possible because they are considered to provide a liberalised and more flexible procurement regime within which public bodies and contractors can work together better.

We can expect draft implementing legislation for the UK with some consultation on those parts of the Directives which give national governments an element of choice in how to bring in the new rules.

The new UK Regulations will only apply to procurement processes commenced after they take effect and so the current 2006 Regulations as amended will carry on applying to procurements until the new Regulations are finalised and brought into domestic law.  The new Directives do not apply as national law (at least while time remains for them to be implemented) and so it is the new UK Regulations that will be the applicable rules for future procurement processes when they take effect.

The specialists at Forbes can advise on the application of the current Regulations to processes and procurement disputes and will be publishing guidance on what the new UK Regulations will mean for public bodies and contractors as the legislation develops.

For assistance on procurement processes and contracts contact Daniel Milnes and for procurement challenges and disputes Robin Stephens



Daniel Milnes

About Daniel Milnes

Dan is a Partner and Head of Contracts & Projects. Dan’s blogs cover the areas in which his specialities lie in commercial, regulatory and governance law which cover a broad range of matters dealing with contracts, projects, corporate and group structures, funding and compliance with a range of legal regimes including data protection. This also involves writing and advising on various forms of commercial contracts including joint ventures, development and construction agreements and intellectual property contracts including IT agreements, sponsorships and other rights licensing arrangements.
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