Public procurement is the purchase of goods or services by public bodies. This Practice note considers the European Union obligations imposed on purchasing authorities to award contracts on an open, competitive and non-discriminatory basis. The options available to a supplier of goods or services where a purchaser does not comply with EU procurement rules are also explored. This note is being reviewed and revised to reflect the 2014 EU Procurement Directives (see Practice note, Reform of the EU public procurement regime). For the implementation of the EU public procurement rules in the UK (where there has been early implementation of the new Directives) see Practice note, Public procurement in the UK.
This note covers the procurement (including outsourcing) of telecommunications and information goods and services by the public sector. The note explains the practical and policy boundaries and regulatory regime for these procurements, examines the use of framework agreements by the public sector, analyses the standard contract documentation developed for the public sector by the Office of Government Commerce and others, and addresses the key contentious issues which arise when the public sector engages with the private sector.