The Statutory Instruments transposing the Directives are available for download below, together with a document outlining their key features.
The new rules do not apply to a contract award procedure or a design contest commenced by a contracting authority/entity before 18 April 2016 (the effective date). In this context, please see Article 86 of the European Union (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2016.
In welcoming the changes Paul Quinn, Government Chief Procurement Officer commented: “The reforms will help to streamline public procurement processes and embed more simplified and flexible rules for the conduct of public procurement”.
The new Regulations cover public procurement both in the public service and in the utilities sector. They will allow authorities to conduct procurement more efficiently. They also provide a platform to advance economy-wide strategic goals in the area of environmental protection and social policy objectives. In addition, the Regulations reinforce the policy initiative taken in 2014 to improve SME access to procurement opportunities, including the division of contracts into lots and supporting consortia bids for larger contracts.
Greater use of electronic means of communication is a key feature of the new regime. Electronic notification of procurement opportunities and access to tender documents will now become mandatory and from October 2018, electronic submission of tenders will be mandatory.
Mr. Quinn added: “Ireland has already embraced electronic communication in the procurement process with the eTenders portal (www.etenders.ie) that provides a central facility for public sector bodies to advertise procurement opportunities. For suppliers registered on the site it ensures maximum exposure to tendering opportunities within their business sector”.