Regulation 108 – Publication of information on Contracts Finder about contracts awarded

Commentary

Regulation 108 establishes the obligation for contracting authorities to publish the contract award information on Contracts Finder if it has sent said notice to the Official Journal of the European Union or the contract is coming from a framework agreement (Regulation 108(1) and (5)). As with the immediately previous two regulations, there is no indication of consequences for the contracting authority in case of non compliance with the requirement.

If the conditions of Regulation 108(1) are met, the information is to be released in a reasonable time (paragraph 4) and includes the contractor information, date contract was entered and contract value (paragraph 2).

Paragraph 3, like Regulation 86 provides the contracting authority with three exceptions that justify the refusal of the information being released, i.e. in case it would impede law enforcement or would be contrary to the public interest; would prejudice the legitimate commercial interests of a particular economic operator or might prejudice competition. As argued in Regulation 86, this is a topic where the authors disagree and the comments made in that Regulation are valid here too.

This Regulation provides once more the Minister for the Cabinet Office with the possibility of issuing guidance on the timescales for compliance or the form and manner the information is to be provided.

Last modified: December 8, 2016 by Pedro Telles

108.—(1) Paragraph (2) applies where a contracting authority—

(a)sends a contract award notice to the EU Publications Office for publication; or

(b)awards a contract based on a framework agreement.

(2) In those circumstances, the contracting authority shall cause at least the following information to be published on Contracts Finder:—

(a)the name of the contractor;

(b)the date on which the contract was entered into;

(c)the value of the contract.

(3) But the contracting authority may withhold information from publication where its release—

(a)would impede law enforcement or would otherwise be contrary to the public interest,

(b)would prejudice the legitimate commercial interests of a particular economic operator, whether public or private, or

(c)might prejudice fair competition between economic operators.

(4) Contracting authorities shall comply with paragraph (2) within a reasonable time.

(5) But where a contracting authority sends, or intends to send, a contract award notice to the EU Publications Office for publication, the contracting authority shall not cause the information to be published on Contracts Finder earlier than the time at which the contracting authority becomes entitled, in accordance with regulation 52(3) and (4), to publish the notice at national level.

(6) In complying with this regulation, contracting authorities shall have regard to any guidance issued by the Minister for the Cabinet Office on—

(a)the form and manner in which the information is to be published on Contracts Finder; and

(b)what is a reasonable time (having regard, where relevant, to paragraph (5)) for the purposes of paragraph (4).

(7) Paragraph (8) applies if such guidance confirms that, for the time being, arrangements have been put in place by or on behalf of the Cabinet Office under which the information referred to in paragraph (2) will, without further action by contracting authorities, be extracted and published on Contracts Finder following the publication of contract notices by the EU Publications Office.

(8) In those circumstances, contracting authorities shall be deemed to have complied with paragraph (2) by virtue of sending a contract award notice to the EU Publications Office for publication in accordance with regulation 51.

(9) In this regulation, “contract award notice” means a contract award notice referred to in regulation 50 or 75(3).