Regulation 52 – Publication at national level

Commentary

Regulation 52 PCR215 complements the rules of Regulation 51 PCR2015 on publication of notices and, this time, focuses on publication at national level. The main aim of these rules, which transpose Article 52 of Directive 2014/24/EU, is to ensure that while contracting authorities can publish these notices, they cannot do so before publishing them on the Official Journal. The logic is self-evident: without this rule, contracting authorities would be free to advertise nationally earlier (or with more information) than at European Level, thus disadvantaging suppliers based in other Member States.

Regulation 52(1) PCR2015 allows contracting authorities to additional publication of notices beyond the publication in the Official Journal of the European Union on the internet on a buyer profile, which in addition to the prior information notices (PINs) referred to in Regulation 48(3)(b) PCR2015, may also include information on ongoing invitations to tender, scheduled purchases, contracts concluded, procedures cancelled; and any useful general information, such as a contact point, a telephone and a fax number, a postal address and an e-mail address (Regulation 52(2)). These indications incorporate the content of Annex VIII of Directive 2014/24/EU into the main text of the regulations and facilitate access to these requirements.

Paragraphs 52(3) to (5) PCR2015 control the timing and content of publication at national level and determine that, as a general rules, notices shall not be published at national level before they are published by the EU Publications Office (Regulation 52(3)). However, publication may take place at national level where contracting authorities have not been notified of the publication by the EU Publications Office within 48 hours after confirmation of the receipt of the notice in accordance with Article 51(5) of Directive 2014/24/EU (Regulation 52(4)). Moreover, in order to ensure consistency and precedence of EU-wide publication, notices published at national level shall not contain information other than that contained in the notices sent to the EU Publications Office or published on a buyer profile, but shall indicate the date of sending of the notice to the EU Publications Office or its publication on the buyer profile (Regulation 52(5)).

Finally, Regulation 52(6) PCR2015 establishes particular requirements for PINs, which if published on a buyer profile, may not be so published before the relevant notice is sent to the EU Publications Office; and shall indicate the date of that sending.

It is noteworthy to mention as well that the Regulation refers to the “buyer profile” on the internet and not, as it would be expected, the procurement portals from the various Governments (ContractsFinder, Sell2Wales, Scottish Procurement Portal). It is difficult to understand why this was not mentioned here, particularly when the Westminster Government is trying to get contracting authorities to advertise contracts below-thresholds on ContractsFinder.

Proposed citation: Albert Sanchez-Graells & Pedro Telles, (2016) Commentary on the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, available at: www.pcr2015.uk.

Last modified: September 5, 2016 by Pedro Telles

Publication on buyer profiles

52.—(1) In addition to the publication of the notices refered to in regulations 48, 49, 50, 75 and 79 by the EU Publications Office, contracting authorities may publish the information contained in them on the internet on a buyer profile.

(2) A buyer profile may also include (in addition to the prior information notices referred to in regulation 48(3)(b))—

(a) information on ongoing invitations to tender, scheduled purchases, contracts concluded, procedures cancelled; and

(b) any useful general information, such as a contact point, a telephone and a fax number, a postal address and an e-mail address.

Timing and content of publication at national level

(3) The notices referred to in regulations 48, 49, 50 and 79, and the information contained in them, shall not be published at national level before they are published by the EU Publications Office.

(4) But publication may in any event take place at national level where contracting authorities have not been notified of the publication by the EU Publications Office within 48 hours after confirmation of the receipt of the notice in accordance with Article 51(5) of the Public Contracts Directive.

(5) Notices published at national level shall not contain information other than that contained in the notices sent to the EU Publications Office or published on a buyer profile, but shall indicate the date of sending of the notice to the EU Publications Office or its publication on the buyer profile.

(6) Where a prior information notice is to be published on a buyer profile for the purposes of regulation 48(3)(b)—

(a) the prior information notice may not be so published before the notice referred to in regulation 48(4)(b) is sent to the EU Publications Office; and

(b) the prior information notice shall indicate the date of that sending.