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The Public Contracts Regulations 2015

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Public contracts between entities within the public sector
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Award of contracts to controlled persons

12.—(1) A public contract awarded by a contracting authority to a legal person falls outside the scope of this Part where all of the following conditions are fulfilled:—

(a)the contracting authority exercises over the legal person concerned a control which is similar to that which it exercises over its own departments;

(b)more than 80% of the activities of the controlled legal person are carried out in the performance of tasks entrusted to it by the controlling contracting authority or by other legal persons controlled by that contracting authority; and

(c)there is no direct private capital participation in the controlled legal person with the exception of non-controlling and non-blocking forms of private capital participation required by national legislative provisions, in conformity with the Treaties, which do not exert a decisive influence on the controlled legal person.

(2) A public contract also falls outside the scope of this Part where a controlled legal person which is a contracting authority awards the contract to—

(a)its controlling contracting authority, or

(b)another legal person controlled by the same contracting authority,

provided that there is no direct private capital participation in the legal person being awarded the contract with the exception of non-controlling and non-blocking forms of private capital participation required by national legislative provisions, in conformity with the Treaties, which do not exert a decisive influence on the legal person being awarded the contract.

(3) A contracting authority shall be deemed to exercise over a legal person a control similar to that which it exercises over its own departments within the meaning of paragraph (1)(a) where—

(a)it exercises a decisive influence over both strategic objectives and significant decisions of the controlled legal person, or

(b)the control is exercised by another legal person which is itself controlled in the same way by the contracting authority,

and references to “control”, “controlled” and “controlling” in paragraphs (1) to (3) shall be interpreted accordingly.

Award of contracts where there is joint control

(4) A contracting authority which does not exercise over a legal person control within the meaning of paragraph (3) may nevertheless award a public contract to that legal person without applying this Part where all of the following conditions are fulfilled:—

(a)the contracting authority exercises jointly with other contracting authorities a control over that legal person which is similar to that which they exercise over their own departments;

(b)more than 80% of the activities of that legal person are carried out in the performance of tasks entrusted to it by the controlling contracting authorities or by other legal persons controlled by the same contracting authorities; and

(c)there is no direct private capital participation in the controlled legal person with the exception of non-controlling and non-blocking forms of private capital participation required by national legislative provisions, in conformity with the Treaties, which do not exert a decisive influence on the controlled legal person.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (4)(a), contracting authorities exercise joint control over a legal person where all of the following conditions are fulfilled:—

(a)the decision-making bodies of the controlled legal person are composed of representatives of all participating contracting authorities;

(b)those contracting authorities are able to jointly exert decisive influence over the strategic objectives and significant decisions of the controlled legal person; and

(c)the controlled legal person does not pursue any interests which are contrary to those of the controlling contracting authorities.

(6) For the purposes of paragraph (5)(a), individual representatives may represent several or all of the participating contracting authorities.

Contracts which establish or implement co-operation between contracting authorities

(7) A contract concluded exclusively between two or more contracting authorities falls outside the scope of this Part where all of the following conditions are fulfilled:—

(a)the contract establishes or implements a co-operation between the participating contracting authorities with the aim of ensuring that public services they have to perform are provided with a view to achieving objectives they have in common;

(b)the implementation of that co-operation is governed solely by considerations relating to the public interest; and

(c)the participating contracting authorities perform on the open market less than 20% of the activities concerned by the co-operation.

Determination of percentages

(8) For the determination of the percentage of activities referred to in paragraphs (1)(b), (4)(b) and (7)(c), the average total turnover, or an appropriate alternative activity-based measure such as costs incurred by the relevant legal person or contracting authority with respect to services, supplies and works for the 3 years preceding the contract award shall be taken into consideration.

(9) Where, because of—

(a)the date on which the relevant legal person or contracting authority was created or commenced activities, or

(b)a reorganisation of its activities,

the turnover, or alternative activity-based measure such as costs, are either not available for the preceding 3 years or no longer relevant, it shall be sufficient to show that the measurement of activity is credible, particularly by means of business projections.

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