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The Public Contracts Regulations 2015

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26.—(1) When awarding public contracts, contracting authorities shall apply procedures that conform to this Part.

(2) Such contracts may be awarded only if a call for competition has been published in accordance with this Part and the Public Contracts Directive, except where regulation 32 permits contracting authorities to apply a negotiated procedure without prior publication.

(3) Contracting authorities may apply—

(a)open or restricted procedures as regulated by this Part;

(b)innovation partnerships as regulated by this Part.

(4) Contracting authorities may apply a competitive procedure with negotiation or a competitive dialogue in the following situations:—

(a)with regard to works, supplies or services fulfilling one or more of the following criteria:—

(i)the needs of the contracting authority cannot be met without adaptation of readily available solutions;

(ii)they include design or innovative solutions;

(iii)the contract cannot be awarded without prior negotiation because of specific circumstances related to the nature, the complexity or the legal and financial make-up or because of risks attaching to them;

(iv)the technical specifications cannot be established with sufficient precision by the contracting authority with reference to a standard, European Technical Assessment, common technical specification or technical reference;

(b)with regard to works, supplies or services where, in response to an open or a restricted procedure, only irregular or unacceptable tenders are submitted.

Irregular and unacceptable tenders

(5) Where paragraph (4)(b) applies, contracting authorities are not required to publish a contract notice where they include in the procedure all of, and only, the tenderers which satisfy the criteria set out in regulations 57 to 64 and which, during the prior open or restricted procedure, submitted tenders in accordance with the formal requirements of the procurement procedure.

(6) In particular, tenders—

(a)which do not comply with the procurement documents,

(b)which were received late,

(c)where there is evidence of collusion or corruption, or

(d)which have been found by the contracting authority to be abnormally low,

shall be considered irregular for the purposes of paragraph (4)(b).

(7) In particular,—

(a)tenders submitted by tenderers which do not have the required qualifications, and

(b)tenders whose price exceeds the contracting authority’s budget as determined and documented prior to the launching of the procurement procedure,

shall be considered unacceptable for the purposes of paragraph (4)(b).

Calling for competition etc

(8) Subject to paragraph (9), the call for competition shall be made by means of a contract notice in accordance with regulation 49.

(9) Where the contract is awarded by restricted procedure or competitive procedure with negotiation, sub-central contracting authorities may make the call for competition by means of a prior information notice in accordance with regulation 48(5) to (7).

(10) Where the call for competition is made by means of such a prior information notice, economic operators which have expressed their interest following the publication of the prior information notice shall subsequently be invited to confirm their interest in writing by means of an invitation to confirm interest in accordance with regulation 54.

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