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Well, what a week this has been. In the Brexit Pantomime, last Wednesday the UK and EU reached an agreement on the wording of the possible trade deal.
At the time of writing, the UK Govt cabinet have apparently agreed it, although with a few Tory resignation casualties, including a one-time housing CLG minister Dominic Rennie Raab and the often controversial Ester McVey, Work and Pensions Secretary. So, maybe this panto will go on some time longer, maybe running beyond Christmas.
When at work, I am involved in a SME, a busy Small to Medium Enterprise. All companies I thnk have had that generic HMRC letter, telling everyone to prepare for Brexit, how you trade with Europe (I occasionally do work in Ireland, also further afield).
Apart from telling us that customs checks might well be needed (No s*** Sherlock), there are references to some pretty generic technical notices. Frankly not really much to show for two and a half years our leaders have had to prepare. Forgive me though, maybe I ask too much of people apparently ‘in charge’.
Everyone I have worked with, knows I get involved in lots of procurement of new and replacement systems, individual solutions and critical friend assistance around this area. These usually fall into contracts of value under or over the EU threshold, of currently for 2018 of approx. £181k. Most of my work is north of that.
One preparation notice of far interest to me is the one about where all those contract notices will be shared post Brexit. Under the UK’s EU membership, all procurement opportunities that fall within the scope of the EU procurement directives are advertised on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) via Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) - https://ted.europa.eu/TED/main/HomePage.do - 520k procurement notices a year are published on TED, worth around €420 billion.
Domestic portals do carry opportunities currently, but all ones over OJEU, must be re-published via those notices on TED. These include the following, often locally or regionally branded:
- Contracts Finder
- Public Contracts Scotland
“If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal in place regarding future arrangements on access to OJEU/TED, a replacement UK-specific e-notification service will be made available. Changes to the procurement rules will be made via amendments to existing legislation, to ensure continued operability.”
This assumes that all those third party domestic portals, will have those links all developed and created.
Having worked for many years on the supplier dark side, I know that the reality is more like software supplier/developers get solid details, about 4 weeks before something is due live as legislation, rather than the 3+ months minimum development lead time, of something of this important nature.
Without this, there is a possibility of major disruption to a number of procurements. A great danger too, of suitable suppliers/bidders, not being able to bid as a number of opportunities will could be invisible, even across countries of the UK.
Another blind spot is how will non-UK companies bid? Will they be able to bid at all, when will that be finalised and legislated. I do fear for suppliers as well as my clients not receiving the full spectrum of the best possible bids available. Fingers crossed something coordinated comes from all of this.
I await details of the UK e-notification service, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, sadly something that seems ever nearer each day. Access the official blurb here.
Related Post: Without a control group, how can you determine if something new is working or not?
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(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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