I have heard about new transparency requirements in relation to public procurements and public contracts. What are these?
The requirements apply to central government, including departments, their agents, agencies, all Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Trading Funds and National Health Service bodies.
There are three separate obligations:
- All new ICT contracts valued over £10,000 to be published;
- All new tender documents (usually, OJEU advertisement, PQQ, ITT (including terms and conditions)), for contracts valued over £10,000 to be published; and
- All new contracts valued over £10,000 to be published in full from January 2011, with redactions if necessary.
This information is to be published on a portal called "Contracts Finder" which will be operational by the end of 2010. The OGC transparency page contains extensive guidance about how contracting authorities should comply with the three requirements.
A separate regime applies to Local Authorities - see the Local Government Group's guidance on the new transparency obligations for local authorities here.