On 15 December 2020, the Cabinet Office published Procurement Policy Note 11/20: Reserving below threshold procurements (PPN 11/20), together with a guide to reserving below threshold procurements.
PPN 11/20 is relevant only where Part 2 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/102) (PCR 2015) would have applied to the contract award but does not apply because the estimated value of the procurement is less than the relevant thresholds applicable under the PCR 2015. The thresholds for contracts for supplies and services and works are £122,976 and £4,733,252 respectively.
Where appropriate, in-scope central government organisations (organisations) when procuring below threshold contracts, should consider reserving the procurement:
- By supplier location, which means they can run a competition and specify that only suppliers in a geographical area can bid.
- For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) only.
Organisations may still choose to compete below threshold contracts on an open basis without any reservation for supplier type or supplier location where it is considered the approach will deliver better value for money, for example because there is a lack of a competitive market. This could include bids from overseas suppliers.
PPN 11/20 does not apply for supplies, services or works procurements where goods are to be provided to Northern Ireland and where there is cross-border interest, since EU Treaty rights relating to the free movement of goods will continue to apply in Northern Ireland beyond the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol (see Practice note, Brexit: withdrawal agreement text: Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland).
For further information, see Practice note, Brexit: implications for public procurement law.