NCVO welcomes proposed changes to EU procurement rules

Cabinet Office consultation response says draft rules will help sector organisations win government contracts

Oli Henman of the NCVO
Oli Henman of the NCVO

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has backed proposed changes to EU procurement rules, which it says will make it easier for charities to compete for government contracts.

The Cabinet Office is holding a consultation on draft European Commission rules, published over Christmas, which recommend that public bodies break down contracts so smaller bodies can bid for them. The rules would require those bodies to publish explanations if they do not do so.

They would also increase the threshold under which procurement of services of social value did not have to meet full EU tendering criteria from €200,000 to €500,000, which would reduce administration for charities bidding for those contracts.

The commission has also proposed introducing more flexible rules for contracts that involve innovation.

In its response to the consultation, the NCVO says it believes the sector would benefit from the rules.

Oli Henman, EU and international campaigns manager at the NCVO, said it would be important to ensure that local authorities knew about the new rules if they were introduced. "These rules will make it easier to win many public sector contracts," he said. "They’ll have a big impact.

"There’s still scope to improve these rules, so we’re very open to case studies that people might have from their own experiences."

The rules are still to be ratified by member states and the European Parliament.

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