Current competition law suspended in the fight against Covid-19

Urgent works and service contracts can now be awarded without competitive tender in the fight against Covid-19.

The government has temporarily suspended current competition law, meaning urgent works and services to help combat the Covid-19 crisis can now be awarded without competitive tender.

Cabinet Office officials say that in the current exceptional circumstances, authorities may need to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency. This is permissible under current public procurement regulations using regulation 32(2)(c).

The new PPN 01/20 takes immediate effect and is applicable to all contracting authorities, including central government departments, executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies, local authorities, NHS bodies and the wider public sector.

It’s remit includes: 

  • Direct award due to extreme urgency (regulation 32(2)(c);
  • Direct award due to absence of competition or protection of exclusive rights;
  • Call off from an existing framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system;
  • Call for competition using a standard procedure with accelerated timescales;
  • Extending or modifying a contract during its term.

Procurement organisation Pagabo has already stepped up to announce it is waiving its framework fees for projects using PPN 01/20.

Click here to download Covid-19 PPN 01/20.

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