Public procurement - legislative framework in the UK




Community Directives on public procurement assimilated into the domestic legal system of the UK.


Directive 2004/17/EC
‘Coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors’


Effect Date 31st March 2004


In UK legislation

The Publics Contracts regulations 2006

The Utilities Contracts 2009


In the UK, the governing principles underlying national legislation on public procurement are the EC directives themselves, which have been transposed into national legislation. The UK does not have legislation on public procurement (other than some requirements placed on local authorities under the Local Government Act) except in relation to the EC directives.


Institutional framework – structures responsible for public procurement in the UK
The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) is currently responsible for the Government’s procurement policy and for the legislative framework (the Governmental change and the subsequent reforms in the UK in 2010 might change this).


Types of procurement
For any given contracting authority in the UK, the types of public procurement contract available correspond with those available under the EC Directives, i.e. Public Works, Public Supply and Public Services Contracts, Public Works and Public Services Concession Contracts, etc. However, in the UK there are some additional contract types which are not covered by specific EU legislation, although the Treaty free movement provisions and the Treaty-based obligations of equal treatment, transparency, proportionality and mutual recognition apply (WEB 16).



In 2008 The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released a report on the number of registered businesses in the UK. The data revealed that there were 2.16 million business enterprises registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 2008, compared to 2.10 million in 2007 – representing a 3% rise.