Regulation 84 (1) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 requires every Contracting Authority to create a written report for most procurements where a standard OJEU procedure is used.
When do I need to create a report?
The regulations require that you create a formal, written report for every above-threshold contract. However, the regulations also require that you create such a report for all call-offs from frameworks where there are multiple suppliers. In practice, this means all formal mini-competitions. It also includes any call-off from a framework where price, or any other piece of information, is requested after the framework has been set up.
In addition, any tender or competitive process to establish either a Framework or a Dynamic Purchasing System also requires Contracting Authorities to create a written report.
What needs to be in the report?
A surprising amount. The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 is quite specific in the requirements. The details required in a Regulation 84 report are really split into two parts. The first part, outlined in 84 (1), is a simple checklist of some of the mandatory inclusions. But later parts, 84 (7) and 84 (8) require contracting authorities to “document the progress of all procurement procedures” and to “keep sufficient documentation to justify decisions taken in all stages of the procurement procedure”. As a result, a Regulation 84 report needs to be both detailed and comprehensive. You must record every decision you make – from the procedure you selected and any lots you created (or didn’t create) – to any conflicts of interest and justification for deviations from any established standards.
Can I write up the report after the procurement?
Unfortunately not. The report can be requested at any time, for instance following a Mystery Shopper complaint or query. This means you are required to create the report in real-time. If you make a decision, it must be documented immediately.
What happens if I don’t do this?
If requested, you are required to send the report to the Cabinet Office or the Commission itself. A failure to have developed such a report is more likely to make either body, or the courts, rule in favour of a complainant and against you.
Is there an online tool available to create the report?
Yes. Lifecycle have partnered with Mills & Reeve, the leading public-sector lawyers, to create a free, easy-to-use online wizard. Not only does it help you construct a compliant Regulation 84 report, it will also guide you in making the correct decisions for each procurement procedure. To use the wizard, simply register at Regulation84.co.uk. It is free to use for Contracting Authorities.