Regulaton & Policy
Public Contracts Regulations Commentary – Excellent Work From Telles and Sánchez-Graells

Readers with a good memory will remember that we featured every now and again the excellent commentary that two academics in the public procurement law field made on the new UK Public Contracts Regulations 2015, based on the 2014 EU Directives. Dr Pedro Telles (also of the Public Procurement Podcast fame), now at Swansea University and Dr Albert Sánchez-Graells, now at Bristol University, published comments on every one of the new 2015 regulations.

Telles has his own website here, which gives useful analysis and summaries of news and events with a public procurement interest. Graells publishes his analysis of public procurement matters here. Both sites are well worth checking out, but they have now pulled their commentaries together and created single website as a home for their work, Public Contracts Regulations Commentary.

As the authors explain:

The original commentaries were posted in their respective blogs and How to Crack a Nut and are now available on a condensed and joint format in this website. In addition to merging the entries for each Regulation, their content has been updated as well to reflect changes in the legislation arising from the Public Procurement (Amendments, Repeals and. Revocations) Regulations 2016 and doctrinal commentary published in the last year.”

This really is a most impressive achievement in terms of diligence, the insightful nature of their comments, and sheer tenacity. For many of the directives, most public procurement professionals will find it worth reading just for the general interest and background. It will be even more useful when it covers one of the more contentious and practical issues.

Some of the directives are a little more specialist or “dryer” in nature, and in those cases it is likely that only someone with a particular issue around that topic will read and digest every word. But there is not doubt this will be a tremendous resource for students, lawyers, procurement practitioners, suppliers to the public sector and others. As the authors say:

Commentary to codes and significant pieces of legislation is commonplace in civil law jurisdictions, where both applicants graduated in law. In those jurisdictions, annotated codes constitute a very helpful resource for law students as they usually explain the law in a more accessible way, sometimes referring to appropriate case law or other pieces of legislation that may be relevant for a more complete understanding of that specific legal rule. We hope this joint commentary will achieve the same use and be of use for law students and legal scholars across Europe”.

The authors are not afraid to challenge or criticise the regulations at times, and do their best to achieve readability and avoid overly legalistic language. We looked at a couple of entries at random and liked this one, regarding Regulation 6 on contract value. Here’s a quick sample to get a feeling for the style, and we love their sub-headings in particular! For example:

Trainwrecks waiting to happen

Our biggest concerns regarding Regulation 6 come from paragraphs (8) and (9), where the Regulation tries to determine the procurement value for procurement “things” which are not contracts and are hard to measure: framework agreements and innovation partnerships.

This website is sponsored by the Society of Legal Scholars Small Projects and Events Fund – well done to that organisation too for backing such a worthwhile initiative.