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19 June 2012 | Adam Leach
Half of businesses in North West England have no plans in place to familiarise themselves with the proposed changes to EU procurement regulations.
A survey carried out among buyers, suppliers and advisers in the region by law firm Gateley found 50 per cent of respondents have no plan to understand the EU reforms to implement changes into their own procurement procedures. Furthermore, it found 17 per cent of respondents were unaware of the consequences for not complying with the regulations.
“Procurement in the EU is a complex subject that is constantly evolving. However, with suppliers facing a range of sanctions for non-compliance and buyers contemplating the commercially disruptive consequences of that non-compliance, it is imperative that both parties stay ahead of the curve and get to grips with legislation before it is too late,” said David Vayro, who leads the Gateley procurement law team in Manchester.
The findings from the survey suggest a broad awareness that changes are coming in, but a lack of detailed understanding. It found 83 per cent of respondents are aware of the timings of the reforms, but more than half “lacked clarity on the breadth and extent of changes”.
Liz Wilson-Lamb, EU advisor and trainer at Achilles, which is running a series of workshops with Gateley on the impact of the EU changes, said: “Impending EU legislation is set to affect all those responsible for the procurement process, which means the correct practices and procedures must be in place.”
The proposed changes to the EU regulations, which are scheduled to come into force by 30 June 2014, include reducing the administrative burden by cutting the number of tender notices that must be published, reducing the amount of time taken to carry out procurement and mandating the full use of e-procurement within two years.