What are the EU Directives/OJEU/Procurement Regulations?
The European Union (EU) Procurement Directives and the Public Procurement Regulations that implement them in the UK set out the law on public procurement. Their purpose is to open up the public procurement market and to ensure the free movement of goods and services within the EU.
The rules apply to purchases by public bodies and certain utilities which are above set monetary thresholds. They cover all EU member states and as a result of other international agreements, they also extend to a number of other countries worldwide.
Where the regulations apply, contracts must be advertised in the Official Journal of the EU (the OJEU) and the procurement process must follow detailed rules for advertisement, qualification, selection and award. These rules are enforced through the courts, including the European Court of Justice.
Even when a purchase falls below the thresholds, public bodies are required to comply with the principles of the original EC Treaty of non-discrimination, equal treatment, transparency, mutual recognition and proportionality. This means that there must be a degree of advertising, sufficient to enable the supply market to be opened up to competition and the impartiality of the procedures to be reviewed.
Details of the current thresholds can be found at the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) website in the Procurement Policy and EU Rules section.
To view adverts in the OJEU please visit the official EU website.