[Last modified: July 2021]
Public sector procurement after Brexit has caused much concern for UK businesses. However, the government has recently released some information that might put your mind at ease when tendering for contracts.
The recent announcement informed that British businesses can continue bidding for £1.3 trillion worth of public sector contracts, globally. This declaration comes following extensive engagements with WTO members.
Previously the UK participated in global procurement via our membership to the EU. However, the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) Committee confirmed that the UK can join the GPA as an independent nation. This will come into effect from the 1st of January 2021.
This agreement might have you breathing a sigh of relief. It means that UK businesses can compete fairly for overseas contracts, covered by the GPA, on the same terms as they do now. Some organisations rely heavily on their global client base. The deal will provide businesses with the certainty they need to continue bidding for public sector contracts outside the UK.
Deputy Director of Policy & Regulation at The Advertising Association, Konrad Shek, said:
“We believe independent membership of the GPA is a crucial part of the UK’s future trade policy. It is important for the UK to have continued fair and competitive access to the estimated annual USD 1.7 trillion public procurement market that has been opened up under the GPA and have a voice in shaping the rules that underpin the system.
For our sector, these rules can affect the competitiveness of ad agencies that bid for branding, tourism, education and inward investment promotion work. For UK market and social research, which is the largest per capita research business in the world a third of the value of which is based upon export, it is essential that UK research businesses can continue to access market, opinion and social research government contracts and public procurement opportunities via the GPA.”
This deal means that companies overseas can continue to bid for UK public sector procurement contracts, covered by the GPA. This will help to deliver better value for the taxpayer.
The agreement will also continue to support vital services such as the NHS. Although it does not and will not cover healthcare services, it will enable continued access to vital resources such as;
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss said:
“Today’s announcement will provide British businesses with the certainty they need to continue bidding for £1.3 trillion worth of government contracts overseas, which will ultimately help deliver the growth and jobs we need to recover from the economic challenges of coronavirus.
It is another significant step towards re-establishing Britain as a major force in global trade and a truly independent trading nation.”
Until the agreement comes into effect in January 2021, public sector procurement will remain in line with EU regulations.
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