The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 (Commencement No.1) Order 2015 was laid before the Scottish Parliament this week and has now been published. This Order brings into force certain provisions of the Procurement Reform Scotland Act 2014 (the “Act”).
The effect of the Order is that Section 29 of the Act will come into force on 28 September 2015.
Section 29 of the Act allows the Scottish Ministers to publish guidance about the selection of economic operators and the award of contracts in relation to regulated procurements (which are public works contracts with a value above £2,000,000 and for other public contracts with a value above £50,000).
The Act provides that such guidance may cover:
- the use of questionnaires in the assessment of the suitability of economic operators;
- matters relating to:
- the recruitment, remuneration (including payment of a living wage) and other terms of engagement of persons involved in producing, providing or constructing the subject matter of the regulated procurement, and
- employee representation including trade union recognition,
that are to be taken into account in assessing the suitability of economic operators.
The Scottish Ministers are required to lay a copy of any guidance published under Section 29 of the Act before the Scottish Parliament and the Act then obliges contracting authorities to have regard to any such guidance.
The Order also commences sections 1, 2 15(5)(b)(iii) (only for the purpose of the definition of “living wage”), and 15(7) of the Act. These sections include certain defined terms that are used in Section 29; namely “contracting authority”; regulated procurement” and “living wage”. The Schedule to the Act (which lists certain contracting authorities) also comes into force on 28 September 2015.