Legal Definitions – Public Contract Regulations 2015

In, except where the context otherwise requires, the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (England, Wales & N. Ireland) include under Regulation 2 the following legal definitions:

“ACADEMY” means a person who is the proprietor, within the meaning of section 579(1) of the Education Act 1996, of an Academy within the meaning of that section;

“ACCELERATED PROCEDURE” means any of the following:-

  1. an open procedure in which the contracting authority has exercised the power conferred by regulation 27(5) to fix a time limit for the receipt of tenders that is shorter than the minimum specified in regulation 27(2);
  2. a restricted procedure in which the contracting authority has exercised the power conferred by regulation 28(10) to fix a time limit-
    1. for the receipt of requests to participate that is shorter than the minimum specified in regulation 28(2), or
    2. for the receipt of tenders that is shorter than the minimum specified in regulation 28(5);
  3. a competitive procedure with negotiation in which the contracting authority has exercised the power conferred by regulation 29(10) to fix a time limit-
    1. for the receipt of requests to participate that is shorter than the minimum specified in regulation 29(4); or
    2. for the receipt of initial tenders that is shorter than the minimum specified in regulation 29(5).

“ANCILLARY PURCHASING ACTIVITIES” means activities consisting of the provision of support to purchasing activities, in particular in the following forms:-

  1. technical infrastructure enabling contracting authorities to award public contracts or to conclude framework agreements for works, supplies or services;
  2. advice on the conduct or design of public procurement procedures;
  3. preparation and management of procurement procedures on behalf and for the account of the contracting authority concerned;

“BODIES GOVERNED BY PUBLIC LAW” means bodies that have all of the following characteristics:-

  1. they are established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an industrial or commercial character;
  2. they have legal personality; and
  3. they have any of the following characteristics:-
    1. they are financed, for the most part, by the State, regional or local authorities, or by other bodies governed by public law;
    2. they are subject to management supervision by those authorities or bodies; or
    3. they have an administrative, managerial or supervisory board, more than half of whose members are appointed by the State, regional or local authorities, or by other bodies governed by public law;

“CALL FOR COMPETITION” means a call for competition made in a manner required or permitted by regulation 26(8) to (9) or, where relevant, one of the notices referred to in regulation 75(1) or for a contest notice regulation 79 (1) to (5);

“CANDIDATE” means an economic operator that has sought an invitation or has been invited to take part in a restricted procedure, a competitive procedure with negotiation, a negotiated procedure without prior publication, a competitive dialogue or an innovation partnership;

“CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES” means the Crown and all the bodies listed in Schedule 1 (whether or not they perform their functions on behalf of the Crown), but does not include Her Majesty in her private capacity;

“CENTRAL PURCHASING BODY” means a contracting authority which provides centralised purchasing activities and which may also provide ancillary purchasing activities;

“CENTRALISED PURCHASING ACTIVITIES” has the meaning given by regulation 37(10);

“THE COMMISSION” means the European Commission;

“COMMON TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION” means a technical specification in the field of information and communication technology laid down in accordance with Articles 13 and 14 of Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(a) as amended from time to time;

“CONTEST NOTICE” means the notice referred to in regulation 79(1);

“CONTRACT NOTICE” means the notice referred to in regulation 49 or, where relevant, 75(1) (a);

“CONTRACTING AUTHORITIES” means the State, regional or local authorities, bodies governed by public law or associations formed by one or more such authorities or one or more such bodies governed by public law, and includes central government authorities, but does not include Her Majesty in her private capacity;

“CONTRACTS FINDER” means a web-based portal provided for the purposes of Part 4 by or on behalf of the Cabinet Office;

“CPV” means the Common Procurement Vocabulary as adopted by Regulation (EC) No 2195/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council as amended from time to time;

“DEFENCE AND SECURITY REGULATIONS” means the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011;

“DESIGN CONTESTS” means those procedures which enable a contracting authority to acquire, mainly in the fields of town and country planning, architecture and engineering or data processing, a plan or design selected by a jury after being put out to competition with or without the award of prizes;

“DISABLED”, in relation to a person, means a disabled person within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 and, in relation to a worker, means a disabled person who is a worker;

“DYNAMIC PURCHASING SYSTEM” means the system referenced in regulation 34;

“ECONOMIC OPERATOR” means any person or public entity or group of such persons and entities, including any temporary association of undertakings, which offers the execution of works or a work, the supply of products or the provision of services on the market;

“ELECTRONIC MEANS” means electronic equipment for the processing (including digital compression) and storage of data which is transmitted, conveyed and received by wire, by radio, by optical means or by any other electromagnetic means;

“ESPD” means the European Single Procurement Document regulation 59(1);

“EU PUBLICATIONS OFFICE” means the Publications Office of the European Union;

“EUROPEAN STANDARD” means a standard adopted by a European standardisation organisation and made available to the general public;

“EUROPEAN TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT” means the documented assessment of the performance of a construction product, in relation to its essential characteristics, in accordance with the relevant European Assessment Document as defined in point 12 of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council as amended from time to time;

“FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT” has the meaning given by regulation 33(2);

“GPA” means the Agreement on Government Procurement between certain parties to the World Trade Organisation signed in Marrakesh on 15th April 1994 as amended;

“INNOVATION” means the implementation of a new or significantly improved product, service or process, including but not limited to production, building or construction processes, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations, including with the purpose of helping to solve societal challenges or to support the Europe 2012 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth;

“INTERNATIONAL STANDARD” means a standard adopted by an international standardisation organisation and made available to the general public;

“INVITATION TO CONFIRM INTEREST” means, except in regulation 31(18), an invitation which a contracting authority sends in order to comply with regulation 54(2);

“LABEL” means any document, certificate or attestation confirming that the works, products, services, processes or procedures in question meet certain requirements;

“LABEL REQUIREMENTS” means the requirements to be met by the works, products, services, processes or procedures in order to obtain the label concerned;

“LEGAL PERSON” means a person, whether governed by private law or public law, other than a natural person;

“LIFE CYCLE” means all stages which are consecutive or interlinked, including research and development to be carried out, production, trading and its conditions, transport, use and maintenance, throughout the existence of the product or the works or the provision of the service, from raw material acquisition or generation of resources to disposal, clearance and end of service or utilisation;

“MAINTAINED SCHOOL” means the governing body of a maintained school within the meaning  of the Education Act 2002 section 19(1);

“NATIONAL STANDARD” means a standard adopted by a national standardisation organisation and made available to the general public;

“NHS TRUST” means a trust established under the National Health Service Act 2006 section 25;

“OFFICIAL JOURNAL” means the Official Journal of the European Union;

“PRIOR INFORMATION NOTICE” means the notice referred to in regulation 48 or, where relevant, regulation 75(1)(b);

“PRIOR PUBLICATION” means prior publication of a call for competition;

“PROCUREMENT” means the acquisition by means of a public contract of works, supplies or services by one or more contracting authorities from economic operators chosen by those contracting authorities, whether or not the works, supplies or services are intended for a public purpose;

“PROCUREMENT DOCUMENT” means any document produced or referred to by the contracting authority to describe or determine elements of the procurement or the procedure, including the contract notice, the prior information notice where it is used as a means of calling for competition, the technical specifications, the descriptive document, proposed conditions of contract, formats for the presentation of documents by candidates and tenderers, information on generally applicable obligations and any additional documents;

“PUBLIC CONTRACTS” means contracts for pecuniary interest concluded in writing between one or more economic operators and one or more contracting authorities and having as their object the execution of works, the supply of products or the provision of services;

“PUBLIC CONTRACTS DIRECTIVE” means Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council;

“PUBLIC SERVICE CONTRACTS” means public contracts which have as their object the provision of services other than those referred to in the definition of “public works contracts”;

“PUBLIC SUPPLY CONTRACTS” means public contracts which have as their object the purchase, lease, rental or hire-purchase, with or without an option to buy, of products, whether or not the contract also includes, as an incidental matter, siting and installation operations;

“PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTS” means public contracts which have as their object any of the following:-

  1. the execution, or both the design and execution, of works related to one of the activities listed in Schedule 2;
  2. the execution, or both the design and execution, of a work;
  3. the realisation, by whatever means, of a work corresponding to the requirements specified by the contracting authority exercising a decisive influence on the type or design of the work;

“SELECTION CRITERIA” means, except in regulation 80, selection criteria set out by a contracting authority in accordance with regulation 58;

“STANDARD” means a technical specification, adopted by a recognised standardisation body, for repeated or continuous application, with which compliance is not compulsory, and which is an international standard, a European standard or a national standard;

“SUB-CENTRAL CONTRACTING AUTHORITIES” means all contracting authorities which are not central government authorities;

“TECHNICAL REFERENCE” means any deliverable produced by European standardisation bodies, other than European standards, according to procedures adapted to the development of market needs;

“TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS” means the matters referred to in regulation 42(2) to (7);

“TENDERER” means an economic operator that has submitted a tender;

“TFEU” means the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

“THE TREATIES” means the Treaty on European Union and TFEU;

“VAT” means value added tax;

“A WORK” means the outcome of building or civil engineering works taken as a whole which is sufficient in itself to fulfil an economic or technical function; but “works” is to be interpreted in accordance with paragraph (2);

“WORKING DAY” means a day other than a Saturday, Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday or bank holiday within the meaning of the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971;

“WRITTEN” or “IN WRITING” means any expression consisting of words or figures which can be read, reproduced and subsequently communicated, including information transmitted and stored by electronic means.