The Public Contracts Regulations 2006
As publicly funded bodies, both academy trusts and governing bodies of maintained schools will need to comply with the provisions of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006. The regulations apply when a procuring authority enters into a contract for the receipt of certain types of works, goods or services. The aim of the regulations is to ensure that public funds are applied in accordance with principles of fairness and transparency.
The requirement to consider the regulations is also emphasised in the Academies Financial Handbook and having evidence of an appropriate procurement is necessary not just to defend any complaint made under the regulations but because the Education Funding Agency is likely to ask to see this if they carry out an audit check. The handbook requires academies to have in place and apply a competitive tendering policy.
Schools will need to be aware of the regulations not just because they may be purchasing goods or services but because they may also be supplying goods or services to a contracting authority, i.e. another school, and should anticipate their need, potentially, to carry out a competitive procurement exercise. This will be relevant for teaching schools and any trading subsidiary set up by a school…
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This decision represents a welcome return to the ‘pay for what you use’ principle and strikes a fairer balance between different creditor and expense groups.
Winckworth Sherwood has provided a summary of the Trusts (Capital and Income) Act 2013.