The Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 and Environmental Regulation (Enforcement Measures) (Scotland) Order 2015 granted SEPA additional powers from 1 June 2016 to issue fixed fines of up to £1000 in relation to suspected environmental offences, with powers to impose variable fines of up to £40,000 expected in late 2016.
For some time now academics and legal commentators have reported on the fact that some price scoring formulas commonly used by contracting authorities are flawed, with the potential of breaching the most important EU procurement principles – non-discrimination and equal treatment of economic operators, transparency and proportionality.
Providing clients with estimates is an established practice in the industry. This is for good reason. It can be difficult to price works accurately from the outset, but clients are unlikely to instruct works without some idea of the price. Therefore, contractors have long been providing estimates on the assumption they are not bound to provide the works for this price and they have the flexibility to increase (or decrease) the price once they have a better idea of the works involved. However, we would advise contractors to be cautious of this practice as without appropriate protection, they could find themselves entering into a contract which binds them to the price in their estimate.
Does your business supply goods and services? Does it have an annual turnover of £36m or more (including turnover of any subsidiaries whether operating in the UK or abroad)? If so, then you need to produce a ‘Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement’ for each financial year to comply with the Transparency in Supply Chains provisions of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
New rules on public procurement in Scotland will take effect in April 2016. Public bodies (“contracting authorities”) and those who tender for public contracts should be getting up to speed with the changes now.