Public Contracts Regulations 2015 – Farewell Teckal and Hamburg

As we all know by now, the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 come into force this coming Thursday (26 February).

Amongst many other changes, refinements and rationalisations it is the end of an era for those two familiar exemptions from a CA’s obligation to carry out a full EU Directive compliant procurement procedure. We are, of course, talking about dear old “Teckal” and sweet old “Hamburg”.

From know on they will go under the decidedly utilitarian joint shorthand of “Regulation 12 exemptions”.

We shouldn’t really mourn them we suppose. They took years, a lot of cost and much “cold flannel” time given their complexity as they developed. To be candid, they also probably tripped a lot of people up from time to time.

Regulation 12 is commendably clear. An Authority who wants to rely on a “Teckal” type exemption (see we can’t yet resist it!) is now much clearer about what constitutes control over a relevant entity and structures such as cost sharing groups and joint services entities are likely to be regarded as much less risky ventures. The “in-house” entity itself now knows that it must carry out more than 80% of its activities for its owning Authorit(ies) – so more certainty there too.

As far as “Hamburg” goes, it is at least crystal clear that this exemption is all about co-operation and that linear services arrangements are going to be quite straightforwardly on the other side of the line.

For us, “Teckal” and “Hamburg” will always have a spot in our hearts. In terms of the world of work, however, we are quite happy about the Regulation 12 clarity.

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