Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Sana Khan explores the need for an opensource software policy

Nowadays, most organisations use opensource software (OSS) somehow, whether it is embedded in an organisation’s own information technology infrastructure or used to provide products and/or services to customers.

Elizabeth Gibson reports on the scope of the PCR 2015

The High Court has dismissed a challenge by Faraday Development Ltd (FDL) against West Berkshire District Council (WBDC), on the basis that a development agreement fell outside the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015) (R (Faraday Development Ltd) v West Berkshire Council [2016]). There were two key aspects of FDL’s challenge: whether WBDC had failed to comply with its statutory duty under s123(2) of the Local Government Act 1972; and whether WBDC acted lawfully in deciding that the bid fell outside of the PCR 2015. This article will focus on the second aspect of FDL’s challenge.

Stephanie Rickard and Punim Anda examine a recent decision on the classification of public works contracts

The case of R (Faraday Development Ltd) v West Berkshire Council [2016] will be of interest to local authorities and developers alike. The judgment provides detailed guidance on how a land development agreement can be structured so that the resulting contract is outside the scope of public procurement law.

In the first of two articles, Chris Parker, Gregg Rowan and Nick Pantlin help readers to navigate obligations of good faith in commercial contracts

The traditional starting point in English contract law is that parties are free to do what they like so long as they do not breach the agreed terms. But it is becoming increasingly common for parties to agree terms requiring them to act in ‘good faith’, or similar. Even where no such term is expressed in the contract, courts and tribunals are increasingly being asked to imply good faith obligations.

Katherine Souter considers a recent decision on the impact of Reg 72

Regulation 72 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015) sets out several situations in which, provided certain conditions are met, a public contract can lawfully be varied without triggering the requirement to run a new procurement process. Often the parties find that they need to change the scope of the services provided or extend the contract, and this can only lawfully be done without running a new procurement within the scope of the safe harbours contemplated by Reg 72.

Simon Jones sets out a more flexible approach to outsourcing

Typically, outsourcing projects take a long time to procure and deliver. This can be bad news for both the public sector and the supplier. Often, there has been a mismatch between what a public sector body thought that it was buying and what is ultimately delivered.

Peter Kershaw identifies the key areas for public sector collaboration in maximising development and land disposal opportunities

Independent estimates indicate that the public sector may hold around c40% of all developable sites in the UK and around c27% of all brownfield land suitable for housing. In medium-sized county towns, local mapping data also indicates that anywhere from c50% to c70% of some high streets could be owned by the public sector.

Hamza Drabu and Kayleigh Hartigan outline the findings of the Wachter Review

The long-awaited Wachter Review was published on 7 September 2016. The review was carried out by the American professor Robert Wachter and commissioned by the Department of Health (DH) to provide an assessment of the digitisation of secondary care (hospitals) in the UK and issue recommendations on the way forward. It follows a number of policy and funding announcements – including the £4.2bn funding to support the digitisation of the NHS – as well as several publications and initiatives identifying technology as a critical lever to address the multiple challenges the NHS is facing. The NHS Five Year Forward View made a commitment that, by 2020, there would be ‘fully interoperable electronic health records so that patients’ records are paperless’.