Last edited 09 Dec 2020

Public contracting authority

A public contracting authority is defined in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 as a public body that is subject to and must comply with those regulations.

It defines a ‘contracting authority’ as ‘…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.’

The contracting authorities are listed in Schedule 1 of the Regulations, and further classified as ‘central government authorities’:

NB The Construction Playbook, Government Guidance on sourcing and contracting public works projects and programmes, published by HM Government in 2020, defines a contracting authority as: ‘All public sector bodies procuring public works (excludes devolved administrations). The Construction Playbook is mandatory for central government departments and arm’s length bodies (ALBs) on a ‘comply or explain’ basis recognising that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach for all public works. The wider public sector is encouraged to take account of the Construction Playbook. ‘

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