A procurement policy note (PPN) in response to Covid-19 last week said that regulation 32(2)(c) of the Public Contract Regulations 2015 could now be invoked.
Not only can contracts be awarded directly, existing contracts can be modified or extended.
Existing framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system should also be considered, it said.
The Crown Commercial Service notice said: “COVID-19 outbreak is likely to give rise to supply chain disruption and contracting authorities may need to take action in response to supplier claims of 'force majeure' or contract 'frustration'. These and other issues will be covered in future PPNs.”
One framework organisation, Pagabo, said that it would waive its framework fees for any projects procured via its frameworks during the crisis.