Reg.109 of the Public Contract Regulations 2015 (PCR2015) defines the scope of application of Chapter 8, which creates transparency and bureaucratic obligations parallel to those in Chapter 7 (regs.106 to 108) for contracts below EU thresholds--ie imposes the use of Contracts Finder and bans the use of PQQs in the procurement of contracts covered by reg.109 PCR2015. As Pedro stressed, the 'chapter is particularly important as it constitutes the first time contracts below-thresholds are subject to regulations'.
According to reg.109(1) PCR2015, Chapter 8 applies to procurements by contracting authorities with respect to public contracts where Part 2 PCR2015 does not apply because the estimated value of the procurement is less than the relevant threshold mentioned in reg.5. Interestingly, reg.109(4) includes an anti-circumvention provision identical to that in reg.6(5) and 6(6) PCR2015, whereby a procurement shall not be subdivided with the effect of preventing it from falling within the scope of Chapter 8, unless justified by objective reasons.
There are several exceptions to the obligation to comply with regs.110 to 112. First, the procurement of contracts
that would not have been covered by Part 2 even if the estimated value
of the procurement had been equal to or greater than the relevant
threshold in reg.5 can be carried out without compliance with Chapter 8 [reg.109(2)(a)]. Second, the exemption also covers low value contracts: ie contracts of an estimated value net of VAT of less than £10,000, where the contracting authority is a central government authority [reg.109(2)(b)]; and contracts of an estimated value net of VAT of less than £25,000, where the contracting authority is either a sub-central contracting authority [reg.109(2)(c)]. Reg.109(3) clarifies how to calculate the value of the contracts.
Thirdly, there are exceptions concerning the NHS, which cover contracts tendered by an NHS Trust of an estimated value net of VAT of less than £25,000 [reg.109(2)(c)], as well as all of the procurement of health care services for the purposes of the NHS within the meaning and scope of the National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No. 2) Regulations 2013 [reg.109(2)(d)] (see comments to reg.105).
Finally, reg.109(5) sets a fourth and partial exception from the obligation to comply with Chapter 8, so that regs. 110 and 112 requiring publications in Contracts Finder do not apply where the contracting authority is a maintained school or an Academy. However, their procurement is bound by the ban on the use of PQQs for de minimis contracts under reg.111.