Retention of contract copies under Reg. 83 Public Contracts Regulations 2015

Reg.83 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR2015) establishes rules on retention of contract copies aimed at complying with the documentary requirements of Article 83(6) of Directive 2014/24. According to these rules, contracting authorities shall, at least for the duration of the contract, keep copies of all concluded contracts with a value equal to or greater than 1,000,000 EUR in the case of public supply contracts or public service contracts; and 10,000,000 EUR in the case of public works contracts [reg.83(1)]. 
It is important to point out that the counter-value of those thresholds should be determined according to the Communication from the Commission on corresponding values of the thresholds of Directives 2004/17/EC, 2004/18/EC and 2009/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council [2013] OJ C 366/1, which sets them at £833,400 and £8,334,000 respectively.Given the great divergence in current value, it would probably be a good idea for the Commission to update its Communication sooner rather than later. 
In any case, the rule in reg.83(1) PCR2015 could have clarified that the relevant value for these purposes is to be determined, for example, at the moment of signature. However, given that the contract can be modified and that the value at signature rule is by mo means the only option, it may be a good idea for contracting authorities to retain copies of all concluded contracts in any case.

Reg.83(2) PCR2015 determines that contracting authorities shall grant access to those contracts, but access to specific documents or items of information may be denied to the extent and on the conditions provided for in the applicable EU or national rules on access to documents and data protection. This opens a can of worms regarding the obligations to disclose concluded contracts under freedom of information requests or any other transparency rules. 
My personal opinion has always been that disclosing concluded contracts in full is a bad idea due to the transparency it creates (see here for discussion). Hence, I would promote a careful assessment of the effects of disclosing this information and would strengthen the obligation of contracting authorities to comply by analogy with their duty to protect confidential and competition sensitive information under regs.21 and 86 PCR2015.