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“PPN” stands for Procurement Policy Note. They’re updates that the Government release which advise the country on changes to procurement rules. They’ve been happening more regularly now that we’ve left the EU.

What’s important about this one?

The PPN includes the National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS) and gives us another indication of the direction of travel ahead of the upcoming Procurement reform. It takes effect immediately and applies to all Contracting Authorities (CAs) in the UK – not just central government.

You can read the covering PPN and NPPS here – Procurement Policy Note 05/21: National Procurement Policy Statement.

It’s important that we all understand the advice. It will be required that all Contracting Authorities (including SEC) “have regard” for the national strategic priorities outlined in the note.

What should we have regard of?

CA’s should have regard to the following national priorities when carrying out their procurements –

  • The national priorities which relate to social value – i.e. creating new jobs and new skills; tackling climate change; and improving supplier diversity, innovation and resilience.
  • Commercial and procurement delivery.
  • And, skills and capability for procurement.

The PPN also states that all CA’s will need to:

  • Publish their procurement pipelines – looking forward 18 months minimum:
    • For those who spend over £200m annually this is from April 2022
    • For those who spend over £100m annually this is from April 2023
  • And, benchmark their procurement capability against similar organisations.

What changes should we consider in light of the PPN?

The PPN is recommending and encouraging us to:

  1. Improve how we engage with the market – i.e. through market assessments, clear and relevant KPIs, cost benchmarking, and increased assessment of suppliers and their financial standing.
  2. Collaborate more – consider opportunities for working together to deliver the best value for money.
  3. Increase the role of shared services and professional buying organisations – which can result in securing the best commercial deals for common goods and services.

In the wise words from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “Don’t Panic!”

Whilst it’s clear that the PPN and NPPS mark another culture shift for public procurement, we know that colleagues across the sector are well positioned to respond. The housing sector procures contracts that spend billions of pounds annually across the UK – a lot of us already follow the recommendations above.  

At SEC we’re here to support you with your procurements. We’ll always make sure the projects you carry out through us are fully compliant and we’ll be updating our own internal procedures to incorporate this advice into our everyday procurement practice.

If you’ve any questions about the PPN please let me know – we’ll be happy to chat to you about the changes in more detail.
Ellie Park
Marketing & Communications Partner   /   020 8036 2948