Last week Cabinet Office published their long-awaited response to its consultation on upcoming procurement reform. They received a total of 619 responses with over 17,000 individual comments….the most ever received for a consultation on UK procurement law.
You can view the full response here – Transforming Public Procurement – Government response to consultation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
SEC was one of the 619 to respond, along with a host of different stakeholders across the country. It’s clear that Cabinet Office has taken into account the responses – they’ve made changes to proposals and have provided additional detail where required.
The full scope of the changes will become law in 2023. Cabinet Office are focused on developing a ‘procurement regime that is simple, flexible and takes greater account of Social Value’ and are taking the time to get things right.
What is changing?
Four existing set for regulations which currently govern public procurement in the UK will be brought together under one new regulatory framework. The current regs are:
- Public Contracts Regulations 2015
- Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016
- Concession Contracts Regulations 2016
- Defence & Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011
What will this new regulatory framework look like?
- By combining the four regulations above we’ll have consolidated rules that benefit suppliers and buyers alike. This was supported by 81% of the consultation respondents.
- Suppliers will upload their core credentials to a centralised procurement database – meaning they’ll only have to supply this information once rather than provide them for each bid. This supports SMEs and provides greater transparency across the process.
- The three new procedures proposed by the green paper will go ahead. These are:
- A new “flexible competitive procedure” – this will give procurement professionals the freedom to use their commercial skills throughout the process. And will require Contracting Authorities to carry out more work upfront.
- An “open procedure” for simpler competitions; and
- A “limited tendering procedure” for special circumstances when goods/works/services are urgently needed.
- Proposals that allow organisations in the supply chain to directly approach the Contracting Authority with late payment concerns will also be adopted. CAs will also be given the power to investigate supply chain payment performance.
Will we receive more guidance?
In short, yes – Cabinet Office recognises that training and professional guidance will be essential to support the country prepare for the changes. They’ll be providing this in due course – you can also subscribe to receive their updates here: Government Commercial Function – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
When will the changes take place?
The regulations still need to pass through both Houses of Parliament before becoming law in 2023.
We’ll be providing updates to our Procurement Reform webpage regularly as things evolve – Latest Updates on UK Procurement Reform – SouthEastConsortium
Alternatively, subscribe to our email newsletters here – Contact us – South East Consortium
Trowers & Hamlins have produced a report which responds to the publication chapter by chapter. You can read this here – Government Response to the Transforming Public Procurement Green Paper consultation published -Trowers & Hamlins
If you’ve any questions, or would like to talk about this further contact Gavin, our Procurement Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org