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As you know it’s all change for public procurement rules post-Brexit. In May the Procurement Bill had its first and second reading in the House of Lords. But where are we now? What changes do we need to prepare for? And, when will the Bill complete its passage through parliament?

The Bill is now in its early stages after an extensive consultation process. It is expected that the Bill, along with any associated legislation and guidance will take around nine months to pass through Parliament. We should then be given a six-month preparation period for implementation. This would give the prospective “go live” date from around August 2023.

What changes do we need to prepare for? 

The Bill reflects the proposals set out in the Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement and Cabinet Office’s consultation response.

Part 1 of the Bill provides definitions of the terms used within the Bill itself. Part 2 of the Bill sets out the objectives of public procurement law – which Contracting Authorities must have regard to when carrying out procurement.

These objectives include:

  1. Delivering ‘value for money’;
  2. ‘maximising public benefit’;
  3. Sharing information to allow ‘suppliers and others to understand the authority’s procurement policies and decisions’; and,
  4. ‘acting and being seen to act, with integrity’.

The Bill also gives the National Procurement Policy Statement legal force. We’ve provided an executive summary of the NPPS here. It requires Contracting Authorities to take into account the national strategic priorities in relation to job retention, improving supplier resilience and tackling climate change when carrying out their procurements.

In total the Bill is made up of 13 parts which cover the following:

  1. Key definitions
  2. Principles and objectives
  3. Award of public contracts and procedures
  4. Management of public contracts
  5. Conflicts of Interest
  6. Below-threshold contracts
  7. Implementation of international obligations
  8. Information and notices: general provisions
  9. Remedies for break of statutory duty
  10. Procurement oversight
  11. Appropriate authorities and cross-border procurement
  12. Amendment and repeals
  13. General

The team at Trowers & Hamlins have produced a high-level summary of some of the changes identified in the Bill. You can read it here – Transforming Public Procurement summary of the Procurement Bill -Trowers & Hamlins

We’ll be providing updates to our Procurement Reform webpage regularly as things evolve – Latest Updates on UK Procurement Reform – SouthEastConsortium

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