The UK government has revealed further details of the changes planned under the new Procurement Bill. This is aimed to simplify procurement in the public sector and is expected to be introduced from September 2021.
How the UK Intends to Simplify Public Procurement:
The green paper includes proposals to streamline and simplify procurement regulations, which currently mirror EU rules. This would consolidate the current 350 procurement regulations into a single uniform regime.
The government also aims to improve transparency and promote social value in contracts. A key step will be to make it easier for small businesses (SMEs) and voluntary, charitable and social enterprises to compete for, and win public contracts.
The government plans to soon publish its first National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS) to set out priorities for public procurement
Seven elements the new procurement bill is set to include:
Protecting the principles of public procurement such as “value for money, public benefit, transparency, integrity, fair treatment of suppliers and non-discrimination”.
Overhauling complex and inflexible procurement procedures, replacing them with three simple, modern procedures.
Buyers will be required to have regard to the government’s strategic priorities set out in a new National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS).
Procurement processes will be introduced that allow contracting authorities to buy at pace, for serious situations that are declared a crisis, with strengthened safeguards for transparency.
Creation of a single data platform for supplier registration to ensure suppliers only have to submit their data once to qualify for any public sector procurement.
Unacceptable behaviour such as supplier fraud will be tackled through new exclusion rules giving buyers the tools to take account of a bidder’s past performance.
Processes for challenging procurement decisions will be reformed to speed up the review system, make it more accessible and cap the level of damages available to bidders – in order to reduce speculative claims.