Mike Thomas, MD Innopsis

A new bill is to be introduced in the next session of parliament with the aim of simplifying public procurement.

Current procurement methods (Open procedure, Restricted Procedure, Competitive Tendering, Negotiated Tendering and Innovation Partnership) will be replaced with ‘Competitive Flexible Procedure”, “Open Procedure” and the “Negotiated Procedure”. The Competitive Flexible Procurement will allow the procurement to ‘adjust’ depending on the service or products being bought. A new unit in the Cabinet Office is to be set up to review and intervene to improve the commercial capability of contracting authorities. 

The takeaways from the Green paper are:-

  •  – this would combine DPS (Dynamic Procurement System) and QS (Qualification System) into one holistic tool allowing suppliers to join at any time and with no maximum durations. 
  • . The MEAT (Most Economically Advantageous Tender) evaluation principle will be replaced by MAT (Most Advantageous Tender). This will allow procurers to take into account other factors such as adherence to Prompt Payment Code, Delivery, Social Value and past poor performance.
  •  will be published soon which buyers would legally be bound to. It is hoped the NPPS will enshrine the principles of ‘Value for Money’. Public Benefit, Ne Jobs, Transparency, Integrity, Fair Treatment of suppliers, Net.Zero and to allow new entrants.
  • Whilst this offers substantial benefits, training and leadership will be needed to overcome the familiarisation hurdle for Suppliers and Buyers alike. Errors are likely to be made by those who are unprepared.
  •  The changes will not stop here. It has been suggested that powers will be given to allow post contract review and amendments will be incorporated in legislation.
  • . Procurement appeals are to be speeded up and made cheaper to implement a claim countered by a cap on the level of damages that can be awarded.
  • Legislation to be incorporated for public procurement to allow any part of the Supply Chain to take up payment delays over 30 days with the Contracting Authority.

In addition, a single data platform is to be set up for supplier registration to allow suppliers to enter data only once to register for a procurement. This will operate across all the public sector and be mandated in its use.

Sustainability

The Queen announced at the State Opening of Parliament that the delayed Environmental Bill will be introduced. This will pave the way to Net.Zero and divergence from existing EU law.

The UK plans to be Net Carbon Neutral by 2050.

COP26 in Glasgow will be a focal point for the Government to showcase the UK. The Government are keen to feature Suppliers with innovation to reduce carbon at this global event.

It is proposed that all public sector tenders above £5m will feature a Carbon Reduction Plan element in the scoring. The new Carbon Reduction Plan Measurement (CRPM) will demonstrate how much carbon is being reduced year on year by competing suppliers. The greater the drop, the more score points collected in the tender. The measurement will be in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions using the Kyoto protocol.  The CRPM will be required to be published on each company’s web site. This kicks in now with further steps next year which are likely to take into account subcontractors emissions and requiring independent audits.

A policy paper Greening government: ICT and digital services strategy 2020-2025 was published in September 2020. The aim, which may be worth including in Bid responses, follows the UN Sustainable Development Goals:-

  • Goal 7 – Sustainable energy for all
    • The government will help meet this through procurement activities, for instance renewably powered cloud. Captured in Government’s annual reporting and delivered through our targets and guides.
  • Goal 9 – Resilient infrastructure
    • The government will help meet this through promoting transparency, accountability and responsibility, producing guides to manage risks and reporting social impacts.
  • Goal 12 – Sustainable consumption and production
    • The government will help meet this through hard targets on ICT reuse, landfill and remanufacturing. Expect to see government producing standards/guides on efficiency, circular economy and social procurement.
  • Goal 13 – Climate adaptation
    • The government will help meet this through partnering with suppliers to manage resilience, using data for sustainable outcomes, using innovation for benefits.
  • Goal 17 – Partnerships
    • The government will help meet this through the technology sector working together across government and using environmentally sound technologies.

Technology has a great potential to help reduce GHGs, therefore it would make sense to start including the benefit in customer proposals and presentations, where appropriate.

Social Value

Following the Procurement Policy Note (PNN 06/20) issued last September which ramped up the implications of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 from ‘considered’ to ‘explicitly evaluated’ from 1st January 2021, Social Value should be part of all Government tenders.

There are five key themes that are considered:

COVID-19 recovery

Examples of what ‘good looks like’ include activities that, in the delivery of the contract:

  • Create employment, re-training, and other return to work opportunities for those left unemployed by COVID-19, particularly new opportunities in high growth sectors.
  • Support people and communities to manage and recover from the impacts of COVID-19, including those worst affected or who are shielding.
  • Support organisations and businesses to manage and recover from the impacts of COVID-19, including where new ways of working are needed to deliver services.
  • Support the physical and mental health of people affected by COVID-19, including reducing the demand on health and care services.
  • Improve workplace conditions that support the COVID-19 recovery effort including effective social distancing, remote working, and sustainable travel solutions.

Tackling economic inequality

Creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills

Examples of what ‘good looks like’ include activities that, in the delivery of the contract: 

  • Create opportunities for entrepreneurship and help new, small organisations to grow, supporting economic growth and business creation. 
  • Create employment opportunities particularly for those who face barriers to employment and/or who are in deprived areas. 
  • Create employment and training opportunities, particularly for people in industries with known skills shortages or in high growth sectors. 
  • Support educational attainment relevant to the contract, including training schemes that address skills gaps and result in recognised qualifications.
  • Influence staff, suppliers, customers, and communities through the delivery of the contract to support employment and skills opportunities in high growth sectors.

            Increase supply chain resilience and capacity

Examples of what ‘good looks like’ include Activities that:

  • Create a diverse supply chain to deliver the contract including new businesses and entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs, VCSEs and mutuals.
  • Support innovation and disruptive technologies throughout the supply chain to deliver lower cost and/or higher quality goods and services.
  • Support the development of scalable and future-proofed new methods to modernise delivery and increase productivity. 
  • Demonstrate collaboration throughout the supply chain, and a fair and responsible approach to working with supply chain partners in delivery of the contract.
  • Demonstrate action to identify and manage cyber security risks in the delivery of the contract including in the supply chain.
  • Influence staff, suppliers, customers and communities through the delivery of the contract to support resilience and capacity in the supply chain. 

Fighting climate change 

Effective stewardship of the environment 

Examples of what ‘good looks like’ include activities that:

  • Deliver additional environmental benefits in the performance of the contract including working towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Influence staff, suppliers, customers and communities through the delivery of the contract to support environmental protection and improvement.

Equal opportunity 

Reduce the disability employment gap 

Examples of what ‘good looks like’ include Activities that:

  • Demonstrate action to increase the representation of disabled people in the contract workforce.
  • Support disabled people in developing new skills relevant to the contract, including through training schemes that result in recognised qualifications.
  • Influence staff, suppliers, customers and communities through the delivery of the contract to support disabled people.

Tackle workforce

Examples of what ‘good looks like’ include Activities that:

  • Demonstrate action to identify and tackle inequality in employment, skills and pay in the contract workforce. 
  • Support in-work progression to help people, including those from disadvantaged or minority groups, to move into higher paid work by developing new skills relevant to the contract. 
  • Demonstrate action to identify and manage the risks of modern slavery in the delivery of the contract, including in the supply chain. 

Wellbeing 

Improve health and wellbeing

Examples of what ‘good looks like’ include Activities that:

  • Demonstrate action to support the health and wellbeing, including physical and mental health, in the contract workforce.
  • Influence staff, suppliers, customers and communities through the delivery of the contract to support health and wellbeing, including physical and mental health.

Improve community integration 

Examples of what ‘good looks like’ include Activities that:

  • Demonstrate collaboration with users and communities in the codesign and delivery of the contract to support strong integrated communities.

Influence staff, suppliers, customers and communities through the delivery of the contract to support strong, integrated communities.   

Post expires at 8:46pm on Friday August 27th, 2021