NAG/SOPO newsletter.

Welcome to this month’s NAG/SOPO newsletter.


We held a meeting in London to look at the first iteration of the National Procurement Strategy Diagnostic tool this week.  It’s coming along really well. Whilst the diagnostic tool will allow councils to measure their own performance against the ‘things that really matter’ in the current NPS themes there was also a discussion on how the outputs from the tool can help us in formulating a future new version of the NPS as well.  Once completed we will need to email the link to the tool to procurement officers so watch out for more news on this soon.

We are in the process of writing a new construction category strategy and are looking for new case study materials. In particular I am looking for: Trialling of new procurement models for construction; benefits of construction framework agreements; new models of facilities management; responding to supply side cost pressures; responding to industry skills gaps; apprenticeships and other social value achievements; implementing BIM; collaboration in the context of devolution and improved local government client capability. Can you help? Please do get in touch if so.

The LGA is working alongside NHS England and representatives from some of the New Models of Care vanguards to commission some legal guidance for councils looking to participate in New Models of Care. This briefing will include the procurement implications. To ensure that the legal briefing is of relevance to both councils with limited experience of the New Models of Care as well as those at the forefront the LGA would like to establish a small working group to comment on the scope for the legal briefing. The work can be undertaken over email so there would be no need to travel. If you are interested in participating or would like any further information please contact Jo Straw at or on 07900 218 645.

Do you buy consultancy support for your organisation? The 2016 autumn statement confirmed that IR35 tax changes will be introduced from April 2017. This applies to Personal Service Company (PSC) contractors who are workers that provide services under contract to a public sector organisation rather than as a direct employee of the authority.

The changes mean that responsibility for the decision as to whether their employment falls inside or outside of the IR35 regulations will pass to the employing agencies or authorities. PSC contractors in the public sector will lose their right to determine their tax status themselves. This change will give authorities, recruitment agencies and other third party providers who pay the contractor the liability to decide and the responsibility for operating payroll, deducting Income Tax and NI contributions and paying them direct to HMRC.

Full details are available in the publication “Off-payroll working in the public sector: reform of the intermediaries legislation - technical note” published on 5th December 2016.  (  the-public-sector-reform-of-the-intermediaries-legislation-technical-note)

We’ve been working with the Social Value Portal and other councils to develop a Social Value Maturity Index, an online tool that helps organisations determine where they are on the journey to implement social value, compared to their peers, and to understand what steps are needed to improve. We are really keen to encourage councils and their supply chains to take a quick online test to determine whether they are ‘Followers’ ‘Mature’ ‘Leaders’ or ‘Innovators’.  For those who want to carry out a more detailed assessment there’s a downloadable spreadsheet that will help with a more detailed look at these different stages with advice of how to move to the next stage.  The tool is now available here Please do submit your responses to help us understand the ‘state of the nation’.

And whilst on the subject of social value don’t forget there’s a lot of good information on this on the Social Value UK website  including a free downloadable guide to starting out with social return on


Colleagues in CCS are working on improving Contracts Finder. Please see the message below from Dotun Adeoye who is seeking input from those who use and input to the service. If you were able to put Dotun in touch with whoever in your organisation is best placed to feed in, he would be delighted to arrange a discussion Dotun says, "The aim is for the changes and improvements we make to Contracts Finder to be of real benefit to users and based on your needs and experiences. To achieve that, we would like to hear about your role and about how you use Contracts Finder, what you like and dislike about the experience, how you work around any problems with the service and ultimately what we can improve to help your work.

Updates on the Websites

Following a call for information on Modern Slavery and procurement in last month’s newsletter STaR Procurement responded to say they had published a guide for suppliers on the Act.  They have kindly said I can share this with you.  Thanks to Mark Pearson for this.  Introduction-to-Modern-Slavery-Act-2015-v1.pdf

The latest annual national school cost benchmarking study has now published a new report. The study was conducted by Hampshire County Council in conjunction with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Education Funding Agency.  This significant study now has a dataset with a capital value of over £3.6billion from 107 local authorities across England and makes really interesting reading.  The report and previous reports are available below


We have a couple of places left for our Outsourcing Service Contracts event taking place on Friday 3rd March at Layden House, London.  The purpose of the workshop is to explore some of the issues, what works and what does not in outsourcing contracts. We have a number of great speakers providing a supplier perspective, insights and emerging best practice and hear from CCS on central Government’s approach on outsourcing.  In addition we will hear about why an outsourced contract was bought back in house.  To book contact

As part of our new Energy Category Strategy we are arranging a half day consultation workshop in London on March 15th. The workshop will be facilitated by CAG Consultants and will test an initial draft of the strategy.  If you are interested in attending this (or if you want to be kept informed of progress) please contact

Sue Arrowsmith recently gave a keynote speech on construction post Brexit at our annual construction conference.  Sue told me about a two day conference being held in Nottingham Public Procurement: Global Revolution VIII will take place on June 12- 13 2017. For more information please visit:


The SOPO Procurious platform is growing in number and we’ve been really pleased to see that SOPO members are signing up and participating.  The community feed has lots of information at the moment about the Big Ideas Summit that happened yesterday and a community post from Rhian Binns caught my eye – What are the five biggest challenges for procurement? -  I’ll be watching with interest, this could be a part of a future NPS.  If you have not logged onto Procurious yet you are missing out!  As well as the community feed you can check out the discussions, advertise and look for jobs and wider events.  Get in touch with Rhian if you need any help in joining up or want to hear more