NAG/SOPO newsletter

Welcome to May's NAG/SOPO newsletter

Welcome to the NAG and SOPO Newsletter for May 2018

Thank you to everyone who provided input into the consultation of the new National Procurement Strategy.  The Strategy has now been signed off by NAG and will be launched at the LGA Conference on 3 July at 6pm.  We are keen to get along as many chief executives and council leaders as possible so do please encourage yours along to the launch, and come yourself if you are attending the conference.  Happy to send out personal invites if that would help, just let have the contact details.  Following the launch and during the autumn we will be running a diagnostic exercise. More information will follow through NAG, your regional groups and on this newsletter.

We had a good conversation on policy relating to Brexit at the NAG meeting earlier this week.  Colleagues in Brussels forwarded me a ‘notice to stakeholders’ issued by the EU in January setting out possible implications in relation to public procurement which is published here (scroll down to 18 January).  Before you all start planning for ‘life after PCR2015’ though it’s worth remembering that the exact UK position on the public procurement regime post-Brexit is still to be agreed so there will no doubt be further clarification and updates over the coming months.  

The LGA has scheduled a session on implications of Brexit at our conference in Birmingham 3- 5 July, so please do get your leaders/chief executives to come along and share their thoughts on public procurement and Brexit in the conference plenary on day two.

The updated GDPR PPN has now been published and is available here. A summary of the main changes from PPN 03/17 is included at the start of the document. 

The PPN refers to the new Standard Selection Questionnaire but this unfortunately is not ready for publication just yet. As soon as it is published CCS have promised to let me know and I will update you on this.

Colleagues at GDS are looking to carry out some research with procurement officers from the councils who have experience of building call-off contracts. They are especially keen to talk to buyers who use CCS frameworks and who buy in the area of facilities management.   The research is part of a joint project involving the Government Digital Service (GDS), the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and the Government Legal Service (GLD) and its overarching aim is to help make Government contracts easier to understand and manage. If you or a colleague are interested please get in touch at

Public sector organisations can submit policy and operational challenges for the next GovTech Catalyst competitions until 11 June 2018.  The GovTech Catalyst matches complex public sector problems with private sector innovators via competitions for research and development funding.  Any UK public sector body can submit a challenge, including those in devolved administrations and at the local level. How to submit an application to the £20m fund.

Whilst working on strategic supplier management earlier this month I came across some resources from NHS on business continuity planning which I thought might be of use here

Those of you involved in procurement and commissioning of home care will have seen the good news that Allied Homecare secured creditor backing for a financial restructure recently allowing them to continue to trade.  The home care market is cited as one of the most fragile parts of social care for a number of different but related reasons.  ADASS published a ‘top ten tips for sustaining home care last year that you may be interested in for more information on this  

You may have seen that the LGA’s Housing Adviser Programme launched earlier this month. The deadline for submissions is 26 June. We are looking for councils to express an interest if the opportunity arises so please do pass to your housing colleagues. The programme is led by what councils want to achieve across house building, planning and homelessness – I am sure there will be no shortage of need and ideas!

Following two successful pilots, colleagues at the LGA are running three further Commercial Skills Masterclasses.  These aim to help council officers undertake commercial (income generation) activities. Find out more or more information.

The new dates are:-

  • Cambridge - 24 September 2018
  • Winchester - 5 November 2018
  • Leeds - 17 January 2019

Please contact Hellen Hull if you wish to attend

Following on from the hugely successful attendance at our construction conference in February we have been speaking to JCT about two things, firstly how councils who use JCT contracts in construction procurement can shape future thinking and secondly how we can improve understanding of JCT contracts by procurement and construction officers in councils. JCT has agreed that they will be willing to provide some (probably regionally based) interactive sessions if there is a demand for this.  We think this would work best delivered to groups of about 20-25 people and be a half-day session.  Is this something you as a council, or group of councils might be interested in?  Please contact if so and we will add you to the list.


Meet the Buyer North (Scotland)
Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness
5 September 2018

New event for the North of Scotland showcasing Scottish Local Authorities and public sector buyers based in the North and Highlands of Scotland. More details available at here.