NAG/SOPO newsletter

Welcome to October's NAG/SOPO newsletter

News and Updates

The EU Commissioner for the Internal Market has recently launched a paper on Increasing the impact of public investment through efficient and professional procurement which includes a consultation on stimulating innovation in public procurement. Our innovation group will be making a return to this consultation which closes 2nd January 2018. If you want to feed into this please contact me and I will add you to the circulation.

 Our ‘encouraging innovation in local government procurement’ group is still very active following the recent publication of the findings from our work. We want to follow councils who are trying out innovative ways or procurement, or procuring innovative things either through innovation partnerships, PCP or other processes. We’d love to hear from you if you are about to do something on this, drop me a line if so. It was interesting to see that Cardiff Council have now procured flexible solar panels to generate energy on Flat Holm Island

Are you looking at improving your procurement and commercial skills? Have you joined the Government Commercial Function KHub site yet? I’d encourage you all to do so here.  There are over 1100 members, mostly at this stage from central government, but there’s a wealth of information and resources relating to procurement on there and councils are allowed to use them for free! This week I have been looking at their guide to Strategic Supplier Management, it is very comprehensive. Also they have recently launched a guide to best practice contract management, something I get asked about all the time. In addition GCF are running a series of face to face masterclasses that are outlined on the events tab on the KHub which councils are also invited to join, these are being run in the regions so do take the time to see if there’s anything by you that is of interest.

The European Commission has announced that a reference to the European standard on electronic invoicing has recently been published.

The timetable for implementing the eInvoicing directive is linked to the publication of this standard. The Directive stipulates that we now have an implementation deadline of 18 months at the national level and an extended 30 months at the regional and local level.  

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has recently published ‘Opportunities for Public Procurement Post-Brexit which you might be interested in reading. It strikes me that we need a discussion on a more national basis on what issues and challenges/unmet needs that councils are encountering that procurement can contribute towards? Thoughts welcome on this! 

I have been asked a question about what is best practice in relation to how principle councils contract with Town and Parish Councils, and am looking for stories about how councils engage contractually with them? I am assuming that the majority of the work is sub-ojeu? What’s good practice out there? Would they, in your opinion, pass the ‘control test’ in Teckal? Do you provide procurement services to the Town and Parish councils? Any thoughts and observations very welcome! 

The Communities and Local Government Committee on overview and scrutiny are currently conducting an inquiry into the overview and scrutiny function. The scope of this inquiry includes ‘The effectiveness and importance of local authority scrutiny of external organisations’ Find out more here


National Social Value Conference
14 November 2017

The first National Social Value Conference will focus on BRIDGING THE GAP between the public, private, voluntary sectors and communities, identifying the challenges and opportunities for working together to build a stronger and a more resilient society. The event has been designed to ensure that there is an opportunity to learn from tailored and high quality content, but also to contribute to the development of a broader social value agenda for both public and private sector organisations. The event will also see the launch of the National TOMS Framework for social value. Find out more and book.

Local Government Procurement Expo
22 November 2017

We are supporting this event which has been specifically designed to enhance the overall skills and capabilities of those personnel who are either influencing or directly working within the local government procurement sector. We are running special break-out sessions on our stand on Supplier Relationship Management (1030) Skills (12 noon) and Innovation (1330). Entry is free to public sector employees and we’d love to see you on our stand. More information and to book here.

 Workshop on potential Category Strategy for Children’s Services
27 November 2017

The National Advisory Group for Local Government Procurement suggested that developing a national children’s procurement category strategy would be useful for colleagues working in this field. This would complement the work we are already doing in Adults, Construction, ICT and Energy. The LGA would like to invite interested colleagues to a steering group to pull together your thoughts and views on how to progress this work, look for opportunities for collaboration and discuss how councils can come together on a national basis to share good practice. If you are interested in attending, we do have a couple of spaces left, please book here or email

National construction conference
1 February 2018

This fifth construction category conference focuses on ‘Construction Category 2018’ and represents a significant opportunity to network with peers and participate in a host of plenary, panel and workshop sessions to deliver an increased contribution from the sector in shaping, delivering and quality assuring services and increased confidence that local government is taking real action to improve construction procurement and closing the rhetoric/reality gap. Entry is free to local government officers.