NAG/SOPO newsletter

Welcome to the NAG newsletter for June 2019. Please feel free to share with your networks.

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News and updates

Children’s services

Data for joint commissioning

Have you ever wondered what other councils are commissioning? Or, when other local authority children’s services contracts might be ending? The LGA Children’s Services Commissioning and Procurement Group has an ambition to jointly commission services across the country. In order to enable this, the LGA has compiled a set of data for local authorities to know who in their region or elsewhere are buying what and when. With more knowledge about what services or provision is bought, the price paid, the contract start and end dates and the council officer’s contact details, local authorities can have more targeted conversations for collaboration.

The following data provides a good insight into which local authorities are buying what services and when, with a view to using the information to jointly commission services for children:

If you would like a further breakdown of the data, by local authority contract and officer contact details, please contact

Children’s Services Peer Challenge – Call for Peers

The LGA has expanded itsr offer around Children’s Services sector led improvement with a new Children’s Services Resources and Efficiency peer challenge. This peer challenge explores culture and practice, workforce development, placements and commissioning and how these impact on the financial strategy and use of resources. The peer challenge team includes senior professionals from children’s social care, children’s and corporate finance, corporate resources and a commissioning expert, and we are looking for more commissioners to get involved. Taking part in a peer challenge is demanding but extremely rewarding, with peers often finding they are taking away learning back to their own local authority.

Find out more about the peer challenge here. If you want to get involved, please contact Beth Speak (

NCCTC Conference

Colleagues and I attended the excellent NCCTC conference for children’s commissioners last week. This annual event is over two days and there were around 30 workshops on a variety of different subjects, many relevant to procurement professionals as well. The slides have now been uploaded to the website here with thanks to the organising team for encouraging us to share.

Social Value

I know many of you already use, or are considering using the national social value TOMs framework to measure social value achieved through procurement. This is a continually evolving solution that aims to help organisations to articulate, deliver and measure social value. It establishes common ground that helps the community of social value practitioners compare experiences, benchmark and share learning.  As part of the evolution the Social Value Portal have launched a survey, supported by the National Social Value Taskforce, to obtain feedback to further enhance the system going forward.  We are looking for information from you about what you need in terms new areas of measurement and valuation, and new functionalities.

This survey will close on the 15th August. You can access the survey here.

ou may remember I mentioned face to face social value training earlier in the year? Just to update you, we have a foundation level pilot training session taking place today. Once we have collated the feedback from that, and a Professional level course taking place in September we will provide further information on the roll-out of this.

Local Government Strategic Suppliers

The e-bulletin for councils to share publicly available market information on local government’s key suppliers in one place is almost ready. This will be based on the weekly newsletters provided by the Cabinet Office on Government’s key suppliers and for which there are Crown Representatives (you can sign up to these here. We will be sending out the local government version shortly, if you wish to receive these free e-bulletins please email to subscribe.

New Procurement Competencies for those working on High Risk Residential Buildings

Following the Dame Judith Hackitt report on building safety there has been a lot of work undertaken across the construction industry on developing a set of competencies for anyone working on high risk residential buildings. Thirteen different workstreams have been considering competencies for Architects, Engineers, Building Safety Managers and so on, members of our Construction workstream have also been working with the industry on competencies relating to procurement. Working Group 11, chaired by CIPS, has completed their recommendations based on the CIPS Global Standard and will be published shortly alongside the other 12 reports. If you would like to comment on this please email with ‘Working Group 11’ in the title and we will make sure you get a copy.

Alliance Contracting

Darren Knowd from Durham County Council has allowed us to share his presentation slides from a recent discussion about different contracting models and in particular how an Alliance Contracting model could be used in a health setting. I have put these on the Local Government Procurement KHub >here>. You will need to be a member of the KHub to access these slides but it only takes a couple of minutes to register.


YPO’s Apprenticeship & Associated Training framework has been establish for nearly a year. Over 50 different public sector organisations have procured through the framework since it went live - 1 August 2018. The procurement framework covers all current apprenticeships standards and grows to allow all new standards as and when they are approved. Providers have the ability to join the framework on a quarterly basis with next submission deadline being Monday 2 September 2019 at 2pm, contracting authorities will have to ability to procure from both national and regional providers. For more information please contact, the framework user guide can be found at

Other news

Innovation – Funding available

All public procurers from EU member states can apply for eafip assistance ( to launch a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) or a Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI).  Eafip provides five days free expert local assistance to selected public procurers in the preparation and implementation of a PCP or PPI procurement, covering the support to:

  • Scoping an identified procurement need that can be tackled with innovative solutions
  • Preparing and conducting an EU wide published open market consultation
  • >Drafting tendering documents
  • Launching an EU wide published call for tender
  • Answering questions from potential tenderers at any time during the process
  • Signature of contracts with selected vendor(s), taking into account the relevant provisions under European and national legislation governing public procurement.

The exact scope and content of the assistance to be provided to the selected procurers is determined on a case-by-case basis, in coordination with the European Commission services but could include one-to-one meetings, support by email, hands-on guidance and individual support (including legal support) to prepare and implement a PCP or a PPI procurement. The assistance provided within the eafip initiative does not consist of financial support for activities carried out by the procurer. For more information and to apply see this link.


Still no further news on Brexit to report but the latest information in relation to procurement covering a deal or no deal can be found here.


Regional workshop: Using Technology for Quality Care

North West – 9 July

West Midlands – 9September

North East – 7 November

LGA is holding a series of free, half day workshops for commissioners, care providers and technology suppliers to support the sector with the use of technology in care.

The purpose of the workshop is to learn from local areas where councils, providers and suppliers are working together in this area, hear about new digital developments and from others who commission, deliver or work in social care.

There will also be an opportunity to hear about a future funding opportunity to support digital ways of working.

For North West event taking place in Manchester on 09 July, please register here.

For the West Midlands event taking place in Birmingham on 09 September, please register here.

For the North East event taking place in Newcastle on 07 November, please register here.

YPO World of Procurement Conference
10July 2019 - London
Public Sector only

This second World of Procurement event looks to engage, discuss, inform, inspire and debate how important enabling change is to the world of procurement. Change occurs daily and procurement professionals are a key agent in this and must deliver value to stakeholders. A host of guest speakers, along with a YPO exhibition area where you’ll be able to meet YPO’s in-house teams who have in depth knowledge of their categories and markets. Find out more and book.