NAG/SOPO newsletter

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

News and updates

Care Services

Camden Council has rationalised the number of suppliers it contracts for payment services with the aim of moving towards a cash-less system. Part of the project is for the distribution of social care payments electronically via prepaid cards. They now currently load £1million per month onto prepaid cards across more than 400 cards in circulation, and are currently exploring how it can be rolled-out to additional schemes to supplement our cashless strategy. Staff have reported the prepaid card system has resulted in a: “positive user experience”. For the full case study see our KHub site.

Colleagues at LGA have created a Care and Health Improvement bulletin as a way of keeping key stakeholders informed of what our Care and Health improvement team are doing. Colleagues in Care and Health sectors may wish to subscribe to hear about the programme of support available. You can sign up to this and other newsletters here.

Social Value

There is still time to engage in our survey on how we can further enhance the TOMS framework to help us to measure social value as mentioned in last month’s newsletter.  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.

Our initial social value foundation session took place last month with great feedback from participants including North East councils, further education and police partners.  We have a professional level course taking place in September we will provide further information on the roll-out of this soon.  And to update also we have commissioned a council to develop an e-learning social value course that will be available in the autumn.  Watch this space for further details.

We have spoken before about the UK Steel Charter that was launched in May 2019.  North Lincolnshire Council has produced a one page visual on the social value they have achieved since 2015. They have procured 1,000 tonnes of UK produced steel during that time.  For more information and to download the visual go to our KHub site here.

Mazars and Inside Gov have recently published a new report ‘Rethinking Social Value’. The report aims to shine a light on the opportunity presented by the social value agenda, exploring public sector organisations’ views on the issue and their experiences implementing social value initiatives.  The report can be downloaded from here.

Last but certainly not least on social value, colleagues in my team launched a new guidance document about social value and commercial activity (income generation) at our conference earlier this month. The report has had a huge amount of downloads. You can get a copy here.

Modern Slavery in the Supply Chain

Government has published its response to the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act.

The Review recommended that public sector organisations, including councils, exceeding the £36m budget threshold should be included in any amendments to the Modern Slavery Act.

In parallel, the Home Office has launched a public consultation on transparency in supply chains.

The LGA will be carrying its own short impact assessment survey over the coming weeks which we would love you responses to and we also encourage you to respond to the consultation which begun on 9 July and closes on 17 September 2019.

Outcomes of the Counter Fraud Fund – LGA Counter Fraud Hub

The report on the Outcomes of the Counter Fraud Fund identified savings of £142.6 million from an investment of £15.7 million investment, giving an overall Return on Investment of 9:1

To accompany the launch of the report the LGA has launched a Counter Fraud Hub with a dedicated page of stand-alone case studies that came out of the research. Find out how this work may be replicated locally, drawing on the experience of those councils that have benefitted from the Counter Fraud Fund.

The Hub also includes a Counter Fraud Hub Resources page which identifies a range of practical support and guidance to help counter fraud professionals, procurement practitioners and contract managers to easily access a wide range of existing resources including; reports, templates, checklists and videos. 

The NHS has also recently published a set of quick guides aimed at NHS procurement teams which you may find useful – Quick Fraud Guides.

CIPS Membership

The Government Commercial Function has been working closely with CIPS on a range of activities to support commercial capability and commercial policy including encouraging those with CIPS membership that has lapsed to renew with a special government rate and waiver of the usual £50 administration fee for a short period of time and at the same time send you a free book on a key management topic of Emotional Intelligence.  CIPS have extended this offer to local government as well.

In addition the CIPS Ethical Procurement and Supply e-learning and online test is now also available to councils. The e-learning module includes over two hours of learning resources, will help individuals gain an understanding of the issues surrounding modern slavery and other ethical aspects of modern procurement. It is applicable to all levels of personnel working across all parts of central government and local government and available at a reduced rate of £5.

For more information including the voucher codes for the above two offers see the GCF KHub site here.

Construction related VAT changes

HMRC has announced that with effect from 1 October 2019, customers of construction services will be required to account for VAT under a reverse charge procedure. This is a measure to combat perceived VAT fraud in the construction sector. More information on this can be found here.

Suppliers domiciled in tax havens

I found this blog on the value of public sector procurement that goes to tax havens fascinating The UK doesn’t come out of it very well, with the highest tender volume (13.4%) going to  companies who have parent bodies based in tax havens.  I’d be interested in hearing from any council who has undertaken their own research on this.

Waste and Recycling

I ‘found’ this report from our colleagues at Local Partnerships the other day.  It highlights how councils in the south east have saved £21.5million per annum by using innovative methods such as route optimisation, service changes and by procuring collaboratively with other councils and renegotiating contracts. The case studies at the back are worth a look here the main website also has reports from the other regions.

Other news

New PPN –  04/19 Taking account of a supplier’s approach to payment in the procurement of major contracts

The Procurement Policy Note, was published on GOV.UK this week and applies to central government, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies.  Councils can implement also if they wish.  It refers to contracts with a value of over £5 million and is available here.

Single Use Plastics

A new KHub site has been set up called ‘Less Plastic More Fantastic’ which houses a toolkit to help organisations work towards elimination of single use plastics.  Colleagues in my team are keen to roll this out within our own organisation.  It’s aimed primarily at civil servants but the site is open to everyone.


This European survey, about the use of and satisfaction with ESPD was brought to my attention.  I’m not even sure how many councils use the ESPD forms given our use of the SQ, and there doesn’t appear to be a closing date but if interested you can respond here.


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.

I have added a new forum thread to the Local Government Procurement KHub following a request for information about the implication of a no deal Brexit on IT systems hosted outside the UK.  If you have any comments to make on this please feel free to share. 

Cabinet Office weekly updates on strategic suppliers

I thought it might be useful to remind you again that Cabinet Office provide weekly email updates on strategic suppliers to Government on services relating to Construction and FM, BPO, Telecoms and IT, some of whom also provide services to local government.  You can sign up for updates here.  

If you want to sign up to a weekly e-bulletin containing publicly available market information on local government’s key suppliers please let us know at


Regional workshop: Using Technology for Quality Care

West Midlands – 9September

North East – 7 November

LGA are 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 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.


Novotel London Hammersmith, 28 November 2019

With annual local government expenditure estimated at over £57bn and the LGA’ call for government to hand more powers to local councils in order to deliver better public services, best practice procurement within local government becomes vital to ensure expenditure is managed effectively and councils are driving value for money.  Training and Learning Zones at LGPE have been designed specifically to upskill local government procurement professionals in the key areas highlighted in the most recent version of the National Procurement Strategy with the aim of transforming public procurement.  Further information here.

Northern Ireland Procurement Conference

Wednesday 11 September, La Mon Hotel, Belfast - £210

agendaNi magazine’s annual procurement conference will examine what effective public procurement means for organisations in Northern Ireland. The conference will have a genuine, in-depth understanding of the key issues via a high-level panel of local and visiting speakers, including:

  • The changing legal framework for public procurement;
  • The impact of Brexit for Northern Ireland organisations in terms of procurement;
  • Navigating the EU Public Procurement Directives; Local government procurement;
  • Procurement as a strategic and innovative function; Procurement across the health sector;
  • Engaging the utility supply chain;
  • Creating social value in procurement;
  • Best practice in procurement: case studies from outside Northern Ireland.

More information or to register