The Procurement Bill had its latest hearing in the House of Lords on 28 November 2022, where one of our primary concerns – that the Bill will significantly limit public bodies from using the current vertical and horizontal procurement exemptions – was raised. The Bill will now pass to the Third Reading Stage, before moving to the House of Commons in early 2023.
Our Parliamentary briefing on the Procurement Bill Report Stage outlines how we want to see Government go as far as possible to reduce red tape for both the public sector and businesses. Our Policy and Public Affairs colleagues will continue to work with Government, as the Bill passes through the Commons in the new year, to ensure the reforms deliver their intended improvements to the procurement regime.
Although the new regime will not come into force until late 2023 at the earliest, and following a six-month advance preparation period, councils can start planning now to ensure they are ready to take advantage of the new regime with the help of two new guidance documents:
- Transforming Public Procurement – planning and preparation checklist
- Update on the official learning and development offer for contracting authorities
Learning and development
The Cabinet Office has developed a short guide outlining the comprehensive, centrally funded learning and development package for contracting authorities. The Update on the official learning and development offer for contracting authorities will help you decide which of the learning and development options are most suitable for you and your team's needs – and what actions you need to take in the coming months to plan your training programme to ensure you don’t miss out on the benefits and flexibilities of the new regime.
Planning and preparation
The Transforming Public Procurement – planning and preparation checklist outlines initial actions in four key areas:
- policies and processes
Early consideration of the checklist will help contracting authorities to be prepared to hit the ground running when the new rules come into force.
Follow the progress of the Bill and stay updated with related support and guidance about its implementation at GOV.UK | Transforming Public Procurement.
Attend a conference to find out more about the Procurement Bill
Two conferences dedicated to the proposed procurement reforms have been organised to take place in March 2023 in Manchester and London. The events will feature speakers from the Cabinet Office Transforming Public Procurement programme and representatives from other organisations including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), as well as a programme of workshops facilitated by subject matter experts – to provide a blend of knowledge-sharing and hands-on practical guidance aimed at those directly involved in the procurement process.
The events are free for public sector attendees and will take place on:
Members of the Cabinet Office Transforming Public Procurement team will continue to speak at a range of other conferences, so, do look out for these.