The transformation begins…Public Procurement Notice 05/21


15 June 2021

The Government has this month published its National Procurement Policy Strategy (NPPS) and with it PPN 05/21 (PPN) which sets out guidance on the NPPS. The NPPS applies to central government departments, executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies, local authorities, NHS bodies and the wider public sector. These contracting authorities must have regard to the NPPS and the national strategic priorities for public procurement within the NPPS when conducting procurements.

In addition to local priority outcomes included in procurements, contracting authorities must also consider national social value priority outcomes, where it is relevant to the subject matter of the contract and it is proportionate to do so. These are:

  • creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills
  • tackling climate change and reducing waste; and
  • improving supplier diversity, innovation and resilience.

The PPN reminds contracting authorities that:

  • they need to have robust processes and governance to be able to effectively manage the procurement lifecycle of their most important contracts, and
  • to consider the procurement and contract management capability across their organisation potentially by benchmarking themselves against commercial and procurement operating standards and other comparable organisations and reviewing this annually.

The Government has said that it will introduce legislation in due course “when Parliamentary time allows” to require by law that all contracting authorities have regard to the NPPS. In addition contracting authorities with spend as outlined below will have to publish procurement pipelines and benchmark their procurement capabilities.

  • Contracting authorities with an annual spend of £200m or more will be required from April 2022 to publish procurement pipelines and to benchmark their procurement capability.
  • Contracting authorities with an annual spend of £100m or more will be required from April 2023 to publish procurement pipelines and to benchmark their procurement capability.

This takes forward the Government’s intention (set out in its Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement, see previous article) to reform the UK’s procurement regime and to leverage public procurement to support both national and local priority outcomes for the benefit of the public.

If you would like advice in relation to any of the matters covered above, please contact Siobhan Collis in our Public Sector Team.

The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at June 2021.

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