Advice for contracting authorities as government gears up for procurement law reform

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The Cabinet Office published a new Procurement Policy Note (PPN 05/21) on 3 June 2021 which sets out information and guidance for contracting authorities on the new National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS).

The NPPS has been produced by the Cabinet Office to ensure that all contracting authorities have the right procurement capability and capacity to benefit from the major reforms to procurement law currently being developed by the Government as set out in the Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement.

Under PPN 05/21, all contracting authorities are now required to familiarise themselves with the NPPS and must have regard to its strategic priorities when carrying out their procurement activities.  In brief, those national strategic priorities for public procurement are:

  • Social value – creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills; tackling climate change and reducing waste; and improving supplier diversity, innovation and resilience
  • Commercial and procurement delivery – having the right policies and processes in place to manage the key stages of commercial delivery
  • Skills and capability for procurement – having the right procurement skills and resources required to deliver value for money.

PPN 05/21 also explains that legislation will be introduced “when Parliamentary time allows” to require contracting authorities to publish procurement pipelines and to benchmark their procurement capability. This benchmarking will apply from April 2022 for contracting authorities with an annual spend of £200m or more and from April 2023 for contracting authorities with an annual spend of £100m or more.

For further information on PPN 05/21, or for any questions or queries relating to public procurement, please contact Jenny Wade at [email protected] or on 0191 211 7976.