The Procurement Act 2023
As the UK is moving away from the EU, public procurement is transforming. The overhaul marks a significant shift, aiming to establish a more simple, efficient and transparent procurement process.
The Procurement Act introduces various advantages to streamline and enhance the overall procurement system. With over 40 years of experience, ESPO are looking to ensure procurement is done properly for your organisation.
Benefits of the Procurement Act
|Creating a simpler and more flexible commercial system to align with international obligations.
|Increasing inclusivity by allowing small businesses and social enterprises to compete for public contracts.
Implementing stricter measures against underperforming suppliers and excluding those with unacceptable risks.
Ensuring transparency in the entire commercial lifecycle to enable proper scrutiny of taxpayers' money.
Supporting Our Customers
ESPO is working hard to ensure that our customers can continue to purchase from our catalogue and access our frameworks, safe in the knowledge that our procurement processes are compliant with relevant legislation.
Using Frameworks Under the New Regime
The good news for our customers is that frameworks under the new regime will operate largely as they do now.
Increased transparency requirements will however mean that authorities will need to publish additional notices on the Find a Tender Service when awarding a contract under a framework agreement:
- Contract Award Notice: informing the market that an authority intends to enter into a contract.
- Contract Details Notice: providing detail of the contract award. Where the value of this contract is above £5m, the authority is also required to publish a copy of the contract alongside this notice. Published 90 days post-award.
- Contract Performance Notice: publishing information relating to the Key Performance Indicators set for monitoring contract performance. Published at least once every 12 months during the contract period. This is only required where the value of the contract exceeds £5m.
- Contract Change Notice: required where an authority intends to make a modification to the contract.
- Contract Termination Notice: to inform the market that a contract has been terminated or has expired.
ESPO's dedicated staff of procurement professionals will be on hand to support and advise customers as they navigate the new procurement regime.
Supporting our Suppliers
The new regime will introduce changes to both the procurement and contract management process. ESPO is committed to supporting suppliers in embracing these changes when bidding for our opportunities.
The Central Digital Platform
The Procurement Act introduces a new central digital platform for suppliers to register and store their details. This platform will be used by all buying authorities, meaning that it can be used for multiple bids and suppliers will be able to see all opportunities in one place.
The Act’s transparency requirements extend to the management of the contract post-award. One of the key changes is the requirement for authorities to publish an annual report on supplier’s performance against KPIs for all contracts above £5m.
Good News for SMEs
The new regime aims to make it easier for small businesses to win public sector contracts. The Procurement Act requires contracting authorities to have regard to barriers facing SMEs and consider what can be done to overcome them and includes mechanisms intended to help SMEs to do business with the public sector, including:
- Increasing visibility of business opportunities in the public sector by requiring authorities to publish a number of new notices covering the entire procurement lifecycle.
- Simplifying the tender process by the creation of a single digital platform for suppliers to register their details, that can be used to bid for opportunities from all public authorities.
- Reducing up-front costs for suppliers tendering for public contracts, for example by allowing evidence of insurance policies to be provided at call-off, rather than framework award.
- Driving innovation by allowing authorities more flexibility in procurement processes, enabling suppliers to understand their challenges and develop new solutions to tackle them.
- Ensuring suppliers receive prompt payment by mandating a 30-day payment term and requiring authorities to publish Payments Compliance Notices every six months.
ESPO has a long-standing history of support for SME organisations and are enthusiastic about the benefits the new regime will bring for suppliers of all sizes.
Did you know that in the 2022 calendar year, 74% of suppliers awarded positions on ESPO frameworks were classified as an SME?
The Cabinet Office are providing a free-of-charge comprehensive L&D package for procurers, and are and working with business groups and trade associations to make guidance and support available for the supplier community. All of this information can be accessed through the Transforming Public Procurement page.
The Introduction of Knowledge Drops
Knowledge drops are a government set training initiative to assist in adapting to the new regulations by the Procurement Act 2023.
The initial phase includes a range of videos aimed at all individuals involved in procurement processes to give them a better understanding and overview of the new regulations.
The videos include a widespread of knowledge to guide contracting authorities, suppliers, SMEs and others through this change.
For more information, please visit gov.uk.
"Overall, the new Procurement Act should bring good benefits to both buyers and suppliers with a strong focus on the issues that are important to both communities. By embracing these changes, we can continue to foster fair competition, promote supplier diversity, support enhanced transparency, and ensure accountability. I have no doubt that there will be challenges ahead as we make plans to transition and bed down the new ways of working but this is tempered somewhat by the confidence that I have in ESPO’s team. This group of procurement and commercial professionals will work tirelessly to ensure that we continue to provide effective procurement solutions that our customers expect.”
Procurement and Commercial Director
At ESPO, our commitment is to assist the public sector with effective procurement solutions. Rest assured, you can still access all our frameworks, knowing that we are dedicated to supporting you every step of the way. Our aim is to make the procurement process simple and efficient. We stay proactive in adapting to any changes, allowing you to focus on your priorities – procurement done properly.