Regulated procurement | UK Regulatory Outlook March 2023
Published on 28th Mar 2023
Procurement Bill ‘go-live’ delayed until early 2024 at the earliest | PPN 03/23: Standard Selection Questionnaire
Procurement Bill ‘go-live’ delayed until early 2024 at the earliest
In their latest Transforming Public Procurement programme update email, the Cabinet Office provided us with an update on the timeline of the Procurement Bill:
- the bill has now completed its passage through the Committee Stage and moves to its penultimate stage, the Report Stage, in the House of Commons;
- it is expected to become law later this spring;
- after becoming law, draft secondary legislation will be prepared and the government will run a public consultation on this before it is made; and
- the expected "go-live" date of the new procurement regime is early 2024 at the earliest.
The Transforming Public Procurement government webpage has been amended to reflect these changes.
The date when the bill will reach the Report Stage is still to be announced. Almost all of the amendments made by the House of Lords were rejected in the Commons and the bill is still subject to further amendment. We may therefore see the bill "ping-pong" between House of Commons and the House of Lords if they cannot agree on the final form of the bill (meaning it will go back and forth between the houses to try and resolve disagreements regarding changes to it).
While the "go-live" date has been pushed back once again, those subject to the procurement regime should be using this time to understand the new procurement regime and how the regulations will work.
PPN 03/23: Standard Selection Questionnaire
The Cabinet Office has published an updated Standard Selection Questionnaire (SQ). The new SQ and accompanying statutory guidance is set out in PPN 03/23, published on 9 March. The amendments are based on feedback from buyers and suppliers to improve the supplier selection process, and reflect changes to policy.
Changes include, among others:
- clarity on changes contracting authorities can make to the wording of questions (Annex A, paragraphs 9, 13, 42, and 43);
- introduction of supply chain questions (Annex A, paragraphs 66-67);
- introduction of additional requirements for modern slavery and clarity on handling responses to questions on the Modern Slavery Act (Annex A, paragraph 78); and
- introduction of questions related to reducing carbon emissions (Annex A, paragraph 76).
The revised SQ is to be in use at the latest by 1 April 2023, but can be used immediately. This timescale is to allow for the time needed to incorporate the revised SQ into procurement processes and for the amendment of e-procurement tools.
Despite the forthcoming changes to be made by the Procurement Bill, this PPN applies to procurements under the Public Contract Regulations 2015, so those contracting authorities to whom to whom these Regulations apply and suppliers who bid for opportunities under them should familiarise themselves with these changes.