Regulated procurement | UK Regulatory Outlook October 2023
Published on 31st Oct 2023
The new Procurement Act | NHS Provider Selection Regime comes into force on 1 January 2024 | Public Service Obligations in Transport Regulations 2023 published | Updates to PPN 09/23: Cyber Essentials Scheme
The new Procurement Act
The Procurement bill received Royal Assent on 26 October . The Procurement Act 2023 will reform the existing procurement legislation with the aim of creating a simpler and more flexible procurement approach.
The Procurement Act 2023 will come into force from October 2024. From now until it comes into force, the government will be releasing e-learning resources and virtual courses to prepare procurement specialists for the implementation of the changes.
To help our clients get to grips with the new Act, we have published a series of webinars and Insight articles on our microsite. Here you will find everything you need to upskill yourselves quickly on the key changes that the Act will mean for you. If you would like to find out more or discuss bespoke training, please get in touch with a member of our team.
NHS Provider Selection Regime comes into force on 1 January 2024
The Department of Health and Social Care has recently announced its intention to implement the long-awaited Provider Selection Regime (PSR) on 1 January 2024.
The PSR will provide a new set of rules for procuring healthcare services by "relevant authorities"; this includes NHS England, integrated care boards, NHS trusts and foundation trusts, and local authorities and combined authorities. The new set of rules will include the introduction of three provider selection processes which relevant authorities can follow to award healthcare services: direct award process, most suitable provider process and a competitive process.
To aid the implementation of the new regulations, NHS England has published draft statutory guidance to assist relevant authorities. Once the regulations are in force, relevant authorities must have regard to this statutory guidance. A draft toolkit has been created and NHS England is also hosting webinars to assist with the application of the PSR.
The PSR legislation will remove the procurement of health services by relevant authorities from the scope of the current legislation. However, until it is in force relevant authorities should continue to follow the rules under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and the National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No. 2) Regulations 2013.
Where a procurement exercise is started before 1 January 2024 (with definitions of started found here), it will not be affected by the PSR and can continue under the current rules.
We will publish more updates regarding the scope and effect of this regime in the coming weeks.
Public Service Obligations in Transport Regulations 2023 published
On 16 October 2023, the Department for Transport published the Public Service Obligations in Transport Regulations 2023. This statutory instrument revokes and replaces Regulation 1370/2007, which sets out the conditions under which "competent authorities" may award Public Service Obligation (PSO) contracts for rail passenger services to train operating companies, bus and tram concession services.
The regulation restates the relevant EU case law and principles, and makes amendments to ensure that the government is able to meet its obligations in relation to subsidy provision under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (read our article to find out more), and to harmonise its provisions with the Subsidy Control Act 2022, and the Procurement Act.
Updates to PPN 09/23: Cyber Essentials Scheme
On 16 October 2023, the Cabinet Office updated the Public Procurement Notice (PPN) 09/23 on updates to the Cyber Essentials Scheme. The second bullet point for question nine has been replaced with reference to the Government Functional Standard (GFS), which replaces the Security Policy Framework (SPF).
For further information, see our previous Regulatory Outlook.