Regulated Procurement | UK Regulatory Outlook September 2023
Published on 27th Sep 2023
Update on the Procurement Bill | Cabinet Office publishes updated standard contract templates and guidance | PPN on Cyber Essential Scheme updates
Update on the Procurement Bill
On 11 September, the Procurement Bill returned to the House of Lords for consideration of the House of Commons amendments. The Lords did not agree to all the amendments put forward by the Commons and the bill thus entered "ping-pong". The Lords sent back one amendment for the House of Commons to consider on 13 September regarding an expansion of the exclusion ground relating to forced organ harvesting. The Commons rejected the Lords amendment, commenting that it would place an unnecessary burden on both authorities and suppliers and that there is no evidence that any public sector contractor is involved with this practice, so it presents a low risk to the UK public sector. The bill will now return to the Lords on 24 October to consider the Commons amendments.
The learning and development sessions that the Cabinet Office will be running in line with the "go-live date" of October 2024 for the new procurement regime, will be launched in three phases:
- Knowledge Drops - November 2023
- Self-guided e-Learning - March 2024
- Advanced Course of Deep Dives - May 2024
Businesses should review the scope of these sessions and decide which of the learning and development options may be of use to them.
Our final webinar will be taking place on 4 October where we will be looking at changes to the remedies regime introduced by the Procurement Act and their implications for suppliers considering bringing a procurement challenge. Register here.
You can also find the recordings from our previous webinars on the bill on our microsite, where we will also be publishing podcasts, infographics and Insights on the bill as it becomes an Act.
Cabinet Office publishes updated standard contract templates and guidance
On 1 August the Cabinet Office published three new standard contract document collections, containing updated templates and guidance for the government’s Model Services Contract, Mid-Tier Contract and Short Form Contract.
Alongside this, the Cabinet Office published a new Procurement Policy Note (PPN) with further guidance on the adoption of the standard contracts, PPN 08/23: Using Standard Contracts.
It applies to central government departments, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies, which are urged to adopt the standard contracts "as soon as practicable". These are to be used when purchasing bespoke goods or services, or goods or services that cannot be facilitated by a suitable government framework should adopt one of the standard contracts as the basis for all relevant procurements, rather than creating bespoke contracts.
Other public sector bodies are also encouraged to apply the approach set out in PPN 08/23.
PPN on Cyber Essential Scheme updates
On 19 September 2023, the Cabinet Office published procurement policy note (PPN) 09/23 which replaces and updates PPN 09/14 and sets out the actions that organisations should take to identify and mitigate cyber security threats in supply chains.
The PPN notes that the quickest and most effective way of mitigating cyber security risks is implementation of Cyber Essentials, a government-backed scheme designed to help businesses of all sizes to protect against the most common cyber attacks.
This PPN applies to central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies and NHS bodies, but notes that other public sector bodies may wish to apply this approach. It is applicable three months from publication.