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15 February 2023 | Comment | Article by Emily Powell

Four key areas to help you prepare for the upcoming procurement law changes

Think SPPP – Social & Procurement Planning & Preparation

With the Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Bill (SPPP Bill) and Procurement Bill likely coming into force later this year, contracting authorities can start planning to ensure that they are ready for the new regime.

The Welsh and UK Government have set out pre-implementation checklists covering four key areas contracting authorities should consider as they prepare for the changes. Together, the checklists include:

1. Transition

  • Check and update your contract registers.
  • Conduct a review of pipelines to identify planned procurement activity (e.g. contracts expected to be re-procured and new procurement projects expected to be undertaken).
  • Liaise and engage with your key supply chain about the new requirements.

2. Systems

  • Consider the proposals to improve transparency of public contracts and spending.
  • Check whether your organisation can meet the new data and transparency requirements (e.g. identify where data currently resides in your e-procurement systems).
  • Consider if you can improve the measurement of well-being outcomes.
  • Ensure you consider the requirements of the legislative platform (e.g. OCDS compliance) if you are to retender your e-procurement system.

3. People

  • Decide who in your organisation should attend training on the new regime. Note that alongside the Welsh Government training, the UK Government is developing a learning and development programme (free at the point of delivery).
  • Consider benchmarking your organisation against relevant procurement operating standards and focus on your organisation’s procurement and contract management capability. You should ensure you meet the requirements under the SPPP’s Socially Responsible Procurement Duty and the Procurement Bill’s Key Performance Indicators.

4. Process and Policies

  • Update your current processes to ensure they are robust (e.g. pre-market engagement and supplier assessment) and ready for the new requirements of the Procurement Bill (e.g. the below threshold transparency requirements).
  • Make sure that you have governance documents that record key decisions.
  • Check whether your procurement strategies are set in accordance to the well-being goals (e.g. “a resilient Wales”) and principles within the Wales Procurement Policy Statement.
  • Review your organisation’s tender documentation (e.g. standard T&Cs) to identify whether any amendments will be required.

Our dedicated procurement reform page, and webinar series helps contracting authorities and those supplying them achieve a thorough understanding of the changes in the law and what they need to know in order to be ready for the changes and able to procure effectively and lawfully once the changes are enacted and implemented.

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Author bio

Emily is a partner in the Corporate and Commercial team. Emily specialises in commercial law, public procurement and subsidy control. Emily has advised housing associations on their procurement processes and can provide a complete legal service for all procurement and project requirements. Emily also hosts a forum for ‘heads of’ procurement working within the social housing sector.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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