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29 March 2023 | Comment |

The Procurement Bill: why is there a need for primary legislation?

The Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Bill (SPPP Bill) and the Procurement Bill will significantly impact contracting authorities and those supplying them.

The main reasons for the introduction of the SPPP Bill have been considered here, however a further question to consider is – what is the need for the Procurement Bill?

The Procurement Bill predominantly focuses on the procurement processes, whilst the SPPP Bill focuses on social partnerships. The fundamental reasons for the introduction of the Procurement Bill include:

  1. To make the procurement regime quicker, simpler and more transparent while remaining compliant with international obligations. It will embed transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle (including, requirements to publish transparency notices).
  2. To introduce a new procedure for running a competitive tendering process, which will ensure contracting authorities can design a competition to suit the needs of their market/contract.
  3. To open up public procurement to new entrants such as small businesses and social enterprises so that they can compete for more public contracts, both of which have previously faced barriers in working with central government and wider public sectors.
  4. To create a simpler commercial system, including a digital platform for suppliers to register their details for use in bids and a platform to allow suppliers to see all opportunities in one place.
  5. To ensure contracting authorities have regard to maximising public benefit, delivering value for money, transparency and acting with integrity.
  6. To strengthen the approach on excluding suppliers where there is valid evidence of their involvement in Modern Slavery practices, serious misconduct and poor performance, which make a supplier unfit to bid for public contracts.

Overall, the Procurement Bill will reform how procurement is managed and regulated. It will introduce significant changes to the way public sector organisations buy goods and services and it will provide an opportunity to make it easier to do business with the public sector. It is due to have its report stage and third reading. Further developments on the Bill can be found in our dedicated procurement reform information hub.

Our dedicated procurement reform page and webinar series has guidance for contracting authorities and relevant suppliers on:

  • understanding the changes in the law
  • what you need to know in order to be ready for the changes
  • how to procure effectively and lawfully once the changes are enacted and implemented.
find out more

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