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Public Procurement Law is Changing!

Public Procurement Law is Changing!

Monday 27 November, 2023

The Procurement Bill, which will reform the existing Procurement Rules, has now received Royal Assent and over the next 12 months we will start to see changes as the Public Procurement Law is realised. This is great news for SMEs who are often disadvantaged by the process.

 

Why is the Public Procurement Law coming in to place?

The current system is outdated and there has been a need for an improved, streamlined process for a long time. One which levels the playing field for SMEs and ensures every £1 of public spend goes further.

The current process can be somewhat confusing and daunting for those new to tendering, particularly when pass/fail criteria is overly restrictive. Traditional financial stability requirements have seen even the most qualified and capable SMEs fail at the first hurdle.

 

What are the changes that are being made?

There are a number of changes being made which focus on simplifying the whole tendering processes, making it easier to procure, tender, negotiate and contract k within the public sector:

These include:

  • Frameworks will be more flexible with less shut-out time. There will also be tougher action taken against those who are on frameworks who don’t perform (i.e. those that promise, but don’t deliver)
  • Bureaucratic barriers will be removed levelling the playing field for smaller businesses. Start-ups and SMEs will have options to provide financials and insurance details at the first bidding stage. The criteria will be widened to include alternative means of demonstrating financial stability.
  • Payments will be prompt for those who win contracts and work with the public sector.
  • There will be less options for the type of procurement exercise (type of tender) the contracting authority can select. This should make it clearer for suppliers to understand which competitions they can be involved in.
  • Scoring will move from the MEAT format (Most Economically Advantageous Tender) to MAT (Most Advantageous Tender). This moves the scope away from a purely economic focus to a broader one that engages with social value and the benefits of the contract for the wider community.  This is perhaps the most significant element for small businesses who can often excel in this area.

The overall aim of these changes is to drive innovation, deliver better outcomes and embed transparency throughout the whole public sector procurement process. It should also make it more possible for SMEs to win their fair share of contracts.

 

When will the Public Procurement Law come into effect?

 It’s expected that the new law will come into effect in October 2024 and there will be 6 months’ notice of the change.

 

Do these changes impact my existing contracts?

No, any contracts you currently have in place will follow the current rules and guidelines.

 

We will continue to publish news as more details are released on the Public Procurement Law. In the meantime, if you need any help with your tender responses, please get in touch

AUTHOR: Matthew Smith - Managing Director - Complete Tenders

Matthew is a Bid Management Expert, Experienced Tender Writer and Tendering Process Professional.

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