Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 16 July 2021

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Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

16 July 2021

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Welcome to the NAG newsletter for 16 July 2021. Feel free to circulate to your colleagues.

This newsletter is now delivered through our corporate service that handles all our various e-bulletins. Manage or create a subscription - or read previous bulletins.

National Procurement Strategy

Diagnostic Benchmarking Exercise

A number of councils have been in touch about the National Procurement Strategy Benchmark exercise a lot of you completed in 2018, wondering if it is possible for us to release another version in order to check your own progress against the responses you returned in 2018. The good news is we will be running the diagnostic again in September which gives the sector an opportunity to fulfil Section 12 of PPN 05/21 National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS):

Contracting authorities should consider the procurement and contract management capability across their organisation. Contracting authorities should consider benchmarking themselves {annually} against relevant commercial and procurement operating standards and other comparable organisations. Benchmarking can play an important role in informing contracting authorities’ assessment of whether they have the appropriate procurement skills and capability to deliver value for money and benefit from future reforms to the public procurement regulations.

We will be in touch shortly with those who completed the diagnostic last time to confirm the council lead. If you have had a change of staff or you want to complete on behalf of several councils who form part of a shared service, please email productivity@local.gov.uk and let us know. If you did not submit a response but want to nominate a council lead for this piece of work then please also get in touch, we are looking for a high response across the sector in order to fulfil our NPPS obligations.

COVID stories

Respite care and day services 

The Care Minister joined an MHCLG webinar this week to discuss the number of bottle necks in adult social care services caused by the pandemic, particularly people reporting limited access to respite care and day services. The Minister stressed that the Infection Control Fund could be used to support the safe reopening of day services and urged councils to try and encourage residents to come back to day services. 

Non-COVID stories

Local government third party spend almanac 2020/21

Oxygen Finance and EY are pleased to present their annual Local Government Third Party Spend Almanac for 2020/2021, exploring the spend trends caused directly and indirectly by COVID-19 against a reported £64bn spend in England. 

With local authorities facing unprecedented pressures due to COVID-19, it is more important than ever to understand how third party spend has been impacted as a result of the pandemic. Councils continue to face tough spending decisions in the face of significant increases in demand for local public services, and unprecedented pressures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated recovery.

Oxygen Finance and EY explore how local authorities in England spent their resources with third parties over the last three years in this second annual spend Almanac. The report looks at the spending behaviours of Councils, analysing spend from category, regional and council type perspectives.

Emergency support for asylum seeking children

The Government has asked for urgent help finding placements for lone asylum-seeking children who have recently arrived on the south coast and are currently in the Home Office run Intake Unit designed for emergency, temporary placements. If your council is able to offer any placements immediately or during an anticipated increase in arrivals over the next days and weeks, please do contact your Strategic Migration Partnership.

By working closely together across regions, councils can make national transfer arrangements work to support the asylum system for both children and adults in a fair and transparent way. Whilst there may be ongoing placement challenges, recent additional government funding will go some way to bridging the gap between Government funding and what councils pay to support unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) and those leaving care.

Low energy housing

Our Design in the Public Sector webinar shared insights and experiences of design skills when applied to housing. You can find a blog and slides from the session which explored innovative approaches to low energy housing and retrofitting.

Build back local: Building Back Better – the 2021 LGA Conference paper

The LGA published its Building Back Local paper at our conference last week, the paper gives a resident-centred view of local services and explore the future journeys our residents will be taking, demonstrating that our communities will need councils and the services they provide more than ever, as we look look to build back from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.

We also look at a range of ways that our sector support programme, funded by Government, has supported councils in responding to issues triggered by the pandemic, including challenges relating to recovery and renewal. 

Webinar of the week

Essex Social Value Festival – 19 – 22 July 2021

Essex County Council are hosting a weeklong Social Value Festival from Monday 19 to Thursday 22 July of next week and are keen for officers from across the sector to join the event. It is aimed at businesses of any size ranging from small to medium enterprises to large organisations as well as social and community enterprises across a wide range of sectors.

With inspirational keynote speakers and deep dive thematic sessions, the Social Value Festival is the ideal opportunity for organisations to find out more about Social Value and learn how we can deliver it together. Participants can gain an understanding of how Essex County Council evaluates Social Value using the ECC TOMs framework (Themes, Outcomes and Measures) and how to successfully incorporate it into a bid.

You will hear from Samantha Butler, ECC Social Value Lead and Cabinet Office Head of Social Value Skills and Engagement about Essex County Council's approach to Social Value and the launch of the Social Value Catalogue.


CIPFA Maximising Opportunities under the Light Touch Regime

22 July 2021

  • Are you clear how to manage a tender exercise under the Light Touch Regime
  • Do you want clarity on some of the procedural flexibilities?

The Light Touch Regime (LTR) was introduced under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, and governs the procurement of health, social and other services listed in Schedule 3. It also regulates the procurement by clinical commissioning groups and NHS England of health services for the purposes of the NHS.

The LTR offers CAs the opportunity to design their own procedures, provided the procurement principles are complied. This event will include case studies to offer a practical overview of the workings of the LTR, and explore opportunities to maximise its potential use under the current regulations, as well as the proposed new procurement legislation expected to be released later in the year.

Central Government TOMs Mapping Tool Consultation Launch 

27 July 2021

As the lead organisation for the National Social Value Taskforce working group, Social Value Portal will be launching consultation to seek feedback from stakeholders on the tool and supporting guidance documents.

They will be joined the following speakers from our team who will each present, followed by a Q&A session:

  • Nathan Goode – Head of Data and Analytics
  • Cindy Nadesan– Strategic Account Manager for Public Sector
  • Philipp Cyrus – Senior Researcher

A local-national partnership to deliver low-carbon infrastructure

29 July 2021

The LGA commissioned WPI Economics to produce a business case for local delivery of low-carbon infrastructure and projects, identifying key areas from buildings and peatlands to green transport and sustainable energy production that councils can add significant value. You will hear the findings of this work and the economic, social and environmental benefits that could be realised across job creation, health and carbon emissions from a local path to net zero.

2021 National Social Value Conference: Wales - Leading the Movement 

6-17 November 2021

The 2021 National Social Value Conference: Wales returns this year, from 16-17 November. Last year, we saw a hugely successful two-day virtual conference, with over 800 delegates from across public bodies and anchor institutions in Wales.


The LGA Procurement team manages a number of webpages dedicated for your needs – please contact guy.head@local.gov.uk if you want anything uploaded to our webpages.