Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 13 August 2021

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Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

13 August 2021

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Welcome to the merged NAG/SOPO newsletter for 13 August 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 – September 2021

As part of PPN 05/21 National Procurement Policy Statement public sector contracting authorities will be asked to benchmark themselves over the next couple of years and the LGA has negotiated to have our own sector specific National Procurement Strategy recognised as a core set of values to be benchmarked against. The 2021 diagnostic exercise is due to take place in September and we hope as many of you will be take part as possible.

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.

COVID stories

Support for people self-isolating 

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published guidance for councils and the voluntary and community sector to help support people self-isolating due to COVID-19. The guidance sets out expectations for how the funding for self-isolation practical support should be spent. The guidance notes that councils can design and deliver bespoke interventions to support their local communities including helping with practical tasks, accessing food, assisting with caring responsibilities and mental health, loneliness, and digital support. 

Events insurance

The Government has announced the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme which aims to support the events industry. The scheme will support live events across the UK that are open to the general public - such as music festivals and business events and will cover costs incurred in the event of cancellation due to the event being legally unable to happen due to Government COVID restrictions. Under the scheme, the Government will act as a ‘reinsurer' – stepping in with a guarantee to make sure insurers can offer the products events companies need.

Non-COVID stories

Toolkit launched for spending programme evaluation

Public bodies are under growing scrutiny to demonstrate the 'value' of their expenditures – even more so with the budgetary pressures brought on by the pandemic. Many are turning towards outcomes-based contracts (OBC) and impact bonds to do so. CIPFA has launched a new free value-for-money toolkit in partnership with the Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab). The new toolkit is aimed at providing a consistent approach to evaluating programmes and has been developed in response to the growing use of outcomes-based contracts and impact bonds.

CIPFA and GO Lab have also created a ‘peer learning group’ to discuss and explore ways of improving value creation when public money is spent.

The group will meet quarterly with participation open to individuals and organisations interested in improving public finance and how economies perform.

Social Value Portal: Professional Services social value survey for buyers

This survey for public sector buyers of Professional Services is looking for insights from the market to help inform the development of a National TOMs guidance document in order to support and promote the incorporation of social value in Professional Services contracts. Alongside this survey sits a parallel survey for providers of Professional Services, to gain equal insights from both perspectives.

This survey is intended to give buyers of Professional Services the opportunity to feed into the development process for the guidance to ensure the important issues are addressed.

Local energy hubs 

As part of its local net zero programme, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) local energy hubs is providing capability support to local authorities in England to help develop business cases that can attract commercial investment. Local energy hubs coordinate energy projects that are led by local organisations, including local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships and located where the people who use the power live and work. For any support or questions do get in touch with your local energy hub via the contact details below: 

Crown Commercial Service Update

Balancing act: financial recovery after COVID-19 recorded webinar

CCS recently partnered with CIPFA to deliver a joint webinar on the immediate, practical steps you can take to start saving, generating and recovering funds.

The latest technology aggregation opportunities to help you buy smarter

Customers saved an average of 21 per cent in their latest IT hardware aggregation against market prices - read their case study to find out more

Framework updates 

Find out which frameworks were extended, expired or awarded in July in their regular monthly update.

Training and Development

Cabinet Office Sourcing Programme Training Sessions: August – November 2021

The Cabinet Office has put together a comprehensive set of training sessions that run from August through to November – full details below;

Sourcing Playbook - Knowledge Drop

The Sourcing Playbook aims to provide Commercial, Finance, Project Delivery, Policy and other professionals with guidelines, rules and principles that will help them to avoid the most common errors observed in outsourcing projects.

The Playbook captures best practice from across government and highlights where different approaches and new behaviours are required. The session will introduce you to the origins of the Playbook and its aims; outline key policy reforms and the need for cross-functional ownership; provide an overview of our implementation programme and the support available.

Construction Playbook - Knowledge Drop

The Construction Playbook, published in December 2020 - the policies and principles contained within the Playbook will form an integral part of how government contracts for public works projects and programmes, and an understanding of these policies is essential for those involved in construction and infrastructure projects.

This webinar will provide an introduction to the Construction Playbook and the key policy reforms; discussion of the implications for contracting authorities and suppliers; an opportunity to pose questions to the team that developed the Playbook.

Risk Allocation and Pricing Approaches (RAPA) - Deep Dive

This two hour deep dive course explores two of the concepts outlined in the Outsourcing Playbook: Risk Allocation and Pricing Approaches and Payment Mechanisms. The training session provides detail intended to be a more technical run through of the individual policy and guidance, to support implementation on specific projects.

Delivery Model Assessment (DMA) - Deep Dive

This three-hour deep dive course explores a key concept outlined in the Outsourcing Playbook: Delivery Model Assessment. The training session provides more detail than the knowledge drop sessions; intended to be a more technical run through of the individual policy and guidance, to support implementation on specific projects.

Contract management e-learning

Following previous information on the free e-learning available to councils through the Government Commercial College we’ve been looking through the hundreds of local government people who have already taken up the offer and have either completed the e-learning or are in progress. We've had some great feedback on the e-learning too. If you haven’t registered yet there is still time. You can sign up on the Government Commercial College website.

CIPS applied learning route to MCIPS

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) is currently taking applications for its online applied learning programme - successful completion delivers full Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (MCIPS) status. An alternative to the examination route, participants are assessed via assignment and project work and the entire content is delivered virtually. The two programmes cover the syllabus for CIPS level 4 (Practitioner) and levels 5 and 6 (Advanced Practitioner). Assessment is via assignments and a project at Advanced Practitioner level Due to high demand, if you feel this route to your professional accreditation MCIPS is right for you, then please do not hesitate in emailing anita.hicks@cips.org


Procurex National

15 September 2021

Procurex National is back for 2021 - the event will take place in an innovative hybrid format both live in venue and streamed online.

Connecting buyers and suppliers across from the UK, Procurex National, once again featuring the UK Infrastructure Show and co-located with P4H England, will provide a wealth of skills development, networking, collaboration and product showcase opportunities for organisations that are actively working with or hoping to work with the UK’s £284 billion public procurement marketplace.

Building Housing Retrofit Skills

15 September 2021

The UK’s housing stock will need to be carbon neutral by 2050. Councils are working hard to retrofit their own housing stock, whilst building construction skills in the community to build a pipeline of skills. This webinar will share a number of good practice examples from experts and councils who are creating local green jobs in the area of housing retrofit.

Levelling Up procurement: using government spend to transform local economic outcomes

16 September 2021

In the webinar Localis will be looking to ask;

  • How would it be possible and what would be necessary to make the reform of public service commissioning align with the Government’s overarching strategy to ‘level up’ opportunities, particularly in left-behind places?
  • Given the need to squeeze the most out of the local pound and spending allocations over the next Spending Review period and drive post-pandemic recovery, how can we challenge government suppliers. For example, is every single penny of local procurement promoting a living wage to get people out of poverty? Are major providers of local services benefiting from procurement helping people and how many apprenticeships are being delivered for every £1 million spent on local schemes?
  • What metrics should we look to in assessing any impact on skills, jobs and business growth from changes to procurement practice?


  • Darren Knowd, Chief Procurement Officer, Durham County Council and chair, National Advisory Group, Local Government Association
  • Jeffrey Matsu, Chief Economist, CIPFA
  • Professor Chris White, Director of Industrial Policy and Insight Centre at the MTC, Visiting Professor of Industrial Strategy at Loughborough University

2021 National Social Value Conference: Wales - Leading the Movement

16-17 November 2021

The National Social Value Conference: Wales returns this year, from the 16 to 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.

LGA Procurement homepage

National Procurement Strategy

Achieving Community Benefits – Social Value

Modern slavery in supply chains hub

Counter Fraud Hub

Climate Change Hub

Pass the Planet campaign