Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 27 August 2021

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Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

27 August 2021

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Welcome to the merged NAG/SOPO newsletter for 27 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

We are getting ready to open up our 2021 diagnostic exercise for the National Procurement Strategy and we’ve now almost completed our user access testing. Please let us know by emailing productivity@local.gov.uk if there has been a change in personnel, or you now form part of a shared service or if you didn’t complete last time and want to nominate a council lead.

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. Note we have also extended the invite for colleagues in Wales to take place.

Non-COVID stories

Businesses given more time to apply new product safety marking

The Government has announced this week that businesses will have an additional year to apply new product safety markings for most products placed on the market in England, Scotland and Wales. Recognising the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on businesses, the Government will extend the deadline to apply UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marks for certain products to demonstrate compliance with product safety regulations from 1 January 2022 to 1 January 2023. The UKCA marking replaces the product safety labelling the UK previously used while a member of the EU, such as the CE mark.

Businesses must take action to ensure they are ready to apply UKCA marking by 1 January 2023, the final deadline. Councils are encouraged to share and amplify this information with businesses in their area.

Social housing decarbonisation fund

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is now accepting applications for the Wave 1 Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) competition, with applications closing 15th October 2021. Up to £160 million will be available to councils in the financial year 2021/22, delivering up to January 2023. The competition will allow local authorities (LA) and LA-led consortia to apply for funding to improve the energy performance of their social homes. To facilitate the development of effective bids, councils can request technical assistance from BEIS through the Social Housing Retrofit Accelerator. Questions can be directed to SHDF.W1@Ricardo.com.

Accessible EV charging

National disability charities Motability and Designability have published findings on how to make electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in the UK accessible to disabled people. It includes advice on the built environment of accessible parking bays and charge points, the charging process and information about charge points.

Cyber security

We have been discussing cyber security in the supply chain this week and thought it would be useful to remind the network about this guidance for commissioners of adult social care services. We will seek to extend this guidance for councils to cover other council services that may be commissioned externally in due course and are looking for examples of good practice. Please do contact productivity@local.gov.uk if you have anything to contribute.

Social Value

Localis and Social Value UK recently joined up on a webinar discussing transparency and social value in which they discussed defining and promoting transparency as part of social value. A write up of this discussion is available. The webinar was part of a series of discussions around transparency, social value and public sector procurement practice. Our National Advisory Group chair will be part of this series of discussions on 16 September. More information is available further down this newsletter.


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 colleagues 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 or colleagues 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. 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


Social outcomes conference (SOC21)

9–10 September 2021

SOC21 aims to bring together the rigour of the most recent, cutting-edge academic research with an applied, real-world focus. It will be an opportunity for participants to engage in vibrant exchanges between both policymakers, practitioners and academics from around the world, each with their own experience and insights on improving social outcomes. This year's conference is built around five key themes:

  • outcomes-based contracting
  • outcomes orientation
  • measuring outcomes and value for money
  • procurement and social value
  • government, business and civil society collaboration in places.

These themes are all underpinned by a single core question: how can government combine its multiple roles, sometimes as provider, funder, facilitator, and regulator, to support activity which improves social outcomes?

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?
  • 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
  • Isabelle Parasram, Chief Executive, SVUK
  • Professor Chris White, Director of Industrial Policy and Insight Centre at the MTC, Visiting Professor of Industrial Strategy at Loughborough University

Implementing the ICS agenda

Tuesday, 21 September

Join the LGA, NHS Providers, NHS Clinical Commissioners and NHS Confederation for their second webinar on implementing the ICS agenda.

You will hear from chairs, NEDs, lay members and councillors from a range of systems on what helped them to develop successful relationships with and within their ICS. The discussion will be chaired by Lou Patten, Director of the ICS Network at the NHS Confederation.

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 2-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