Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 10 September 2021

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Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

10 September 2021

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Welcome to the merged NAG/SOPO newsletter for 10 September 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

The diagnostic benchmarking exercise is about to go live on Monday 13 September and a member of your organisation (procurement lead) should receive an email from a third party lga-nps-support@groups.nipltd.com so please check your junk mail folders if your authority hasn’t received it by the end of that week.

The diagnostic will enable you to benchmark your procurement activity in accordance with PPN 05/21 and help you gauge your current level of attainment against the National Strategy and ascertain where improvement is needed in accordance with your own local priorities.

The diagnostic will also help the LGA gauge the impact of our own work over the last three years and give councils the first opportunity to identify what is needed for the next iteration of the National Procurement Strategy which we intend to publish in 2022. It will also help us identify and shape our support offer to cater for your needs and make it relevant to the challenges you are facing.

Please email guy.head@local.gov.uk if your council has not received any correspondence from us or you have any questions or issues you want assistance with.

COVID stories

CO2 monitors 

The first deliveries of CO2 monitors to state-funded education settings, including early years, schools and further education providers, will begin next week. These should help identify areas where ventilation needs to be improved and provide reassurance that existing ventilation measures are working. Special schools, alternative provision and residential schools are being prioritised to receive their monitors first. The delivery schedule for these schools is now available on the ventilation document sharing platform. For any further queries about Department for Education (DfE) issued CO2 monitor(s), you can call the DfE COVID-19 helpline on 0800 046 8687. Operational guidance will be available on the document sharing platforms next week.  

Non-COVID stories

Procurement Policy Note 11/20: Reserving below threshold procurements

This procurement policy note (PPN) sets out information and associated guidance on the options available to Contracting Authorities to streamline and simplify procurement under these thresholds, and also tackle economic inequality, create new businesses, jobs and skills, as well as increasing supply chain resilience, encouraging entrepreneurship, and attracting new entrants to government markets

This PPN and associated guidance covers options that may be considered by in-scope organisations when procuring contracts for goods, services and works below the following thresholds.

In-scope organisations may consider, where appropriate, the following options for the procurement of below threshold contracts:

  • Reserve the procurement by supplier location - this means being able to run a competition and specify that only suppliers located in a geographical area can bid. This could be UK-wide to support domestic supply chains and promote resilience and capacity, or where appropriate, by county (metropolitan or non-metropolitan, or by borough for London) to tackle economic inequality and support local recruitment, training, skills and investment, and
  • Reserve the procurement for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) / Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSEs) - this means being able to run a competition and specify that only SMEs and VCSEs can bid.

These options should be considered on a case-by-case basis and can be exercised on their own or together. For example, an In-scope Organisation may wish to reserve a procurement for suppliers based in the particular location and for SMEs and VCSEs only.

Please note that application of the PPN should be considered in the light of authorities' relevant legal obligations, including but not limited to the restriction applicable to local authorities and certain other authorities under Section 17 of the Local Government Act 1988.

Land disposal procurement system  

Homes England (HE) has launched its new £20 billion Delivery Partner Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) to allow housebuilders to apply to join the agency's list of preferred developers at any time, rather than having to wait until the list is renewed once every four years. HE hopes it will transform the way it procures housebuilders and disposes of land and said local authorities and housing associations can also rely on the DPS as a procurement-compliant solution for finding housebuilders, making it easier for them to build homes on the land they own.  

The New Futures Network

The New Futures Network (NFN) delivered a brilliant session on Social Value: Commissioning from Prison Workshops to the National Advisory Group (NAG) quarterly meeting this week. The NFN is a specialist part of the Prison and Probation Service who broker partnerships between prisons and employers in England and Wales. These partnerships help businesses fill skills gaps and prison leavers find employment. Please feel free to mention this to your local suppliers and encourage them to register onto the scheme.

Commercial System, Data and Process Guidance

Government Commercial Function have recently published system, process and data standards for commercial systems which may be of interest to you.

The collection of documents containing:

Please note, the documents contained on this page are intended as best practice reference and do not form mandatory or policy requirements.

The LGA are starting up a workstream on data standards, please get in touch if you are interested in joining the working group: productivity@local.gov.uk

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 15 October. Up to £160 million will be available to councils in the financial year 2021/22, delivering up to January 2023. To facilitate the development of effective bids, councils can request technical assistance from BEIS through the Social Housing Retrofit Accelerator. Please direct any questions to SHDF.W1@Ricardo.com

Urban recovery 

We have published a new report setting out the challenges facing urban areas as they look to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19. ‘A vision for urban growth and recovery’, commissioned by the LGA’s City Regions Board and produced by Cambridge Econometrics, warns that the pandemic could result in half a million job losses in urban centres, largely in the manufacturing, finance, hospitality and retail sectors. It calls for a new 10-year Sustainable Urban Futures Fund, worth up to £7 billion, to support local leaders to invest in infrastructure improvements, new housing projects, local town centres and other measures to support economic growth. It suggests this could incorporate existing government funds, such as the Towns Fund. 


Total Cost of Ownership: a savings guide to Microsoft 365

14 September 2021

IT procurement helps organize business purchases, even cloud software like Microsoft 365. IT procurement analyses business needs, manages contracts, makes invoice payments, and manages spend. The procurement and cost management of Microsoft 365 subscriptions needs to address the following aspects:

  1. reharvesting
  2. optimization
  3. surplus.

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

CIPFA Public Procurement: Your First Steps to Climate Action -

16 September 2021

Tackling climate change is becoming increasingly urgent, and public bodies have a dual role in not only in complying with legal obligations to reduce their own carbon emissions, but also actively encouraging and requiring partners, suppliers and other stakeholders to do the same.

This webinar will explore the role of public procurement teams in supporting contracting authorities meet the climate change challenge. We have an expert line up of speakers who will share their practical know-how, offer advice and tips on what needs to be done to get things moving and support delivery of one of the key objectives of the recently launched National Procurement Policy Statement.

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