Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin: 10 December 2021

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Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin

10 December 2021

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Welcome to the merged National Advisory Group (NAG) and SOPO (Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government) e-bulletin. Feel free to forward this email to your colleagues and / or suggest they sign up to receive it themselves.
This e-bulletin is now delivered through our corporate service which handles all of our e-bulletins and through which you can create or manage your subscriptions and read previous editions of this e-bulletin

'Transforming Public Procurement' consultation response

The Government published its response to the public consultation on the 'Transforming Public Procurement' Green Paper this week. The LGA worked with councils through our National Advisory Group for Local Government Procurement (NAG), their wider regional networks and with other relevant bodies to format a sector-wide submission to the consultation. We are pleased to see that so many of you also submitted your own responses. Of the 226 responses from contracting authorities (out of 619 in total) almost half were from the local government sector, making us the most represented sector in the consultation.

The LGA broadly welcomes the consultation response – in particular in a number of areas where the LGA and NAG have been working closely with Cabinet Office and DLUHC to overcome some of the challenges directly impacting the sector. These included:

  • The Green Paper proposed the removal of the Light Touch Regime – our submission raised concerns about certain contracts (such as care provision or special education) which, coupled with the proposed lowering of contract value thresholds bringing more contracts within scope of the new regime, would remove necessary flexibility. In light of additional stakeholder engagement, there is agreement that it is helpful to retain the Light Touch Regime, with the view to making some improvements to its scope and application.
  • There was broad support for the focus on increasing transparency, however, our submission raised concerns around the parameters of transparency and the potential burden it could place on contracting authorities, slowing down processes and decision-making. Following additional engagement with stakeholders, the Government now intends to ensure that the transparency requirements are proportionate to the procurements being carried out and are simple to implement.

We also welcomed the intention to strengthen the approach to the exclusion of suppliers from procurements for misconduct such as fraud, corruption or poor performance and the proposals focusing on prompt payment, especially to our SME suppliers. Implementation of the new reforms, and having the capability and capacity to realise the benefits across the sector, remains high on our agenda and we will continue to raise the importance of training and guidance to support the successful implementation of the new regime. We would like to thank the NAG members who have worked tirelessly to represent the sector on the various working groups over the past few months to ensure that the new legislation is fit for purpose and meets the needs of local government.

Under the new rules, procurers will be able to give more weight to bids that create jobs for communities, build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and support the transition to net zero carbon emissions. The greater flexibility in the new rules will hopefully allow local leaders and communities to grow the private sector and raise living standards in their area, by being able to procure more locally and flexibly. We will continue to work closely with central Government to seek the best outcomes for the sector and ensure a smooth implementation process with adequate training, support and guidance provided for the successful transition to the new regime, likely to be in place in 2023.

COVID-19 stories

Care guidance following Omicron measures

Following the announcements made last week regarding the Omicron variant and subsequent updates to the vaccination programme, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) received queries on how this might affect guidance for the care sector and has circulated information to confirm the position. The published guidance on home care, care home admissions, and visiting and infection prevention and control measures, continues to reflect the latest position and should continue to be followed unless advised otherwise. DHSC urges providers to continue to stay in touch with their local protection teams and follow the guidance on self-isolation for confirmed cases of the Omicron variant. The social care winter vaccinations comms toolkit is designed to support communicators with running their own winter vaccinations campaigns to encourage staff to get the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster.

Non-COVID stories

Adult social care market support

The LGA’s Care and Health Improvement Programme (CHIP) is delivering a programme of events to support adult social care commissioners in their work to shape diverse and sustainable social markets that provide high quality care. The next event will take place online on Tuesday 14 December. It will focus on the legal and regulatory requirements for current adult social care, and challenges around sufficiency of provision and service disruption. This session will be led by legal counsel from 39 Essex Chambers, and colleagues from the Care Quality Commission.

Crown Commercial Service decarbonisation research

Following COP26, Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is exploring how they can support your organisation to meet its carbon goals, and UK decarbonisation commitments, and needs your help with its research to help improve the future of their services. CCS is hosting a series of forums and looking to speak to anyone involved in buying equipment, installing charge-points, retrofitting houses, leisure centre contracts, ICT equipment and services, and vehicles?
These one-hour sessions will be held at 12.30pm on 16, 17, 18 and 20 December. Please email userresearch@crowncommercial.gov.uk if you would like to attend. This research programme is being communicated on behalf of Collective for Climate Action to bring cross-governmental engagement and provide support to the public sector.


Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally (FFCL) Conference | Tuesday 14 December

Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally (FFCL) is the English strategy on countering fraud in local government. It was developed with the involvement of more than 200 councils and is supported by a range of partners including the LGA and Solace. The 2020 launch event had to be cancelled but the strategy will now be discussed at an in-person conference in London which will provide an opportunity to hear about good counter-fraud practice during the pandemic and to congratulate those who won FFCL Awards in 2020. To find out more about this event, and to book your place, please email the FFCL secretariat on FFCL@cifas.org.uk

'Supporting adults with learning disabilities to have better lives' framework webinar | Wednesday 26 January 2022

This free introductory webinar will tell you more about the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services' (ADASS) and LGA's 'Supporting adults with learning disabilities to have better lives' framework. The session is designed for council staff working with people with a learning disability, Directors of Adult Social Services (DASS), health staff, and others with an interest in services for people with a learning disability.

LGA National Construction Conference | Tuesday 1 and Thursday 3 February 2022

We are pleased to announce details of our annual National Construction Conference which will again be a virtual conference and will be held across two mornings at the start of February:

  • Day 1 will include sessions on modern slavery in construction, progress of the Building Safety Bill and its implications, as well as the issues facing an industry recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Day 2 will focus on how climate change is having an impact on the construction industry. There will be sessions looking at how the industry is coming together to tackle issues such as the reduction of carbon emissions and how as clients of the industry, councils can make decisions to change behaviours and thereby help meet net zero national and local targets. Booking details can be found in our webinar section.


The LGA Procurement team manages several LGA webpages dedicated to your needs. Please email guy.head@local.gov.uk if you would like any information added to our webpages: