Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin: 7 January 2022

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


LGA logo colour

Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin

7 January 2022

Twitter IconLinkedIn IconFacebook IconYoutube icon

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 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

COVID-19 stories

Business grants update

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published guidance for the new £683 million Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) and revised its guidance for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) including the £102 million top-up. Under the OHLG scheme, local authorities will receive grants of up to £6,000 for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses in England. When allocating the ARG top-up payment, local authorities are encouraged to prioritise businesses severely impacted by the rise of the Omicron variant, including businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors not eligible for the OHLG. Payments of the new grants are due to be made to local authorities in the week commencing 4 January. The OHLG scheme is open for applications until 28 February 2022 and all payments under both schemes must be completed by 31 March 2022. BEIS recognises that prioritising urgent delivery of the new grants may have an effect on the ability to complete previously timetabled reconciliation, assurance and debt recovery work. It encourages authorities to contact their BEIS relationship manager to discuss any existing requests or returns. BEIS will hold a webinar on Microsoft Teams on Tuesday 11 January from 12 to 1pm to fully explain the new guidance, with opportunity for questions and answers.

Contain Outbreak Management Fund

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that unspent funds from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) can be carried forward into the 2022/23 financial year. It is essential that your finance teams continue to complete the monthly COMF monitoring forms to ensure the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have the correct data for any money that is carried forward. Conversations around the future of this funding are ongoing and we will continue to push for more long-term support.

'Vaccination as a condition of employment' updates

The Government announced in November 2021 that vaccination will become a condition of deployment in wider health and social care settings. The 12-week grace period (before the regulations come into force on 1 April 2022) started on 6 January. Staff will need to have received their first vaccination by 3 February to receive their second dose before 1 April. Guidance on this policy and further resources are due to be published in the coming weeks. Vaccination is already a condition of deployment in older adult care homes. From 6 January, the following new rules have taken effect:

  • An unvaccinated new starter can be deployed in a care home 21 days after receiving one dose of an authorised COVID-19 vaccine as long as that dose was received less than 10 weeks ago.
  • Clinical trial participants can evidence their participation in order to be exempt from the requirement.

From 1 April, self-exemption for care home staff vaccinated overseas is due to end. From this date, they will need to provide evidence that they have been vaccinated in line with the schedule in the regulations or may need to receive a top-up vaccine dose, as per UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advice. 


The Department for Education has made up to 7,000 more air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces. All state-funded primary and secondary schools, further education colleges and early years settings can apply for a funded unit. Further details, including the eligibility criteria, can be found in the guidance on how to apply for an air cleaning unit. Applications for all settings close on 17 January. The Department for Education has also updated its guidance on children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access school or educational settings, to include a broader definition of children classified as vulnerable.

Updated COVID-19 guidance: sports and hotels

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has updated its guidance on COVID-19 measures for grassroots sports participants, providers and facility operators to include new information on face coverings, and the types of venues and events required by law to check visitors’ COVID status as a condition of entry. The guidance for hotels and guest accommodation has also been updated.

Non-COVID stories

Customs changes for businesses

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding businesses that some of the temporary customs and VAT reliefs introduced last year for goods moving between Great Britain and the EU have now been removed. HMRC is assisting traders and businesses to adapt to these changes, writing to traders and delivering webinars to explain the new customs rules that started in the new year, the action that they need to take, and the support on offer from HMRC. If businesses move goods into or out of Northern Ireland, the free Trader Support Service can guide them through the process. Councils are encouraged to share this information and support with businesses in their area.

Late payment (commercial transactions)

Government has published a ‘provisional common framework’ on late payment (commercial transactions) – agreed between the four UK nations. It continues existing arrangements previously set at EU level to ensure suppliers are paid promptly. The framework encourages a common UK-wide approach while not ruling out divergence, where necessary, to respect devolved competencies.

Crown Commercial Service – prospective product development of investment fund management services

Recent developments in the investment industry, and increased pressure in the sector to offer more transparent, ethical investing, provide an opportunity for the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) to explore setting up a fund management services proposition. In the ongoing COVID-19 landscape, there will be a need to reinvigorate the economy and boost local and regional regeneration through investing. This prospective investment management framework is an opportunity to foster a greater understanding of what good investing looks like in the public sector. It will also allow CCS to develop, collaboratively, an agreed public sector taxonomy – and to bridge the gap between both private and public behaviours around investing and boosting regeneration activity across the UK. Crown Commercial Service would value your input via its online form to help shape the scope of this new addition to its portfolio, and develop a route to market that best supports local government – whether that is through transparency, social value, innovation, green investment, or engaging more niche small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) providers.

New Crown Commercial Services 'Procurement Essentials' article – 'What is a framework?'

Crown Commercial Services has published What is a framework? – a new article in its 'Procurement Essentials' series examining procurement concepts, policies, regulations, and processes. The series of articles is aimed at those who are not procurement professionals but who are required to ‘buy things’ as part of their role. The articles will help readers to overcome common hurdles and to understand key concepts, and to generally make easier the lives of those buying common goods and services. Please share this information with colleagues who fit this profile.

Modern slavery – downloadable workers' checklist poster from the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA)

The GLAA have developed a 10-point checklist for workers to help them understand their rights in the workplace and spot the signs of exploitation. Free downloadable posters featuring the checklist are available to download in English, Bulgarian, Polish and Romanian.


How to achieve organisational change in local government – LG Commercial Capability Knowledge (Lunch) Bites

Wednesday 12 January 2022, 12–1pm | Online
The Local Government Commercial Capability team at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) launches its inaugural lunch and learn series 'Knowledge (Lunch) Bites'. This first event will focus on an important element of successfully embedding sourcing and contract management best practice in local government – achieving organisational change. Three speakers will share knowledge and insights on how to drive successful change:

  • Professor Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council
  • Gintare Geleziunaite, Head of Change Strategy and Advisory at Department for International Trade
  • Doctor Paulina Lang, Behavioural Science Lead, Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet Office.

'Supporting adults with learning disabilities to have better lives' framework webinar (launch and introductory session)

Wednesday 26 January 2022, 2–3.15pm | Online
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. The aim of the framework is to help DASS work with colleagues and partners to identify how they can improve support to adults with a learning disability and ensure that the care and support in their area is delivering positive outcomes and is good value for money.

LGA National Construction Conference

Tuesday 1 and Thursday 3 February 2022, 10.30am–12.30pm | Online
Our National Construction Conference 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: