Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin: 4 February 2022

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Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin

4 February 2022

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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

COVID-19 stories

Vaccination as a condition of deployment

In its recent 'Oral statement on vaccines as a condition of deployment', the Department of State for Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced that the legal requirement for health and social care staff to be double-jabbed against COVID-19 will be revoked, subject to public consultation and Parliamentary approval. The Department of Health and Social Care has stated that, while the legal requirement on vaccination as a condition of deployment is set to be revoked, those working in health and social care still have a professional obligation to get vaccinated and boosted.

Non-COVID stories

Get involved in DLUHC's procurement fraud e-learning modules – deadline Monday 7 February

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ (DLUHC) Local Government Commercial Team is in the design stage of a new training video series that will focus on the topic of procurement fraud for the local government sector. They are looking for local government procurement practitioners to help develop the suite of modules. We would be grateful if you could complete the short procurement fraud survey by Monday 7 February, and email us at productivity@local.gov.uk if you are interested in being involved in the working groups that are getting under way.

Embedding equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) into procurement

The LGA Procurement Team is looking for examples of councils who are striving to embed EDI into their procurement process – we want to hear how you:

  • ensure that a broad range of bidders are able to bid (that is, do councils do anything more proactive than advertising work openly?)
  • decide whether EDI is a ‘core’ part of the requirement
  • specifically ask questions about the diversity of bidders
  • monitor and report diversity in the supply chain.

Please email us at productivity@local.gov.uk if you are doing some work in this area that we can share with the sector.

Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper

The Government has published its 'Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper' which sets out its plan to address the UK’s geographic inequalities. The paper includes 12 national missions – all quantifiable and to be achieved by 2030 – which will be given status in law in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. The following information was announced in the White Paper:

  • a new devolution framework which sets out a clear menu of options for places in England that wish to unlock the benefits of devolution – by 2030, every part of England that wishes to have a ‘London-style’ devolution deal will have one
  • a transformation of the government’s approach to data and evaluation, with a new independent body created to improve transparency of local government performance
  • a commitment to simplify the local growth funding landscape
  • the intention to mobilise £16 billion of the Local Government Pension Scheme for investments in local projects
  • the £2.6 billion UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be decentralised to local leaders as far as possible
  • councils will be given the power to require landlords of empty shops to fill them if they have been left vacant for too long
  • 68 more councils to be supported by the High Streets Task Force
  • all homes in the private rented sector (PRS) will have to meet a minimum standard – the Decent Homes Standard
  • 55 Education Investment Areas (EIAs) will be designated where school outcomes are currently weakest and will benefit from intensive investment and support.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) pre-launch guidance

The Government has published pre-launch guidance for councils and local partners on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to support lead authorities to start preparing for the fund’s launch. The guidance sets out the fund's aims, investment priorities and the delivery roles of the UK Government and local partners across the UK. Councils across the UK will receive a conditional allocation from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and to access this they will be asked to set out an investment plan. The Government is developing broader technical guidance for the fund’s delivery and further information will be made available to lead authorities in the spring as they start to develop local investment plans which will be submitted to the Government this summer for approval. In the meantime, the Government is encouraging lead authorities to commence collaborating with local partners to develop ideas, and we understand they will be running online webinars from Monday 7 February. For further information, you can email the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ (DLUHC) about the fund at futurefund@levellingup.gov.uk

Training and development

Contract management (e-learning courses)

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 the process of doing so. We've had some great feedback on the e-learning. If you haven’t registered yet, there is still time. Find out more about the Contract Management Capability Programme or email contract-management@cabinetoffice.gov.uk to sign up.

Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) offers applied learning route to MCIPS 'member' status

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. As an alternative to the examination route, participants are assessed via assignment and project work, and the entire programme is delivered online. 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 professional MCIPS accreditation is right for you, then please email anita.hicks@cips.org

Modern slavery in the public sector supply chain (e-learning course)

As part of Government’s efforts to tackling modern slavery in global supply chains, the Home Office’s Modern Slavery Unit and Joint Security and Resilience Centre have produced an e-learning course for public sector procurement and commercial staff on modern slavery in the public sector supply chain (account registration required). The course outlines practical steps you can take, throughout the commercial lifecycle, to identify and mitigate modern slavery risks. This online course guides users through a fictional personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement as a case study, but the learning is applicable to staff working on other types of procurement. You can also access the modern slavery guidance for personal protective equipment (PPE) designed for buyers and suppliers of PPE.


Innovation in local government procurement – LG Commercial Capability Knowledge (Lunch) Bites

Thursday 17 February, 12–1pm | Online
The Local Government Commercial Capability team at the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will present the second event in its lunch-and-learn series 'Knowledge (Lunch) Bites'. Join them online as they share knowledge and insights about how to drive a culture of innovation and big-picture thinking in procurement and commercial teams within local government.

Applying behaviour change techniques to the climate emergency, sustainable travel and health inequalities

Tuesday 22 February, 10–11.45am
This webinar will look at how behavioural change techniques can be used in council services to work with communities and change their behaviour. It will feature councils who have used behavioural change techniques to tackle the biggest challenges of our day – climate emergency and health inequalities. It will also look at how the LGA is taking a regional approach in supporting councils to run behaviour change projects to combat these challenges.

Council and business collaboration on the climate emergency

Tuesday 15 March, 10.30am–12pm
The LGA and the Business Services Association (BSA) are hosting this webinar on how councils can effectively collaborate with the private sector, Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) and infrastructure providers to address the climate emergency – focusing on:

  • What case studies on successful partnership working can teach us?
  • In which areas has collaboration yielded results, and in which areas is there potential for further collaboration?
  • What tools do local authorities have at their disposal to drive effective collaboration particularly with regard to the procurement process and what are the main barriers to overcome?
  • What can the private and VCSE sectors in conjunction with local government offer to address the climate emergency and what may they need to offer that they are not currently?


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: