Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin: 18 February 2022

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Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin

18 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

Businesses urged to apply for COVID-19 support grants

A callout from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is encouraging local businesses to apply for remaining grant funding to help them through the pandemic. New figures show £22 billion in COVID-19 government support grants have now been made to firms through local councils since the beginning of the pandemic with a further £850 million remaining. The funding is made up of £556 million available through the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) scheme and a further £294 million through the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme. To provide further support to other businesses, councils can use the ARG scheme to allocate funding at their discretion to businesses most in need, such as personal care businesses and supply firms.

Non-COVID stories

Local authorities encouraged to add their modern slavery statements to Government modern slavery statement registry

The Home Office has issued a letter to all local authorities with a budget of £36 million or more to encourage them to each publish a modern slavery statement where they haven’t already done so. In future, it will be mandatory for organisations that are in scope of section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act (2015) to publish a statement and add it to the Government's modern slavery registry. To get ready for this mandatory requirement, in-scope local authorities are strongly encouraged to publish and add their modern slavery statements for the 2021/22 financial year by 30 September. The Home Office letter signposts local authorities to Government guidance on publishing a modern slavery statement and encourages councils to add to the registry (with their assigned unique code) by 14 March. The LGA fully supports this initiative and we have published our own list of local authorities' modern slavery statements and sector-specific guidance on producing one. If you need any further assistance please email guy.head@local.gov.uk

Heightened risk of malicious cyber incidents

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is urging UK organisations to bolster their cyber security resilience in response to malicious cyber incidents in and around Ukraine. The NCSC has issued guidance encouraging organisations to follow actionable steps to reduce the risk of cyber attack, including:

  • patching systems
  • improving access controls and enabling multi-factor authentication
  • implementing an effective incident response plan
  • checking backups and restore mechanisms are working
  • ensuring that online defences are working as expected
  • keeping up to date with the latest threat information.

The LGA Procurement team is embarking on an ‘Embedding Cyber Security in Local Government Supply Chains’ programme that will include guidance, toolkits, e-learning modules and a series of webinars and workshops. If you or your colleagues are procurement officers, or IT and cyber specialists who deal with the supply chain – and are interested in helping to shape this support, please email productivity@local.gov.uk

Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme 2021/24

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced £174 million in funding for councils to support rough sleepers into long-term homes. The funding, part of the Government’s Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme, will support councils to provide over 2,900 move-on homes between 2021 and 2024. DLUHC has also published the prospectus, guidance and proposal form for the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme 2021/24. Councils across England are invited to bid for funding for the remainder of the programme as part of investment in long-term homes for rough sleepers.

New laws to make industry pay for building safety

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced new measures to force industry to pay to remove cladding and protect leaseholders from exorbitant costs. The proposals will see the house-building industry pay to fix historical problems, and developers and product manufacturers that do not help could be blocked from the housing market. The Government will be able to block planning permission and building control sign-off on developments, effectively preventing them from building and selling new homes. The Government will also be able to apply the new building safety levy to more developments, with scope for higher rates for those who do not participate in finding a workable solution.

Transforming digital service delivery for better citizen engagement

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven an accelerated focus on the digital agenda across local government, but the digital transformation journey can be a complex one for local authorities. The demands of multiple citizen needs, accessibility issues, legacy IT systems, and additional cost pressures on finances only add to what is already a considerable challenge. Crown Commercial Service has produced a guide to transforming digital service delivery for better citizen engagement – to help you to plan your digital transformation journey.


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.

From Start to Finish – a guide to completing 'Find a Tender Service' (FTS) and 'Contracts Finder' (CF) notices

Monday 28 February, 12.45–4pm
Do you have a good working knowledge of how to produce different tender notices correctly? This Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) webinar will take you through the process of publishing tender notices in 'Find a Tender Service' (FTS) and 'Contracts Finder' (CF). Research suggests that many contracting local authorities do not complete tender notices correctly, which could expose them to immediate legal challenge and later complications when it comes to awarding and delivering contracts.

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: