Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin: 11 March 2022

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Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin

11 March 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

Revoking vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCOD) across all health and social care settings

Regulations revoking vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCOD) were made on Tuesday 1 March and will take effect on Tuesday 15 March. The revoking of regulations was made via 'negative procedure' – meaning the VCOD regulations will be revoked without the need for a Parliamentary vote. Therefore, from 15 March vaccinations will no longer be a condition of deployment in care homes regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and VCOD will not come into effect for wider health and care settings (as had been previously scheduled for 1 April).

COVID-19 – admission and care of people in care homes

The Government has updated guidance on how to protect care home residents and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, to reflect its commitment to provide free COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) to the adult social care sector until March 2023.

Non-COVID stories

Gazprom energy supplies

This week, we have been working closely with councils that have either Gazprom contracts or any energy contracts that are up for renewal. We have fed back the concerns and issues of the sector into ongoing discussions with DLUHC and the Cabinet Office, seeking clarity and further guidance on the matter. The issue remains fluid, but a Procurement Policy Note (PPN) is likely to be published over the next few days and we will be contacting those directly affected as soon as this is published. We have scheduled a follow-up meeting at 12pm on Monday 14 March to discuss updates. If your council has not received an invitation to the meeting and you want to attend, please email guy.head@local.gov.uk to arrange an invitation. We would like to reiterate that we strongly advise you to speak with your legal teams before you make any decisions on these matters.

Home to school transport contracts

Together with the Institute of Licensing we have produced a school transport guidance note with some recommended actions and a brief overview of the roles of:

  • councils responsible for home to school contracts
  • licensing authorities, with regards to safeguarding in taxi / private hire vehicle (PHV) licensing.

UK has "sleepwalked" into a dysfunctional children’s social care market

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that the UK has “sleepwalked” into a dysfunctional market for children’s social care with local authorities being forced to pay excessive fees for privately run services. The children's social care market study final report calls for an overhaul of the £6.5 billion UK market for children’s residential and foster care, saying it had found “significant problems” with the provision of privately run services.

Report on business supply chains in the UK

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published a report on early insights into the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and EU exit on business supply chains in the UK using survey data from the UK Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS). In the report, the ONS highlights that there is some evidence to suggest that the impacts of COVID-19 and the end of the EU transition period have affected domestic and global supply chains – although it cannot tell whether these changes are permanent or not.

Supporting modern slavery victims – guidance and good practice for council homelessness services

We have published guidance and good practice for council homelessness services on supporting modern slavery victims which we have developed specifically for council officers leading and working in homelessness and housing services. It provides an introduction to modern slavery, outlines the key responsibilities and duties which apply to councils, and highlights ways in which homelessness / housing services can contribute to support for victims.

Crown Commercial Service's 'Procurement Essentials' – bite-sized guides to effective contract management

In October 2021, Crown Commercial Service (CCS) launched 'Procurement Essentials' – a series of online articles to help its customers overcome common hurdles and understand key concepts, and make their lives as buyers of everyday goods and services easier. The series has covered a wide range of topics so far to help demystify the procurement process, including the basics of frameworks, effective contract management, how to evaluate bids, and how to write a specification. This month’s bite-sized guide covers effective contract management.

Customs system consultation – deadline Monday 2 May

The Government has recently published a call for evidence inviting businesses, traders, and the public to feedback on the customs system – which closes on Monday 2 May. HM Revenue and Customs and HM Treasury are asking businesses and members of the border industry to get involved in helping to shape long-term customs policy by contributing their suggestions on:

  • improvements to help traders access a quality customs intermediary sector
  • how the benefits of the 'simplified customs declarations process' can be expanded
  • how the transit facilitation can be improved.

Councils are encouraged to promote and share details of the consultation with businesses in their area.


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?

Moving from multiple suppliers to a single supplier

Wednesday 30 March, 1–2pm
The Strategic Central Bureau Platform (SCBP) contract is a key Home Office contract. This platform provides the infrastructure for immigration officers to take fingerprints, and acts as part of the Home Office biometrics programme. Following the end of SCBP’s existing contracts, a two-year procurement was run, which culminated in one new supplier taking over the services delivered by two incumbent suppliers. When did two become one? This session will examine how an organisation can move from multiple suppliers to a single supplier, while elaborating on how effective contract terms can be applied in this kind of procurement process.

Engage the Future – collaboration and community in procurement

Thursday 31 March, 11.30am–1.30pm
LHC (a provider of free-to-use framework agreements used by local authorities) invites LGA members to its London and South East webinar showcasing collaboration and community in procurement. Join the LHC team for a unique learning experience and an exclusive premiere of a short film by We Rise, Brixton – an award-winning community business working to empower young people to create successful futures. Specialist industry speakers will discuss how focusing on social value and community impact, through collaboration and engagement, has powerful effects on work practices, design and productivity in the public sector.

Relational commissioning – harnessing the power of purpose alignment

Thursday 31 March, 2–3.30pm
E3M are pleased to invite you to the fourth webinar in the series linked to the E3M 'Procurement to Partnership' toolkit. This free webinar is aimed at commissioners from local public authorities, as well as leaders of social enterprises and other public benefit organisations, who want to explore new and more impactful ways of organising public services. With case studies from Plymouth and Croydon, the event will explore how local public authorities can work in partnership with social enterprises and the broader social economy to improve and develop local services through a relational approach to commissioning services.

Market engagement and determining the business need

Wednesday 6 April, 1–2pm
The objective of 'skills bootcamps' such as this is to offer people training in the skills that employers are looking for. By upskilling trainees, 'skills bootcamps' serve to fill vacancies and offer employment. How does an organisation take part in market engagement which calls for defining the business needs of the entire labour market? This session delves into details of an unconventional pre-procurement process, explores the power of stakeholder feedback groups, and offers insights for those seeking to procure bespoke services.

National Social Value Conference

27–28 April, 9am–5pm | Online, and at Church House, 31 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BN

The 5th annual National Social Value Conference will bring together social value experts and practitioners from a variety of sectors and industries across the UK. This year’s event marks the 10-year anniversary of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. And as we dive into ‘the social value decade’, you’ll hear from experts in the public, private and third sectors on the successes so far – and the challenges that lie ahead.


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: