Procurement and supply chain bulletin: 27 May 2022

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Procurement and supply chain bulletin

27 May 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 circulate this email to your colleagues and suggest that they sign up to receive it themselves. This bulletin is delivered through our corporate communications service through which you can create or manage your subscriptions and read previous editions of this bulletin.

Procurement and supply chain

Transforming public procurement – Procurement Bill Second Reading

The Procurement Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords this week. The LGA remains broadly supportive of the Government’s proposed reforms to public procurement which seek to:

  • reform the UK’s public procurement regime to create a fairer and more transparent system
  • support businesses by making public procurement more accessible to small businesses and voluntary, charitable and social enterprises, by enabling them to compete for public contracts.

While the sector welcomes the Government’s strategic priorities, we believe that councils should continue to set priorities for procurement based on their local strategic priorities to best meet local needs.

We are also concerned that some areas of the Bill may have unintended consequences for local government, which will create new difficulties in meeting the procurement objectives and delivering good-quality services. These issues are outlined in our briefing on the Procurement Bill Second Reading and were raised by LGA member peers in the initial debates in the House this week.

Transforming public procurement – additional webinars

The Cabinet Office has scheduled two more webinars where you will be able to hear an update from Government about the Procurement Bill, as follows:

Monday 30 May, 1.30pm–2:30pm

Tuesday 7 June, 10.00am–11.00am

Local Government (Exclusion of Non-commercial Considerations) (England) Order 2022

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) wrote to council leaders to confirm that the Local Government (Exclusion of Non-commercial Considerations) (England) Order 2022 was laid on 25 May.

Under section 17 of the Local Government Act 1988, councils are unable to exit contracts for non-commercial reasons, which has meant they have been unable to terminate agreements linked to the Russian state.

However, once made, the Order will enable councils in England, if they so wish, to terminate proposed or subsisting public supply or works contracts either where the country or territory of origin of supplies to the contractor is the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus or where the location of the business activities or interests of a contractor is the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus. For the purposes of this Order, contractors includes suppliers and subcontractors.

For new procurements, councils will also be able to decline to consider (or otherwise exclude from participating in the procurement) bids from suppliers who are constituted or organised under the law of Russia or Belarus

Please note that:

  • councils are not obliged to terminate contracts, but central Government's message is clear: Putin’s barbaric regime should not benefit from taxpayers’ money
  • any decision to terminate a contract is made on a case-by-case basis, considering if an alternative supplier can be sourced in line with value for money, affordability and with minimal disruption to public services.

Councils are advised to seek advice from their legal teams before any decisions to terminate or exclude are entered into.

Updated guidance on Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) lending

Earlier this month, HM Treasury updated its guidance on Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) lending. The Government supports local investment in part by offering low-cost loans to councils through the PWLB, which is an internal function of HM Treasury whose purpose is to offer long-term, affordable loans to support local authority investment in service delivery, housing, economic regeneration, treasury management and, occasionally, preventative action, under the prudential regime.

The guidance will help councils ensure that their capital plans are compliant with ongoing access to the PWLB under the current lending terms. It highlights that the PWLB will not typically advance new loans to a council if they assess that there is a more than negligible risk that the newly advanced PWLB loan will not be repaid without future Government support.

Upcoming Provider Selection Regime webinars

A series of webinars are currently being planned for organisations who will have to comply with the Provider Selection Regime (PSR), including:

  • Integrated Care Boards (ICBs)
  • NHS trusts and foundation trusts that sub-contract the provision of healthcare services to other providers
  • local authorities and combined authorities that arrange healthcare services as part of their public health functions and as part of section 75 partnership arrangements with the NHS.

Dates for the webinars have not yet been confirmed, however, we are expecting them to be in the latter half of 2022.

The webinars are expected to cover decision-making, key criteria overview, transparency and scrutiny requirements.

Some of the webinars will give a high-level overview of the PSR (suitable for senior leaders) and others will give more detail on how to follow the regime (suitable for those in commissioning and procurement roles).

Register your interest in attending a PSR webinar

Webinars and events

Encouraging public sector innovation – Transport for London (TfL) Innovation Hub

Wednesday 1 June, 1.00pm2.00pm | Online

Although innovation is widely seen to be vital for the public sector, a key question still stands: how can this innovation be encouraged? Transport for London's Innovation Hub offers a space which lies outside the organisation’s conventional ways of working. By inviting peers from across Transport for London to focus on a problem statement for periods of between 12 and 18 weeks, the Innovation Hub has offered solutions as to how TfL can capitalise on technological advancements to do things better, cheaper and quicker. This session will focus on an internationally recognised, novel way of working, illuminating the universe of potential for innovation that the public sector wields.

Children's Commissioning Conference – In It Together: commissioning children’s health, care and educational outcomes in uncertain times

Thursday 23–Friday 24 June | The Hayes Conference Centre, Hayes Lane, Swanwick, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 1AU

Organised by commissioners for commissioners, the Children's Commissioning Conference is the event to share best practice from across commissioning. This event will include over 30 workshops focused on informing and improving commissioning offering the opportunity to learn from commissioning colleagues and children’s services experts.


The LGA Procurement team manages several LGA webpages dedicated to your needs. Please email if you would like any information added to our webpages: