Procurement and supply chain bulletin: 1 July 2022

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Procurement and supply chain bulletin

1 July 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

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally finds illegal cartels in construction industry

The CMA has provisionally found that 10 construction firms illegally colluded to rig bids for 19 demolition and asbestos removal contracts worth over £150 million. Firms agreed to submit bids that were deliberately priced to lose the tender. This practice, known as ‘cover bidding’, can result in customers paying higher prices or receiving lower quality services. Eight of the firms admit participation, with the Metropolitan Police Training College, Selfridges and Oxford University among those affected.

The CMA’s findings are provisional, and it should not be assumed that any company has broken the law. The final total of any fines will be determined at the end of the investigation. The CMA is raising awareness of the issue of bid-rigging with its Cheating or Competing campaign – which includes a free e-learning module and other guidance for the public sector on how to recognise bid-rigging red flags.

Social Value Portal's annual review of its National Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) framework

Each year Social Value Portal reviews its National Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) framework to make sure that:

  • all data is up-to-date
  • the framework works best for users
  • the themes, outcomes and measures (TOMs) continue to reflect organisations’ needs.

The 2022 updates to the National TOMs focus on simplicity, environment and relevancy.

Mandatory training about learning disability and autism for health and social care provider staff

From today (1 July 2022), the Health and Care Act (paragraph 181) requires health and social care providers registered with Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure that their staff receive training on learning disabilities and autism appropriate to their role. 

The CQC will issue guidance on compliance with this requirement for providers prior to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consulting on and publishing a code of practice for the sector. This will outline the content, delivery, and ongoing monitoring and evaluation, of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism which the Government developed and trialled. The Government anticipates that the publication of a full code of practice may take at least 12 months.

The LGA will work with the government to identify any new financial burdens that may result from the new training requirement. For more information email

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) publishes new article on early market engagement (EME) as part of its 'Procurement Essentials' series

Crown Commercial Service's latest article in its Procurement Essentials series covers How to carry out early market engagement (EME) successfully. Early market engagement, also known as soft market testing, is the process of engaging with potential suppliers before you begin buying goods or services for your organisation. It provides the foundation for successful procurement by helping buyers to make fully informed decisions, and gives suppliers the opportunity to both inform the specification and get ready to meet the demand. Taking the time to carry out EME and gather market intelligence is regarded as ‘best practice’ and recommended as part of the preparation process for any future contract, especially where procurements are complex or of significant value.

With its Procurement Essentials series, CCS aims to help you overcome common procurement hurdles, understand key concepts, and make your life as a buyer of everyday goods and services easier.

Webinars and other events

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Special Summit – What next for public sector contracts? (London)

Tuesday 5 July, 10.00am–3.45pm | RSM Farringdon, 25 Farringdon Street, London EC4A 4AB

Managing commercial arrangements with suppliers is critical to the success of public bodies and is a key driver in creating value for money from the public purse, improving public services and mitigating risk. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy's (CIPFA's) Procurement and Commissioning Network has teamed up to support organisations and practitioners towards achieving the best value from contracts and help drive future efficiency savings. These in-person summits will equip you with commercial and practical skills to reduce costs, improve outcomes and achieve better value for money.

Making construction procurements successful within public sector constraints (CIPFA Zoom webinar)

Tuesday 12 July, 9.30am–3.45pm | Online

  • Are you overwhelmed when procuring construction projects?
  • Would you benefit from better understanding of terminology and procurement methods?
  • Are your contracts suffering from the impact of inflation?

The webinar will support heads of procurement and finance, procurement lawyers, project managers, auditors, and contract managers, who support the procurement, tendering and delivery of construction projects.

Embedding cyber resilience into local government supply chains (LGA webinar)

Monday 18 July, 2.00pm–3.30pm | Online

The LGA is developing a suite of e-learning modules and web-based guidance, based on the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) principles and guidelines to increase awareness and cyber resilience throughout your supply chains.

The LGA will be hosting two webinars – the first will be introducing procurement officers and commercial teams to provide a foundational understanding of what the potential cyber risks in local government supply chains, taking the delegate through the procurement process and into managing the contract to:

  • identify the cyber security risks within your supply chains, and third-party products and services
  • identify what needs to be protected and why
  • embed cyber security within procurement processes and supply chains
  • develop mitigation strategies to protect local government organisations from cyber risks inherent in supply chains, and prepare for cyber attacks when they occur.

Essex County Council’s Social Value Fest 2022

Monday 18–Thursday 21 July | Online

Essex County Council will hold its second social value festival aimed at organisations, of any size, who are wishing to know more about social value. All sessions will be online and free of charge. This year’s event will offer practical advice on how to approach social value and climate matters and provide many examples that you can adopt – or use to inspire your own ideas. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak to experts about social value and climate.

Economic Growth roundtable – How can councils further develop digital skills in their local communities?

Tuesday 19 July, 10.00am–12.00pm | Online

This roundtable has been organised for officers working in economic growth and development – to share insights into how they are adapting their digital skills strategies to create a skills pipeline amongst the local population to meet the increasing demand from employers for more specialised digital skills. To book a place please complete the registration form

Introducing power purchase agreements for sustainable energy

Tuesday 19 July, 2.00pm–3.00pm | Online (Microsoft Teams)

A combination of high energy prices and concerns of where the UK’s energy is sourced from many councils are exploring Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) as a means of buying electricity from renewable generators. This webinar introduces the benefits, risks, and features of power purchase agreements, and takes you through the different types on offer and which is best suited to your council. The event includes a case study from the City of London who have recently has signed a PPA with Voltalia for a 49MW solar farm in Dorset which will allow the authority to benefit from renewable energy from the new-build 95,000 panel solar farm for 15 years.

Introducing and implementing social value – guidance for councillors

Wednesday 20 July, 2.00pm–4.00pm | Online (Microsoft Teams)

The webinar is intended for Councillors and will focus on;

  • What is social value, it’s principles and how these relate to the new regulations as set out in the National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS) and the upcoming changes to public procurement in the Government’s new Bill.
  • What’s important to you locally and how you can achieve the maximum outputs in addition to the core requirements set out in a contract.
  • How you can use the tools to achieve these local, socio-economic and environmental benefits

The session is intended to be a practical session taking you through how your councils would develop and implement Social Value statements and action plans, explain the Social Value Maturity Index and how your council can continue to measure and improve on the outcomes you’re looking to achieve. Please pass this on to your member services teams and councillors in your local authorities.

Embedding cyber resilience into local government supply chains - an introduction for IT and cyber security officers

Thursday 21 July, 2.00pm–3.30pm | Online (Microsoft Teams)

This is the second of the two webinars and is intended for IT and Cyber Security specialists with a broader understanding of cyber security and will include a panel discussion with local government sector colleagues and representatives from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Please pass this on to your IT Teams and cyber specialists in your local authorities.

Procurement to partnership – your questions answered (E3M webinar)

Thursday 28 July, 2.00pm–3.00pm | Online (Zoom)

This webinar hosted by the E3M initiative is for commissioners, social enterprise and charity personnel looking to make a difference in their communities with a purpose-centred, outcomes-focused approach to meeting people’s needs – built on collaboration and partnership. The session will walk you through E3M's new Procurement to Partnership Toolkit for commissioners.


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