Procurement and supply chain bulletin: 6 January 2023

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Procurement and supply chain bulletin

6 January 2023

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Procurement and supply chain

The Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2022 – change in procurement thresholds

The procurement thresholds were amended on 21 December 2022 and will impact on those councils who have their public thresholds set at £25,000. The change is offered to help contracting authorities include the VAT element which (should be) added to the lower thresholds.

The relevant legislative information can be found in the Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2022 which creates obligations in respect of contracts of contracting authorities (councils) due to their value, would not be otherwise regulated. These Regulations increase the value of a contract which triggers these obligations. This increase takes account of amendments made by the Public Procurement (Agreement on Government Procurement) (Thresholds) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, which provided that the threshold amounts were inclusive of VAT. This effectively lowered the threshold values and resulted in an increased burden for in-scope contracting authorities. The substituted amounts effectively reinstate the previous thresholds.

Contracts which fall within the scope of Chapter 8 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 must be published on Contracts Finder. Contracting authorities must not include a pre-qualification stage in relation to these contracts.

Government Commercial College procurement fraud course and videos

Procurement fraud is a serious issue that can have significant negative impacts on local governments. By being aware of the risks and taking steps to prevent and detect fraud, local authorities can protect their financial resources, reputation, and public trust. Procurement fraud can occur through various means such as bid rigging, conflict of interest, and false invoicing. By learning about procurement fraud, local government officials can protect their organisation from financial losses and maintain trust with their constituents.

In Government Commercial College's procurement fraud course and videos, you’ll learn how to detect it, report it and minimise (or even stop) it happening in your local authority.

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has developed this course using cutting-edge insights from educational neuroscience – so expect interactive questions, mnemonic devices, animation, impassioned storytelling and a whole lot more. Feel free to watch the videos on your own or with your team – the entire video series takes about an hour.

Competition and Markets Authority – Subsidy Advice Unit

Created by the Subsidy Control Act 2022, the Subsidy Advice Unit (SAU) is now open for business – it forms part of the new regime for governing the provision of subsidies within the UK following its exit from the EU.

The SAU will:

  • evaluate authorities’ assessments of the highest-value subsidies and subsidy schemes put forward for review by public authorities in national, devolved and local government.  These are generally over £5m in value, or schemes that allow subsidies of this value to be awarded. The SAU will then provide independent and non-binding advice regarding such assessments
  • monitor and review the operation of the UK subsidy control regime.

The SAU will not:

  • carry out subsidy reviews on its own initiative – assessments must first be put forward by the public authority awarding the subsidy or creating the scheme
  • decide whether subsidies should be awarded – this is a matter for public authorities.

In November, the CMA published guidance setting out the role of the SAU which explains the SAU’s proposed approach to matters including the referral process, transparency, confidentiality, reporting and monitoring. It also provides information about the SAU’s online Public Authority Portal, which public authorities should use to submit referrals to the SAU once the new regime comes into effect.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) has published more information on the SAU’s functions and further information about the overall subsidy control regime.

Heat Network Efficiency Scheme

The Government has announced the imminent launch of the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme. This is designed to support performance improvements to existing district heating or communal heating projects. The £32 million grant support programme spanning 2023/24 and 2024/25 opens to applicants in February 2023. 

Business rates information letters update

On 21 December, DLUHC wrote to councils to provide information on business rates in England.

The letters cover:

  • 2023/24 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) Rate Relief Scheme guidance
  • 2023 Supporting Small Business (SSB) Relief Scheme guidance
  • publication of data on the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund and the 2022/23 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) Rate Relief Scheme
  • 2023 transitional relief regulations
  • new burdens.

LGA Annual Conference – apply now to be part of our Innovation Zone

We are delighted to confirm that applications are open for the 2023 Innovation Zone, part of the LGA Annual Conference set to take place from Tuesday 4–Thursday 6 July 2023 in Bournemouth.

The theme for the 2023 Innovation Zone is Challenge and change – with this we are aiming to share excellent practice that all delegates can learn from and use to create tangible, positive impacts in their own councils and communities.

If you have delivered interesting, impactful projects and are interested in getting involved please take a look at the application form, or if you have any questions or wish to speak to us about whether a session is right for the Innovation Zone please email

Webinars and events

Sales, marketing and procurement route review – procurement pathway webinar (engage with the future of the procurement technical education landscape)
Thursday 12 January, 10.30am–12.00pm | Online

Cabinet Office 'Transforming Public Procurement' update
Friday 13 January, 10.30am–11:30am | Online

Greenhouse gas accounting – including a focus on waste (LGA webinar)
Tuesday 17 January, 10.00am–11.30am | Zoom

Cabinet Office 'Transforming Public Procurement' update
Wednesday 18 January, 2.00pm–3.00pm | Online

Cabinet Office 'Transforming Public Procurement' update
Monday 23 January, 2.30pm–3.30pm | Online

Decarbonising transport (LGA webinar)
Tuesday 24 January, 10.00am–11.30am | Zoom

LGA National Construction Conference (London)
Thursday 2 February, 9.15am–3.30pm | 18 Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ

LGA National Construction Conference (Leeds)
Tuesday 7 March, 9.15am–3.30pm | Horizon Leeds, 2 Brewery Wharf, Kendall Street, Leeds LS10 1JR

Procurement Reform Conference (London)
Wednesday 1 March, 8.30am–4.00pm | Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE

Procurement Reform Conference (Manchester)
Tuesday 14 March, 8.30am–4.00pm | Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel, Portland Street, Manchester M1 4PH


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