Procurement and supply chain: 24 March 2023

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Procurement and supply chain bulletin

24 March 2023

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Welcome to the merged NAG/SOPO newsletter – feel free to circulate to your colleagues and/or suggest they sign up to the bulletin themselves.
This newsletter is now delivered through our corporate service that handles all our various e-bulletins. Manage or create a subscription - previous bulletins can now be found here.

Procurement and supply chain

LGA National Advisory Group for Procurement (NAG) – changing of the guard

The LGA would like to place on record our thanks and gratitude to the departing Chair of the National Advisory Group (NAG) for Procurement, Darren Knowd. Darren took up stewardship a few weeks before the pandemic and, on behalf of the sector, was soon attending Covid response meetings with central government three times a week.

Working at pace and under intense pressure, along with Peter Schofield, who succeeds Darren as the new Chair, they were our eyes and our ears on the ground feeding information both ways, none more so with PPE issues councils were facing and improving the effectiveness of the Local Resilience Forums.

He’s been instrumental in building excellent working relationships with central government, particularly throughout the Transforming Public Procurement consultation process, effectively communicating the sector’s asks and concerns with equal aplomb.

Darren is also leaving his role as Chair (and head cheerleader) of the National Social Value Taskforce which he has also excelled at, last year’s annual conference had over 1500 attendees and this year’s conference promises to be even bigger. A larger-than-life character, his sense of humour in the sometimes procedural world of procurement will be sorely missed.

This Procurement Policy Note 03/23: Standard Selection Questionnaire

This Procurement Policy Note (PPN03/23) updates the Selection Questionnaire (SQ) and accompanying statutory guidance and replaces PPN 08/16 and applies to all contracting authorities in England, and contracting authorities in Wales and Northern Ireland that exercise wholly or mainly reserved functions, in each case when undertaking above threshold procurements within part 2 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015).

The updated standard selection questions are to be in use at the latest by 1st April 2023. This timescale is to allow for time for the revised SQ to be incorporated into procurement processes and to allow for e-procurement tools to be amended.

Please circulate this PPN within your organisation, drawing it to the attention of those with a purchasing role.

Transforming Public Procurement

The Bill has completed its passage through the Committee Stage in the House of Commons and will now progress to Report and Third Reading. Once it receives Royal Assent (expected later this spring) the focus will be on finalising the secondary legislation. This will include a public consultation on the draft regulations. We expect go-live will be spring 2024 at the earliest. You can watch a recent Cabinet Office webinar that has the latest updates.

Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers (NAFP) Briefing/Update

The Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers (NAFP) consults regularly with its IFA members on activity in the foster care sector. This briefing conveys key messages from NAFP members and is aimed primarily at local authority commissioning colleagues and strategic partners. Their latest guidance on
Managing contract notice periods aims is to reduce the need for emergency placements and to promote positive endings, clear planning for children and ensure foster carers feel engaged and supported. NAFP is starting to do some work on managing placement stability and anticipate a briefing on this will be made available in the coming months.

Assessing modern slavery risk: A webinar series for local authorities

Commissioned by the Home Office, the Shiva Foundation recently launched its Self-Assessment Scorecard and Guide – a resource designed for local authorities to easily assess their modern slavery risk across a number of key thematic areas.

To accompany this they will be hosting a series of webinars for local authorities across April and May, where they will be taking a deep dive into each of these thematic areas with a specialist guest speaker:

Modern slavery statements and policies – Tuesday, 1-2pm, 18 April
Training and modern slavery leads – Tuesday, 1-2pm, 20 April
Risk assessments and risk mapping – Tuesday, 1-2pm, 25 April
Procurement protocols, supplier engagement and auditing – Thursday, 1-2pm, 27 April
Reporting and remediation – Tuesday, 1-2pm, 2 May

Local Partnerships - Business Process Mapping for Procurement - roundtable

Local Partnerships have received such a great response to the Business Process Mapping for Procurement toolkit that they’re looking to run a couple of further training sessions. These will include a walk and talk through the digital template for business process mapping, a look at the case study on the original pilots and the opportunity to provide feedback, in two virtual lunchtime roundtable sessions on 30 March and 31 March, to last around 1.5hours. Please fill out the form to book yourself on to one of the sessions.

Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant 

The Government has allocated £1.8 billion to help homes and public buildings in England receive upgrades to improve their energy efficiency. £1.4 billion will be awarded via Wave 2.1 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund  (£778 million) and Phase Two of the Home Upgrade Grant (£630 million), which will go to councils, providers of social housing and charities to upgrade homes and off-grid households with energy efficiency measures such as loft insulation and new windows. A further £409 million has been granted through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to help public sector buildings such as schools and hospitals drive down their carbon emissions.  

UK National GO Awards – local government nominations

The Government Opportunities GO Awards are the UK’s leading public procurement excellence awards, celebrating the very best procurement achievements from across UK’s public, private and third sector organisations.

Be recognised for your contribution across the UK’s public procurement marketplace by entering the UK National Public Procurement Awards 2023.

Local authorities historically do very well at these awards (deservedly so) so we encourage you to put your high performing procurement teams and colleagues forward to receive the recognition they deserve. The closing date for entries is Friday 31 March.

Webinars and events

Win More Bids: Local Government Webinar - Social Value Portal
Thursday 23 March, 14.00 | Online

Local Government Procurement Expo (LGPE) 2023 Conference
27 April 2023, Hammersmith, London | In person conference

CIPFA - Unleash the Power of Procurement to Deliver Better Public Services Conference
16 May 2023, ICAEW (auditorium), London | In person

Supplier Development Programme (SDP) Meet the Buyer Conference
17 May 2023, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) | In person

Towards a Social Value Economy - The Social Value Conference 2023
13 - 14 June 2023, Westminster, London | In person conference


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

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