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On 11 May the government published the Procurement Bill. The bill aims to improve regulation of public procurement – the process central and local government go through to source and purchase goods, works or services.
Procurement is one part of a wider commissioning process that many charities engage with to deliver support to people across a range of areas from criminal justice to social care. In 2018/19, charities delivered £15.8 billion worth of public services on behalf of the government – a full quarter of the voluntary sector’s income.
The bill could have tangible implications for charities that currently deliver public services, as well as those that may wish to in the future.
Last year we worked with members of the Civil Society Group and our members to influence the procurement green paper. Using this valuable insight, we submitted a response including the following.
The bill doesn’t make drastic changes to procurement rules. But there are aspects to welcome as well as areas to improve. Some of these changes might need to be facilitated in guidance.
We particularly welcome:
Our influencing of the bill will focus on six key areas.
It’s worth noting that an alternative provider selection regime has been proposed for health services.
We’re now working with Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales and NAVCA to influence the bill as it moves through parliament. This will involve proposing amendments to both influence the bill and prompt discussion.
Right now we’re planning the best way to engage with members to share information and influence the bill over the coming months. This could involve influencing your MP in the autumn.
We’re always interested in the views and experiences of members. How do you think legislation or guidance could more effectively support culture change amongst procurement and commissioning professionals? Email us at email@example.com with your thoughts or if you’re interested in hearing more about our work on procurement.