The Procurement Bill about contracts and contract management is currently passing through parliament. The proposed Procurement Bill in the UK sets out a new legal framework for public procurement, introducing a single set of rules for all public bodies regardless of size, sector or complexity. The Bill is still in progress but is expected to become law by 2024.
The Bill’s scope: the lifecycle of the contract from initiation through to contract award and monitoring contract performance through to a contracts completion.
Contract management has been a major issue for some time now, with over £300 billion of public expenditure from public procurements, it’s a huge sum of public money.(1) This means that there are many thousands of contracts in place across the country, with new ones being added every day. It can be difficult to keep track of these contracts, particularly when they relate to different departments or locations, but with the new Procurement Bill coming into force this year it will become even more important than ever before.
Its purpose is to ensure that all public bodies use fair, open and transparent procurement processes when buying goods, services or works from private sector companies or individuals. Maximising social value is a key focus. It also puts clear obligations on public bodies to ensure they are getting value for money, with penalties for those who do not comply with its rules. While opening up the opportunities for SMEs, charities and social enterprises to participate is a key cornerstone. (2)
To facilitate this move to make working with the public sector more accessible, the Bill requires that contracting authorities give notice of their intention to procure before the procurement process starts so that interested suppliers can respond appropriately if they wish to bid for work on the contract under consideration by their own resources rather than via an intermediary such as an agent or consultant.(3) It asks that the contracting authority considers appropriate lead times/submission deadlines to account for smaller bidders who may not have dedicated resource and bidding teams. (3)
As such, large contracting authorities will be asked to provide an 18-month pipeline of anticipated procurements valued over £2 million. (3) With many authorities using outdated or unreliable systems for recording and capturing their contracts, a contract management system which enables you to capture and report on this is essential. The ability to export this data for sharing will also likely be essential, as the bill intends for this data to be published to a central platform where a supplier could query and view planned procurements.
Accord can help you not only gain complete visibility over your contracts but to respond to the anticipated procurement reporting requirement with Forward-Look reporting. Adapted in collaboration with public sector clients to meet this need, Accord can help deliver reporting on Anticipated Procurements by Number, Actual Procurements by Number, Total annual value of contracts expiring and Total number of contracts expiring. You can filter by value and spend category in an answer to the new legislative requirement. Find out more about how Accord can help by getting in touch today.
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