How CCS will support the UK's procurement transition

By Helen Adams
Following Brexit, the UK government laid out plans for the future of public procurement, covering capabilities, taxpayer money and social value

The UK government is enforcing a new procurement plan to save taxpayers money and to advance social, environmental and economic benefits.

However, a recent report titled Transforming Public Procurement, received a wave of responses from suppliers, industry bodies and stakeholders, who called for the new plan to include:

  • Transparency 
  • Capability 
  • Social value 
  • Exclusions

 

After reviewing the feedback, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has said it will help to deliver the government’s goals in a number of ways:

 

Transparency is vital

In the government’s response to the green paper, it wants the new procurement plan to be:

  • A simple system
  • A system which safeguards the public and their taxes
  • Improving performance and national security as well as the rights of employees
  • Most importantly, a transparent system 

It is hoped that this will enable customers to reward good performance, increase competition, and maximise the benefits of this era in public procurement. 

The CCS will support the Cabinet Office as it develops the digital tools needed for this transparency agenda.

 

Capability and capacity

The whole of the public sector must prepare itself for the coming changes. Programmes which support partners in local government include the Skills Academy and the health and social care sector. Together, these develop commercial capability and capacity.

 

Communication is key

The CCS will be available to support customers with guidance and support. For example, where the proposed legislation asks buyers and suppliers to:

  • Publish new notices
  • Sign up for a new digital platform
  • Use new procedures

 

Social value

The responses to the report show the importance of considering local priorities alongside the strategic priorities set by the government. 

The new plan must make sure that suppliers understand how to deliver community benefits through things such as infrastructure investment.

 

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