Monday 30th October, 2023
In one of the largest shake ups to procurement legislation in UK history, new procurement rules have now become law, following the Royal Assent of the Public Sector Procurement Act.
The aim of the Act is to provide simpler procurement processes to support small businesses and innovation, and protect against national security risks in public contracts. The new regime is expected to come into force October 2024.
The Act establishes a new public procurement regime following the UK’s exit from the EU, and helps deliver the Prime Minister’s promise to grow the economy by creating a simpler and more transparent system that delivers better value for money, reducing costs for business and the public sector.
The new regime will deliver simpler, more effective public sector procurement, and help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) secure a greater share of approximately £300bn of expenditure per year.
Significant new powers will enable high-risk suppliers to be put on a public debarment list and be prevented from bidding for some categories of goods or services, such as areas related to defence and national security, while allowing them to continue to bid for contracts in non-sensitive areas.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Jeremy Quin said:
"We have taken the long-term decisions that will increase our powers to protect our security in our supply chains and procurement.
This has included radical steps such as creating a National Security Unit for Procurement and giving Ministers the power to prevent suppliers from bidding for certain products where there is a risk to national security it will deliver lasting change which protects the UK for generations to come."
The Act places a requirement on contracting authorities to assess the particular barriers facing SMEs throughout the entire procurement lifecycle, and to consider what can be done to overcome them.