New plans set out to transform procurement

The Cabinet Office has launched new plans to overhaul procurement rules, cutting red tape and making it easier for smaller businesses to win government contracts.

Every year, the government buys some £292 billion of services from the private sector. The latest measures will transform the current procurement regime to put value for money at the heart of the new approach, by allowing more flexibility for buyers, enabling government to be more strategic and save the taxpayer money. This will also drive increased competition through much simpler procurement procedures.

The government says that the changes will make UK procurement rules more modern, flexible, innovative and diverse, by allowing government to consider wider social value when picking suppliers, in turn ensuring that taxpayers money goes further and has more of a wider benefit for society.

The government will also allow the public sector to buy British for contracts not subject to international trade rules, by allowing competitions for government contracts under £4.7 million for public works and £122,000 for goods and services to be limited to small businesses, voluntary, community and social enterprises, or to a certain geographical area. These new rules will support SMEs by opening up new opportunities to them and making it easier for them to win contracts, in turn helping to drive local growth, promote innovation, support local recruitment and level up communities across the UK.

Cabinet Office Minister Lord Agnew said: “The measures outlined today will transform the current outdated system with new rules, providing flexibility to the public sector and less burden on business. These long standing plans have been developed with international procurement specialists and will help unleash innovation across the country and provide a fairer system for small businesses.”

Event Diary

The Security Event is set to be the first major exhibition to take place in the sector when it opens its doors on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham and for the first time it will also encompass the National Cyber Security Show.

digitech21 will seek to demystify the increasingly complex technology landscape and will showcase a host of public sector best practice case studies and the very best solution providers, each of whom are helping organisations to transform and improve the way in which the public sector delivers services to the citizen.

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