A new Procurement Bill is to be introduced in the next session of the UK Parliament.
The Queen, in her speech outlining the government’s legislative agenda, said the law would simplify procurement in the public sector.
A consultation on the green paper on procurement reform closed in March and the government is still analysing responses, but the bill is expected to be introduced “from September 2021”.
“Laws will simplify procurement in the public sector,” said the Queen.
The green paper included proposals to streamline and simplify procurement regulations, which currently mirror EU rules. This would involve replacing the four different regulations covering public contracts, utilities, defence, and concessions with a “single, uniform framework”.
There are also plans to replace the seven current different procurement procedures with three:
1) the “competitive flexible” procedure;
2) the open procedure; and
3) the negotiated procedure, renaming it the limited tendering procedure.
The government also aims to improve transparency and promote social value in contracts.
A new unit in the Cabinet Office to review and possibly intervene to improve the commercial capability of contracting authorities is among the proposals.
A House of Commons briefing paper on the Queen’s Speech said: “Minister of state Lord Agnew has said that the government will quickly analyse the consultation responses and he is hoping to bring a bill forward from September 2021, depending on when parliamentary time allows.”
☛ Want to stay up to date with the news? Sign up to our daily bulletin.