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Support for Suppliers

From 28 October 2024 significant new regulations will come into effect that will transform public procurement - the Procurement Act 2023. This important piece of legislation will change the way the public sector buys goods and services, helping make better use of public resources to deliver better public services and grow the economy.

Suppliers need to know about these changes and NEPO’s plans to prepare for go-live. 

The existing rules will continue to apply for contracts that are already in place, and for procurements started under the current regime, however for all new procurements post-October 2024, it is important that suppliers understand the change. During the next few months of preparation NEPO will provide updates and let suppliers know nearer the go-live date when action may be required.

A key objective for the Procurement Act 2023 is to make it easier for suppliers to do business with the public sector. As such there are some core benefits for suppliers once the new regime goes live, including:

  • A central place to register and to store your core business details so that they can be used for multiple bids.
  • Improved transparency and access to information, with all public procurement opportunities in one place, making it easier to search for and set up alerts for procurements of interest to you.
  • Better visibility of procurement plans, engagement events and tender opportunities - including those below threshold - increasing the number of opportunities available to bid on.
  • Greater visibility about who is bidding for, and winning, larger public sector contracts above £5million, and the details of those public contracts.
  • Simplified bidding processes to make it easier to bid, negotiate and work in partnership with the public sector, including a new ‘competitive flexible’ procedure.
  • Frameworks will be more flexible, so prospective suppliers are not shut out for long periods of time.
  • A new duty on contracting authorities to have regard to the particular barriers facing SMEs and VCSEs, and to consider what can be done to overcome them throughout the procurement lifecycle, helping level the playing field for smaller businesses so they can compete for more contracts.
  • Strengthened provisions for prompt payment throughout the supply chain, enabling SMEs to benefit from 30 day payment terms on a broader range of public sector contracts.
  • A stronger exclusions framework will take tougher action on underperforming suppliers.

This is a long-term change, so although these benefits may not be visible on day one NEPO are confident that the new regime will help break down barriers to entry into procurement.

The Cabinet Office, who are leading the Transforming Public Procurement programme, provide regular updates on their website and via a regular newsletter. If you haven't already, we recommend you subscribe to their mailing list to ensure you're kept up to date on the latest news and information. There are also plenty of conferences and events where the team are explaining how things will be different under the new regime.

Here at NEPO our procurement team is working through the necessary training and guidance materials so they are ready to operate under the new Act and Regulations and realise the benefits of the new regime when it goes live this October.

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