Support during COVID-19

This webpage has been developed to explain NEPO's approach during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have also listed some resources offering guidance and support to both procurement professionals and public sector suppliers.

The NEPO team is working remotely and continues to deliver its programme of collaborative procurement and associated activity.
  • We recognise that many businesses are currently unable to participate in competitive tendering therefore have postponed a number of NEPO-led regional procurements, opting to extend existing contractual arrangements where possible and focus primarily on contract management requirements during this period. The NEPO Portal continues to be updated with opportunities across North East local authorities and wider public sector.  
  •  We are working closely with the twelve North East local authorities to ensure that regional procurement activity adds value to the local government response in these unprecedented times. NEPO is also working with the Local Government Association and with other Public Buying Organisations to ensure a collaborative nationwide approach.  
  • In addition, NEPO and the North East local authorities are working with relevant stakeholder bodies and contracted suppliers to ensure the public sector supply chain has access to appropriate support and information.  

Procurement Policy Notes (PPN) are issued by central government to help public sector organisations (referred to as contracting authorities) deliver best practice in procurement. The following PPN have been released in relation to COVID-19:

PPN 01/20

Responding to COVID-19 - This PPN recognises that public sector organisations may need to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency. A range of options is listed including direct awards and extending or modifying contracts.

PPN 02/20

Supplier relief due to COVID-19 - This PPN sets out guidance for public bodies on payment of suppliers to ensure service continuity. It states that authorities must act quickly to ensure suppliers at risk can resume normal contract delivery once the outbreak is over.

PPN 03/20

This PPN provides guidance on the use of procurement cards as a means of accelerating payments to suppliers to support and improve cashflow.

PPN 04/20

PPN 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19 sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during the current coronavirus outbreak. It updates and builds on the provisions contained in PPN 02/20.

Local authorities’ support for businesses North East local authorities have published information for businesses, many of these webpages include information on arrangements for supplier relief.

You can find additional support and information from Local Enterprise Partnerships and central government.

North East LEP

The North East Growth Hub Coronavirus Toolkit provides businesses with the latest advice, guidance and support available from government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tees Valley

View dedicated business support from the Tees Valley Combined Authority. You can also call the Business Support Helpline on 01642 662 777.


For a broad range of information and advice, including business support, visit central government's dedicated webpage.

Can you help? Are you a supplier able to provide NEPO Member Authorities with key products, services or innovative approaches related to the COVID-19 response? We would love to hear from you. Please use this form to get in touch.

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Latest News

A summary of NEPO's latest news articles relating to COVID-19

Events Calendar

We’ve helped hundreds of suppliers improve their public sector tendering skills through the NEPO Business Club programme of free events. Visit the events calendar to find out about upcoming events.

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