The Government has this week launched new plans for procurement, cutting red tape and making it easier for smaller businesses to win government contracts.

  • Green paper will set out long-planned changes to UK’s procurement rules, putting value for money and transparency at the heart of the new approach
  • Plans will cut red tape, reduce bureaucracy and help unleash wider social benefits from public money spent on procurement
  • New rules for lower value contracts will allow more UK based SMEs to win government business

In another new move, also published this week, the government will allow the public sector to buy British for contracts not subject to international trade rules, by allowing competitions for government contracts under £4.7million for public works and £122k 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.

Specific changes to the rules proposed today include:

  • Removing over 300 complex regulations, to create a single uniform rulebook
  • Overhauling inflexible and complex procedures, replacing them with three simple modern procedures. This will allow more freedom for suppliers and the public sector to work together and innovate
  • Allowing buyers to include wider social benefits of the supplier, such as economic, social and environmental factors, when assessing who to award a contract to, while also still considering value for money
  • Giving buyers the power to properly take account of a bidder’s past performance, allowing them to exclude suppliers who have failed to deliver in the past
  • A new unit to oversee public procurement with powers to improve commercial skills of public sector contractors
  • A single digital platform for registering contracts, improving transparency and making life significantly simpler for business

You can read the Government’s press statement here (from which much of this article has been copied) and the Green Paper here.