Green Paper: Transforming public procurement

Why has the Green Paper been produced?

The Green Paper is an ambitious drive from Government to achieve reform across Public Sector Procurement in the UK. Post the transition period of Brexit it is seen as an opportunity to overhaul the current procurement regime and provide a system more streamlined in approach that supports rather than hinders suppliers offering innovative solutions to improve public services.

With £290bn spent on public procurement last year; the transition of Brexit and now with the Government needing to play its part in the UK’s economy recovery, the Green Paper comes at an opportune time for Government to forge ahead and make good on its promise of supporting SME’s and make public sector contracts easier to access.

When was the Green Paper opened for Consultation and when will it close?

Formal consultation commenced in December 2020 and is due to close at 11.45am on 10th March 2021.

What is the aim of the Green Paper?

To consolidate the following:

  • The Public Contract Regulations 2015.
  • Utilities Contract Regulations 2016 and.
  • The Concession Contract Regulations. 2016.

To give greater flexibility for Contracting Authorities to:

  • Re: scoping of underlying principles (see below)
  • Streamlining of recognised procurement procedures
  • Focus on transparent and open contracting
  • Creation of new oversight body
  • Controversial proposals in relation to remedies

To uphold the Public Procurement Principles of:

  • Public Good
  • Value for money
  • Transparency
  • Integrity
  • Fair treatment of suppliers
  • Non-Discrimination

The Green Paper was the topic of a recent webinar we ran, hosted by Craig Millhouse (Managing Director at CA), Lee Hasell (Managing Partner at CA), Matt Mitchell (Lead Senior Consultant), and Louise Bennett (Senior Associate at Browne Jacobson). If you’d like to know more, you can watch the webinar above and download the slides below.

Slides from the webinar

So what are key pillars making up the Green Paper?

There are many elements to the proposed reforms, and we see these are being two-fold:

1. To streamline the current procurement procedures down from 7 to 3 elements – these being:

  • Open procedure for simple more straight forward procedures
  • New competitive flexible procedure giving contracting authorities the freedom to negotiate and innovate to get the best results
  • The limited tendering procedure – the new name for negotiated procedure without prior publication (Direct Awards)

2. To introduce transparency to public sector data by:

  • It is the Government’s intention that contracting authorities will be required to publish all data in a format which is compliant with the Open Contracting Data Standard – making sure it is held and available in OCDS-compatible, open non-proprietary reusable formats.
  • Introducing a central platform to hold all data around procurement such as PINs; AINs, Tenders, Legal Challenge and complaints

If you’d like to read more on the Green Paper, our public sector legal partners Browne Jacobson who are specialist in public sector law have further elaborated around these core elements of the 78-page Green paper document

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