Insight Paper – The Procurement Act

What is the Procurement Act?

The Procurement Act, which attained Royal Assent in October 2023 is set to come into force in October 2024, and looks to transform public procurement by reducing complexity, increasing flexibility and promoting transparency over public spending. In this insight paper, we delve into the key changes which will be bought about by this Act, highlighting how they will affect you as a Contracts Advance customer when bidding for public sector contracts.


What are the Key Changes of the 2024 Procurement Act?


Increasing the number of published notices

Starting with promoting transparency, the Act states that Contracting Authorities will have to increase the number of notices that they publish from 5 to 13. This includes all the stages through the procurement lifecycle from the planning to the expiration of a contract. 

The notices that a Contracting Authority will be expected to publish include Pipeline Notices (for contracts greater than £2M) through to Transparency Notices and Modification Notices.  This will be of benefit as there will be greater visibility and transparency through the procurement life cycle.

Publishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

In addition, there will be a new requirement for KPIs to be published (where there are at least 3) every 12 months. There will be some exceptions to this rule, for example, framework owners do not need to publish them, and for contracts whereby it is not possible to assess a supplier’s performance by KPIs, but this is an interesting aspect of the Act as it will provide useful information on supplier performance and insight into the contract itself.

In this more transparent world, you can rest assured that the Contracts Advance software will continue to provide everything you need to evaluate and prepare successful bids.  It will capture all published notices and KPIs to ensure one up-to-date source of information.  With publishing pipeline notices emphasising the importance of pipeline building and pre-bid engagement, the Active Contracts feature will become even more valuable, providing comprehensive visibility of what is coming in the future.  In addition, access to key contract information will continue to enable planning and preparation before bids come out, in particular to ensure KPIs can be met.



‘Most Advantageous Tender’ replacing ‘Most Economically Advantageous Tender’ (MAT vs MEAT)

Currently Contracting Authorities use the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) approach, normally a combination of price and quality, when assessing and deciding who to award work to.  In the new Act, to increase flexibility, the Contracting Authority may award on the basis of most ‘advantageous tender’.  This suggests they can select the most appropriate criteria for their tender, which may mean that pricing has a lower weighting and allows for broader criteria to be tested including social and environmental which can only be of benefit. 

‘Dynamic Market’ replacing Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) and Frameworks changes.

Under the new Act ‘Dynamic Market’ will replace the current DPS which only allows for the purchasing of common goods and services.  This will give greater flexibility to Contracting Authorities as a Dynamic Market will be able to procure any good or service. This will for sure open up more opportunities for businesses of all sizes.  Another change to note here is that Contracting Authorities will be able to charge fees to suppliers when they are awarded a contract (typically a fee based on the contract value) – this must be set out at the outset of the Dynamic Market tender documentation.  

With greater flexibility comes greater opportunities and being prepared is key.  The Contracts Advance software can ensure new and Dynamic opportunities are maximised.  The Market analysis feature provides powerful insight and analysis including key competitor insight, making it easy to evaluate opportunities based on comparative strengths.  Along with broader criteria being considered, this insight can empower greater pre-bid discussions as strengths in broader areas can be clearly highlighted. 



Simplified bidding process and single sign-on

The number of procedures or processes that a Contracting Authority can use when going to market for a supplier will reduce from 6 to 3, making it easier for both buyers and bidders when developing and responding to tenders. 

Another highlighted benefit of the Act is the intention to have a single digital platform. This will not be a completely new portal but an evolution of the current FTS portal.  It will bring together the key notices, pipelines and reporting that the public sector has to do in one place, making it easier to store and access key information for initial tender screening. More detail is expected to come on this as part of the secondary legislation due to be in Parliament in early 2024. It’s worth noting this platform won’t replace all ‘other’ portals – it will only make it simpler to engage in the procurement process, therefore advantageous as reducing complexity.    

To conclude, the Procurement Act will no doubt improve transparency, flexibility and complexity, making it easier for all businesses to participate in public procurement.  With these changes, the Contracts Advance software becomes an even greater asset – providing all the information you need including unrivalled insight and analysis to enable you to stay one step ahead of the competition and take full advantage of new opportunities. 

For more support on your procurement journey, take a look at our bid training and bid management services, and get in touch today.

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