A more flexible and simple New Procurement Bill is to replace 350 of the EU’s laws to drive economic growth and open business for SMEs
The New Procurement Bill, expected to become law in the UK next year, aims to simplify bureaucratic EU laws and transform them into flexible UK rules to secure public sector contracts and business.
As of 2022, public sector spending with small businesses rose to a record £19.3 billion, so these reforms will now cut costs and make it easier for businesses bidding for contracts, particularly smaller companies with less experience in procurement processes.
The government hope that this will result in more SMEs benefiting from contracts for everything – varying from catering for public buildings to digital services and infrastructure projects.
Record levels of government spending with small businesses
Informed Solutions, which is a process in developing new ideas and systems, will additionally benefit from more flexibility in procurement, with the Bill enabling public sector buyers to test innovative products and prototypes before making a contract decision.
Also, the new digital infrastructure will reduce the costs for any size organisation to bid for public contracts, with a single digital platform that will hold all of a supplier’s credentials.
This will allow small companies to make more competitive bids, including forming consortia, while a commitment to prompt payments for a wider range of contracts will level the playing field for SMEs and help reduce the reliance on the same group of large companies.
Spending through SMEs grew by £3.7 billion in the previous year, with £10.2 billion of the total spent with SMEs directly and a further £9.1 billion through supply chains.
Replacing current bureaucratic EU regimes for public procurement by:
- Creating a simpler and more flexible, commercial system that better meets our country’s needs while remaining compliant with our international obligations.
- Opening up public procurement to new entrants such as small businesses and social enterprises so that they can compete for and win more public contracts.
- Embedding transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle so that the spending of taxpayers’ money can be properly scrutinised.
Transformational procurement reforms
Liz Crowhurst, CBI Deputy Director for Policy, said: “Businesses are excited to seize the opportunities presented by this once-in-a-generation Procurement Bill.
“From the streamlining of complex procurement processes, to the new digital supplier registration system that will slash the administrative burden facing suppliers, the Bill sets out proposals to cut red-tape, promote transparency, and encourage great public-private collaborations.
“The new regulations will make working with government easier and more attractive to businesses of all sizes, and industry stands ready to help translate the benefits from paper into practice.”
Elizabeth Vega, Group CEO of Informed Solutions said: “Transformational procurement reforms such as these haven’t been enacted in the UK in more than 50 years.
“As a scaling business, we are excited and optimistic about how these changes will support the development and growth of our business.
“They will make it easier to commercialise our innovative solutions and services, offer greater access and fewer barriers to public sector contracts, and facilitate our international ambitions because we can evidence the benefits, value, and success of our innovation.”
The main benefits of the Bill include:
- Taking back control of public money
- Slashing red tape and driving innovation
- Making it easier to do business with the public sector
- Levelling up the UK
- Taking tougher action on underperforming suppliers
- Creating an open and transparent system
- Effective crisis procurement
- Delivering better value for money
- Protecting national security
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