National Procurement Policy Statement and the Procurement Act

One month on from our Procurement Seminar in April, director Lorraine Gregory reflects on The National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS) and what this means for CECA Midlands members.

The National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS) sets out the strategic priorities for public procurement and how contracting authorities can support their delivery. It was released mid-May and is set to come into effect alongside the new regulations of the Procurement Act on 28 October 2024.

Contracting authorities should make sure their procurement and commercial teams understand the NPPS and have adequate resources in place to deliver the set priorities, which are:

  • value for money
  • social value
  • small and medium-sized enterprises
  • commercial and procurement delivery
  • skills and capability for procurement.

This is a considerable undertaking with public procurement of £300 billion affected by this legislation.  As I write this, I am reflecting on our procurement seminar in April and what it all means for our members. Is this the change we were expecting? Is it what we need?

Overall, I think it is a step in the right direction. There are wider commitments on prompt payment, maximising public benefit in contracts through value for money, and the annual pipeline publication of public bodies that over £100 million to spend will go some way in creating the transparency needed.

Speaking to many partners, I know they are gearing up to implement this and are carefully considering what this means for their business.  Local authorities and public bodies have a huge responsibility, and I don’t underestimate this task.

As part of the changes, one of the things members need to be aware of is the free central digital platform. This is something I will be having a watching brief on, and I do hope it is user friendly and gives clear information.

Procurement is a valid process, but will never replace communication, collaboration, and engagement.  For CECA Midlands we will continue in this vein, understanding the market, opportunities and challenges for clients and members. This is where we can really implement effective change.