Head of Procurement
The changes are indeed on the way, but one must try not to get too lost in the detail.
Instead, ask the questions:
What do the changes really mean for my organisation?
How do I set a clear vision?
How do I make sure I am in the correct place for October 2024?
There is certainly an overflow of talk around the Procurement Act, but if you sit outside the theoretical chat and social media discussions and are busy running a procurement function, what do you really need to be aware of when the new regime goes live?
The good news is that there will be many providers bringing together training offerings, but if you prefer knowledge ‘direct from the horse’s mouth’, then the Government Commercial College is a great place to link in.
They have begun with short-form knowledge drops already available on YouTube and the forthcoming e-learning packages, followed by Deep Dives and Communities of Practice, which means, in essence, that everything you need to know can be found in this one location.
Each step is geared towards a different level of seniority and responsibility, and of course, this has also been put together by the very body that drafted the original act. It targets the key areas in a very learning-based methodology. Norse Group Procurement is currently utilising this platform, and we can help steer you and your teams towards it if required.
OK, what next?
A key area of focus is transparency, and the act looks to continue to address fairness and openness towards all bidders. There are changes being made to evaluation transparency, so review your evaluation techniques, remembering that an assessment summary must be returned to each supplier that submitted an ‘assessed tender’. When reviewing this process, ask yourself whether your notes and scoring for your evaluations give you enough information to be able to publish to bidders.
Can you easily transpose moderation notes into facts? Maybe go back and review past moderation reports.
Could you realistically share these?
Do you need to upskill your team?
When you are finished, you must make sure that you provide your summaries to all bidders at the same time. Remember that suppliers may be diligently looking at these on the basis that the timescales to start a claim have shifted from the time up to contract signature to having to be within the new 8-day standstill period. So gear yourself up for publication of evaluations and scoring in one big push to all bidders at the same time. Most tender portals will, of course, be able to manage this on your behalf.
Use the new act to get your house in order (tender pipelines, extensions and modifications)
Think about how you have addressed contract extensions and/or modifications in the past. Some new rules around this can mean incidents of extensions done as pure convenience through a lack of time to procure replacements could now be questioned.
If you have a tender pipeline of £100 million+, you are now required to actually publish a Pipeline Notice, and if you have undertaken any Preliminary Market Engagement, you are required to publish a notice advising this ahead of publishing the Tender Notice. Whether you have to publish your pipeline or not, contracting authorities may well choose to use this process to encourage best practice.
Reap the benefits!
As per my last article, the new process named Competitive Flexible Procedure really is an opportunity to grasp. Make sure you understand its parameters, the reasons behind it and how it can assist you with your strategic procurement goals. Remember to switch to Most Advantageous Tender (from MEAT to MAT) so that you can focus on what means most to your organisation.
Contact your portal provider, make sure they are aware of the changes and will be presenting the new Competitive Flexible Procedure as a publication offer.