By
8th Jul 2021

The new National Procurement Policy Statement has been published in PPN 05/21 which requires contracting authorities (including schools, academies and colleges) to have regard to national strategic priorities for public procurement. The PPN details the reasons for the new statement and its impact on public sector procurement activity. Whilst some of the requirements are clearly aimed at large contracting authorities not typically found in the education sector, it is recommended reading for all. 

Summarising some of the key points, the PPN advises that contracting authorities should:

  • Consider the following national priority outcomes alongside any additional local priorities in their procurement activities (where it is relevant to the subject matter of the contract and it is proportionate to do so):
  • creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills;
  • tackling climate change and reducing waste and
  • improving supplier diversity, innovation and resilience.                                                                                      
  • Consider whether they have the right policies and processes in place to manage the key stages of commercial delivery identified in the statement where they are relevant to their procurement portfolio.              
  • Consider whether they have the right organisational capability and capacity with regard to the procurement skills and resources required to deliver value for money.

What does this mean in practice?

  1. Nothing in the Statement should conflict with requirements under existing public procurement regulations, nor with your obligations to procure goods, works and services in an open, fair and transparent way whilst guarding against fraud and corruption.                                                                                                                    
  2. Start to look at how you can incorporate social value into your procurement activities, particularly in relation to larger value contracts. Check out our blog post for top tips and refer to the Cabinet Office Guide to the Social Value Model for some practical model social value evaluation criteria. Many CPC frameworks come with social value award criteria that can be tailored to meet your priorities.                                                 
  3. Evaluate whether you are confident that your institution can manage the size and complexity of your procurement activities. Are you confident you have sufficient capacity and capability to ensure taxpayers’ money is spent effectively and efficiently? Where you identify gaps in capability, plan now how to fill these. This could be through developing your own team’s capacity and capability, through collaboration with other education institutions or through making use of professional buying organisations.

 

Tenet Education Services (part of CPL Group) can run tenders on your behalf or provide flexible procurement outsourcing from half a day through to five days a week.

 Should you have any queries about the procurement regulations or would like to find out more about Tenet Education Services, please do not hesitate to contact your CPC Regional Procurement Advisor.