What is The Landmark Procurement Bill and How Could it Help Your Business?

Please note that this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be deemed to be or used as legal, employment, or health & safety advice. For guidance or advice specific to your business, consult with a qualified professional.

What is The Landmark Procurement Bill and How Could it Help Your Business?

A new landmark procurement bill has now been passed that is set to transform the procurement process in the UK. The bill was granted Royal Assent in October 2023 and has now become an Act of Parliament, which be referred to as the Procurement Act 2023. Designed to help simplify the procurement process, protect national security, and support SME innovation, the new rules proposed in the bill represent the biggest innovation in procurement law in national history.

Here, we look at the new rules stipulated within the Procurement Act 2023 and what they mean for business.

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What is the Procurement Act 2023?

The Procurement Act 2023 marks a repeal of previous EU-based procurement laws, consolidating four sets of current regulations. The act aims to make the ways in which public sector bodies procure goods and services from private companies fairer, simpler and more transparent.

A new National Procurement Policy Statement outlines a number of strategic priorities that the act is designed to facilitate, including creating a climate of innovation, making supply chains more resilient, and creating new jobs.

Faster and more streamlined procurement

The act is designed to reduce the red tape associated with procurement, allowing for a faster and more streamlined procurement process in emergency situations such as health pandemics. The bidding process will become more streamlined while also allowing more room for negotiations. This is expected to provide better value for money for procurers while also encouraging greater innovation and competition between vendors.

Fairness and competition

The emphasis on fairness and transparency aims to eliminate cronyism, providing more opportunities for SMEs to secure government contracts. Procurers will also have greater powers to take action against poor quality or unethical vendors. Companies will be unable to bid for contracts if they have demonstrated a poor track record, have been found guilty of professional misconduct, or are found to be participating in modern slavery.

How does the Procurement Act impact my business?

The Procurement Act is designed to provide SMEs with greater access to government contracts and create a greater sense of competition and innovation among vendors. As such, newer and smaller businesses that have previously been muscled out of the procurement process by bigger and more dominant vendors will have more opportunities to secure contracts with public sector procurers.

As Cabinet Office Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe states:

“I am particularly pleased to help small and medium-sized businesses secure a greater share of nearly £300 billion worth of government contracts.”

When do these changes come into effect?

The new procurement rules in the Procurement Act 2023 will come into effect in October 2024. This is to allow time for secondary legislation to be embedded and includes a six-month probationary period. This will provide SMEs with time to familiarise themselves with the new rules and strategise accordingly.

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