NAG/SOPO newsletter/Covid-19 Supply Chain bulletin

Welcome to the NAG and SOPO newsletter for11 June 2021. Feel free to circulate to your colleagues.


Welcome to the NAG and SOPO newsletter for11 June 2021. Feel free to circulate to your colleagues.

This newsletter is now delivered through our corporate service that handles all our various e-bulletins.

Manage or create a subscription - read our previous bulletins.

 

COVID Stories

Funding for local vaccination services  

NHS England and NHS Improvement have written to community pharmacy led COVID-19 vaccination sites and others to outline details of further funding and support for primary care networks (PCN) and community pharmacy-led COVID-19 vaccination sites. The letter recognises the vital role of PCN and community pharmacy led vaccination sites as part of the roll-out and provides an additional £20 million to support primary care providers to draw down additional staff to help deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme between 16 June and 14 July 2021. The letter also asks CCGs and ICSs to offer all possible support to primary care to bring forward second dose appointments in line with JCVI guidance.


Public Procurement Reform – Cabinet Office Update

Green Paper consultation response

Cabinet Office were pleased to receive 619 responses to the Green Paper, with many respondents providing detailed and thoughtful feedback.  They are working through this feedback and will publish the Government response to the consultation in due course. 

Procurement Bill

Last month the Queen's Speech confirmed that legislation to simplify procurement in the public sector will be brought forward in the current session of Parliament. They are working towards the introduction of the Procurement Bill in the coming months. Once the Bill becomes an Act, there will need to be secondary legislation (regulations) to bring the new regime into force. 

National Procurement Policy Statement

In advance of the bill but another important element of the reform agenda, the NPPS has now been published. It details the national strategic priorities for public procurement, including considering how public contracts will help create new businesses and jobs across the UK, leading to the development of new skills and innovations and tackling climate change and environmental waste.

Contracting authorities will be required to have regard to these national strategic priorities alongside any additional local priorities in their procurement activities.  The government also intends to legislate later this year so that larger contracting authorities will also be obliged to publish procurement pipelines and to benchmark their procurement capability. Cabinet Office is hosting two webinars which you can sign up to below in the Webinar section.

Learning and Development

Cabinet Office are planning a comprehensive learning and development programme to support implementation of the new public procurement regime when it comes into force. To help ensure that the programme reflects the needs of the target population, they are seeking to bring in three experienced procurement practitioners, who are familiar with the current rules and their limitations, to design, develop and deliver the programme. The full details of the role can be found on the Civil Service website (the closing date is 20 June).  They are looking to attract potential candidates from across the public sector and would really appreciate your help sharing this opportunity within your own organisation and more widely.

In addition to helping to prepare commercial professionals across the public sector whose everyday work with the procurement rules will change, they also need to raise awareness of the reforms amongst a wider audience (for example, non-commercial leaders who need to make decisions about procurement in the course of their wider responsibilities). To help shape the learning and development that will support all those who need to understand the new arrangements, they are conducting a short survey which will help them develop a baseline of levels of awareness and understanding of the reforms, against which they can measure the impact of the L&D programme.


Non-COVID stories

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure survey

We have commissioned Local Partnerships to look at the role of councils in the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles' (OZEV) plans to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Please complete this ten-minute survey to help us understand the role councils are playing and the barriers you face in the rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure for private cars and small vehicles in residential areas. The survey closes on 16 June and the findings will inform our support to councils and our lobbying for any possible refresh of the current OZEV strategy.

Homelessness guidance  

The Government has published updated guidance for commissioners and providers of hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping. The update includes information for staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

The guidance covers:

  • hostels with individual self-contained rooms with en-suite facilities that have shared kitchens
  • hostels without individual self-contained rooms and that have communal facilities

This guidance does not cover night shelters

West Sussex Social Value Framework

As part of their ambitious Rest Plan West Sussex have created a Social Value Framework to ensure all projects and contracts commissioned by the County Council achieve maximum benefit for residents.

The Framework has three key targets;

  • In contracts over £100,000, where it is appropriate to generate Social Value, a minimum weighting of 10 per cent will be applied to the evaluation criteria.
  • Eighty per cent of new tenders over £500,000 will have social value criteria included within their evaluation by 2024/25.
  • Where social value is a requirement of the contract, we will require suppliers to report quantifiable social benefits.

Social Care Homecare Market

As part of the NAG Strategic Supplier Relationship Management workstream one of the strands is focussing on the Social Care Homecare market. The Supplier Specialists aim to engage with the three main national member bodies: UK Home Association (UKHCA), National Care Forum (NCF) and the National Care Association (NCA). Our objective is to maintain an overview of the market to improve the strategic dialogue and identify any emerging issues and risks. We would like to hear from local authorities who procure from large strategic homecare suppliers, franchisors, and/or micro providers and who are interested in engaging in this workstream - if you are interested please contact Productivity@local.gov.uk

Connected Places Cyber Security Principles – NCSC Guidance

The National Cyber Security Council (NCSC) has developed guidance to help local authorities build awareness and understanding of the security considerations needed to design, build, and manage their connected places (often referred to as smart cities).

More specifically, it recommends a set of cyber security principles that will help ensure the security of a connected place and its underlying infrastructure, so that it is both more resilient to cyber-attack and easier to manage.


Training and Development

Competition and Markets Authority – Bid Rigging e-Learning

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is rolling out free, new e-learning training and advice for public sector procurers on the subject of illegal collusion in procurement, focusing specifically on bid rigging. This follows a number of high-profile construction enforcement cases, where the CMA fined businesses £67 million in total for anti-competitive wrongdoing. Those affected included publicly funded projects.

Bid rigging is a key risk in public procurement.  It is a serious type of anti-competitive activity that can increase prices by 20 per cent or more. Bid rigging occurs where suppliers get together to decide among themselves what they will bid. True value for money is undermined.

Market conditions have been tough for suppliers with the impact of the pandemic and uncertainty relating to EU Exit. It is often when businesses are under economic strain that anti-competitive practices occur. 

It is critical that procurement officials are on high alert to look out for bid rigging activity and know how to report any suspicions to the CMA. 

Competition and Markets Authority - Cartels in construction 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published an opinion piece in Construction News detailing why construction companies must take cartel risk, where rivals get together and break competition rules, seriously.

The CMA has launched a 'Cheating or Competing' Construction Campaign featuring a new collection of construction case studies alongside advice for the sector.

The authority is also working with procurement officials across central and local government, to make it easier for them to spot and report suspected illegal activity. 

Competition and Markets Authority – offer of support

CMA staff are available to talk to public sector procurement teams or regional Procurement groups about how to reduce the risks of bid-rigging, drawing out lessons learnt from cases and the typical 'red flags' to watch out for. To arrange a CMA presentation for your procurement team contact: CMA_ProcurementSupport@cma.gov.uk

LGA Counter Fraud Hub

The LGA's dedicated Counter fraud hub houses all the latest reports, guidance, case studies and templates to help support and assist your council in the fight against local government fraud and corruption.


Webinars

Design in the public sector: Innovative approaches to low energy housing - 15 June 2021

This is the second webinar in a series of four, run by the LGA in partnership with the Design Council as part of the Design in the Public Sector programme 2020/21. The webinars intend to disseminate design skills among public sector professionals and provide councils with a platform to share their insights and experiences of tackling climate challenges focusing on various topics.

Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) - Net Zero Week 14-18 June 2021

In partnership with iNetwork, YPO are hosting a week of free online webinars to help you on your journey to net zero. There is a packed line up of industry experts, public sector organisations and suppliers to share their net zero journeys so far, strategies and top tips. They’re hosting 12 free webinars, with over 30 speakers from across the public sector, plus industry experts for a full week of activity and debate, as we consider how this global priority can be achieved on a local and regional basis and what role procurement has to play.

Competition and Markets Authority – Bid Rigging e-Learning

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is rolling out free, new e-learning training and advice for public sector procurers on the subject of illegal collusion in procurement, focusing specifically on bid rigging. This follows a number of high-profile construction enforcement cases, where the CMA fined businesses £67 million in total for anti-competitive wrongdoing. Those affected included publicly funded projects.

Bid rigging is a key risk in public procurement.  It is a serious type of anti-competitive activity that can increase prices by 20 per cent or more. Bid rigging occurs where suppliers get together to decide among themselves what they will bid. True value for money is undermined.

Market conditions have been tough for suppliers with the impact of the pandemic and uncertainty relating to EU Exit. It is often when businesses are under economic strain that anti-competitive practices occur. 

It is critical that procurement officials are on high alert to look out for bid rigging activity and know how to report any suspicions to the CMA. 

Competition and Markets Authority - Cartels in construction 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published an opinion piece in Construction News detailing why construction companies must take cartel risk, where rivals get together and break competition rules, seriously.

The CMA has launched a 'Cheating or Competing' Construction Campaign featuring a new collection of construction case studies alongside advice for the sector.

The authority is also working with procurement officials across central and local government, to make it easier for them to spot and report suspected illegal activity. 

Competition and Markets Authority – offer of support

CMA staff are available to talk to public sector procurement teams or regional Procurement groups about how to reduce the risks of bid-rigging, drawing out lessons learnt from cases and the typical 'red flags' to watch out for. To arrange a CMA presentation for your procurement team contact: CMA_ProcurementSupport@cma.gov.uk

LGA Counter Fraud Hub

The LGA's dedicated Counter fraud hub houses all the latest reports, guidance, case studies and templates to help support and assist your council in the fight against local government fraud and corruption.

National Procurement Policy Statement- Information Sessions – 18 & 24 June 2021 

The National Procurement Policy Statement was published on 3 June 2021 which sets out information for Contracting Authorities on the national strategic priorities for procurement. It is the first step in the procurement reform process and we are running webinars to give an opportunity for all contracting authorities and interested parties to learn more about the content of the NPPS, what it means in practice and to raise any questions for the Cabinet Office Commercial Policy team. 

Webinar 1: 18 June 14.00-14.45 

Webinar 2: 24 June 11.00-11.45 

Embedding social value into planning – 23 June 2021

Social Value Portal invite planners, developers and real estate professionals to join our upcoming webinar, 'Embedding social value into planning' where there will be sharing six months of collaborative insight from the Social Value Planning Taskforce, as we discuss the practical and viable recommendations for embedding social value in planning and, in turn, how we can generate more jobs, more local wealth creation, greater community cohesion, and a cleaner, greener environment

Modern Slavery Due diligence in combatting labour exploitation - 24 June 2021

Join the Supply Chain School for their free due diligence in combatting labour exploitation workshop

This course is designed to illustrate what due diligence looks like and how you can embed essential elements of this into your organisational processes; identify and create a policy and strategy; understand the principles of risk assessments focusing on labour exploitation and the role supply chain mapping plays in addressing the risks and; understand what peer organisations are undertaking this area through sharing amongst the group.

Microsoft Envision: UK Public Sector, 22 – 24 June 2021

A virtual event hosted by Microsoft aimed at supporting the public sector by sharing insights, best practice and expertise so you can take action in shaping the future of your organisation.

In conversation with industry experts and thought leaders, together they will explore challenges and opportunities that align with the public sector's key themes:

  • Day 1: Empowering People
  • Day 2: Inspiring Innovation
  • Day 3: Achieving More

LGA Annual Conference – 6-8 July 2021

Our Annual Conference 2021 is now less than two months away and is being held virtually again this year and it has been agreed will be FREE for all member councils this year.

From Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 July, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from leading central and local government politicians, as well as expert speakers from within and outside the sector.

Booking is now open on our website for this year's annual conference. Please share and promote the conference to your contacts and encourage them to sign up and read more about this year's Annual Conference.

Design in the Public Sector: Green procurement - 16 July 2021 

This is the third in a series of four webinars, run by the LGA in partnership with the Design Council, as part of the Design in the Public Sector's Climate Change programme 2020/21. The webinar will showcase how design skills can be used to approach the everyday challenges we face and provide councils with a platform to share their insights and experiences of tackling climate challenges through green and sustainable procurement.