We have this afternoon received the below update with regards to the Green Paper consultation, the procurement Bill and the Cabinet Office approach to learning and development on these topics.
“Green Paper consultation response - We have now worked through the very detailed feedback received from well over 600 respondents to the Transforming Public Procurement Green Paper. Analysis of the responses showed the proposed measures were broadly welcomed; many recognised the ambition and breadth of the package. There was support for the key reforms including the proposed new principles for public procurement and the consolidation of the existing regulations and procedures. Contracting authorities were supportive of a more flexible approach and recognised the benefits to be gained. There are several areas where our thinking has moved on as a result of feedback received. We plan to publish, in the coming weeks, a summary of responses received and details of what the Government intends to do, in light of the consultation exercise.
Our focus is now on preparing legislation for Parliament - detailed work to turn our policy intentions into a Bill. The Ministry of Defence is leading on the aspects of the reforms relevant to defence and security procurement, and we at Cabinet Office are also working closely with health colleagues on the procurement aspects of the Health and Social Care Bill, and with local government on those elements of reform which particularly impact that sector. We are also working with officials in the Devolved Administrations: Wales has now confirmed they will join the Bill, Northern Ireland are closely involved and we are working with the Scottish Government to support alignment with their regime.
Timetable for change - We know that people are keen to know when the rules will change. We can’t yet give a firm date of when this will be. The Procurement Bill will be introduced when Parliamentary time allows and it will take several months to complete its passage through Parliament. Following that, there will need to be secondary legislation (regulations) made. Although it isn’t yet possible to confirm when the new regime will come into force, we will give plenty of notice, in order to allow people time to prepare. In any event, given the timescales around the legislative process, the new regime could not come into force until 2023 at the earliest. The key thing to remember for now is that guidance and support will be available, the existing legislation continues to apply until the new reforms are implemented and will also continue to apply to procurements started under the old rules.
Learning and Development - We are also busy planning the learning and development offer that will support the introduction of the new public procurement regime. Thank you to those who provided their views via the survey we ran in the summer, which has informed our plans. The shape of the L&D offer is subject to funding decisions but we aim to deliver a comprehensive programme of blended learning that allows people to access appropriate support that suits their role. As well as formal training, we plan to support communities of practice where ideas and experiences can be shared, and procurement and commercial professionals can help one another to embed the new ways of working. These communities of practice will be particularly important for encouraging the behavioural and cultural change that will be so crucial to realising the benefits of the reform”
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