Thursday, 17 December 2020

Another PPN - UK Public Policy Notice PPN11/20 - Reserving Below Threshold Procurements

 One that I missed but Eddie Regan at BIP Solutions didnt...

We know something of the possible future for UK Public Procurement thanks to the Green Paper.  One element of that is being adopted from 1/1/21 - which is that procurements below the thresholds ;

● Reserve the procurement by supplier location, AND/OR

● Reserve the procurement for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) / Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSEs) -

Thresholds are ;

Supplies & Services - £122,976 

Works - £4,733,252

The second one of these extends the provision in the PCR 2015 for VCSEs to include SMEs and I have few problems with that.  The provisions are currently for central government only, but will surely be extended to Local Authorities who will welcome it.

The first provision though worries me.  In several ways.

Firstly, there is the effect on the Union - this is UK legislation and expressly stops the location being based on the four nations (and procurement is a devolved authority, so Scotland, Wales and particularly Northern Ireland will presumably create their own rules based on the UK ones).  But you can see the problems with Scottish contracts for Scotland, English contracts for England etc.

Secondly, the region should be based on a county.  Now Yorkshire is big.  But Rutland and the Isle of Wight are small.  I can see the sense in restricting IoW contracts to the island.  But Rutland?  Surely there is value to be had in sourcing from Leicestershire or Northamptonshire?  But a political advantage in drawing only from Rutland companies....  (I know nothing about the Rutland apart from the TV comedy programme, so I hope that people there do not think I am suggesting they are particularly likely to have problems.  It just happens to be the smallest county)

Thirdly, the geographical restriction will be loved by councils and councillors who want to spend money in their own constituencies.  There are obvious worries about Value for Money, and of course unethical buying behaviour (much in the news at the moment).

So, I remain to be convinced.

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