On March 18th, the government acknowledged the strain on the public sector by making changes to procurement policy, and ensuring resources can be sourced as a matter of urgency.
These policy changes allow for the following:
- direct award due to extreme urgency;
- direct award due to absence of competition or protection of exclusive rights;
- call off from an existing framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system;
- call for competition using a standard procedure with accelerated timescales;
- extending or modifying a contract during its term.
What does this mean for suppliers?
If buyers can demonstrate that they have an ‘extreme urgency’ for goods, services or works, and/or there are no other suitable suppliers, they can enter into contracts without competing or advertising as long as they have satisfied several criteria categories. On top of this, buyers also have the ability to make changes or extend existing agreements.
For accelerated timescales, you will have to pay very close attention to tender notices:
- Check your tender alerts thoroughly.
- Make sure you have the people and resources needed to complete your bid.
- Ensure your pricing strategy works for your business.
- Check you have addressed all the key criteria.
For suppliers providing ‘non-urgent’ goods and services
Despite uncertainty with other industries, the public sector will always have a requirement for goods and services. In the last week, the number of tender notices published for the UK was 1613, which is not far off the weekly average of 1664 seen in 2019. Looking across the UK, ROI and EU, there are around 25,000 live notices.
There is reassurance in knowing that there is still a drive to maintain normality during such unprecedented circumstances. We will be keeping a close eye on these figures and letting you know if there are significant changes and providing you with more insight into the sectors that may be affected.
We hope your workplace has not been affected too dramatically by the unprecedented situations caused by COVID-19.
Wishing you the best of health.