PfH Head of Consultancy Guy Stapleford, reviews The National Procurement Policy Statement released today by the Cabinet Office

News is rippling through the corridors of procurement offices nationwide. The Cabinet Office has just unveiled the new National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS). Scheduled to take effect from October 28, 2024, this policy aims to set out the strategic priorities for public procurement.

While the NPPS will initially exclude Northern Ireland and Wales, anticipation is high for their forthcoming bespoke versions. But what exactly does this statement entail, and how will it impact public sector buyers in England particularly.

Let’s break it down:

  1. Value for Money

At the heart of the NPPS lies a commitment to maximising value for taxpayers. This priority emphasises the need for procurement activities to be not only cost-effective but also oriented towards delivering tangible outcomes. Early market engagement, a holistic view of value, and streamlined processes are key components driving this agenda.

  1. Social Value

Building on existing priorities, the NPPS underscores the importance of balancing social benefits without unduly burdening the supply chain. It champions a nuanced approach that fosters wider societal gains while maintaining efficiency and flexibility in contracting authorities.

  1. Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Recognising the vital role of SMEs in fostering innovation and local economic growth, the NPPS aims to dismantle barriers and amplify opportunities for these enterprises. From enhancing local employment prospects to fostering a culture of innovation, the policy reaffirms the value of SME engagement in procurement processes.

  1. Commercial and Procurement Delivery

Effective governance lies at the core of successful procurement endeavours. The NPPS calls for robust frameworks to support and manage commercial procurement stages, ensuring transparency, accountability, and efficiency throughout the process.

  1. Skills and Capability for Procurement

In an era of heightened scrutiny and evolving demands, the capacity and capability to execute commercial procurement strategies are more crucial than ever. Senior leaders are urged to assess and invest in the skills necessary to navigate the complexities of modern procurement landscapes, ensuring alignment with the NPPS priorities.

As the countdown to October 28, 2024, begins, the unveiling of the National Procurement Policy Statement marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of procurement practices across the UK. With its emphasis on value, inclusivity, and efficiency, this policy sets the stage for a transformative journey towards a more commercially driven procurement ecosystem.

We’re here to help with our new Procurement Reform Readiness Assessment, designed to assist members in preparing for the changes ahead. For more information, just visit our web page.