A look back on 2020 and procurement

2020 is a year that many will not forget!

The year hosted a landmark Spending Review. There were a great number of public sector tenders for the COVID-19 pandemic released; and the UK Government shone the spotlight on issues like modern slavery and social value within procurement.

We take a look back on 2020 below.

Spending Review 2020

In November 2020 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, set out a plan for extensive investment to ‘level up’ the UK at a time when the country needs it most.

In this Spending Review, Mr Sunak announced a once in a lifetime investment in infrastructure throughout the country. The Chancellor gave details of the much anticipated National Infrastructure Strategy and launched a new £4 billion Levelling Up Fund, which the UK government will invest into local infrastructure.

You can read our full highlights on the Spending Review 2020.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement

Personal protective equipment (PPE) and its supply has been one of the biggest talking points around public procurement during 2020.

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) website states that the public sector has:

“received thousands of offers from suppliers across the UK to provide goods and services to the public and third sector during the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, the government spent £3.2bn on medical and protective equipment, €1bn more than Germany.

In September 2020, the UK government released its strategy for preparing for the second wave of COVID-19, this covered supply and logistics for distribution of PPE.

The UK Government tackled modern slavery

In September 2020, the government introduced new measures to ensure that large businesses and public bodies tackle modern slavery risks in supply chains.

On the government website, it states that:

“Moving forward, public bodies which have a budget of £36 million or more, including local authorities in England and Wales, will be required to regularly report on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains.”

The government has committed to mandating the key topics that modern slavery statements must cover (e.g. due diligence to risk assessment), to encourage suppliers to be more transparent about the work they are doing to ensure ethics and social value are part of the procurement process.

Procurex Wales: Spotlight on social value

Social value has become increasingly important for central government, national governments around the world, and the private sector too and at Procurex Wales 2020, Minister for Finance and Trefnydd Rebecca Evans spoke about how the Welsh govt is developing a set of tools to measure social value.

These tools will be aligned to the Future Generations Wellbeing Goals and will place a proxy financial value on all community benefit measures. They will be included in all council tenders over £150k. The social value element will account for at least 10% of the tender score.

While the Welsh Government is leading the way on the measurement of social value, it is more than possible that other buyers across the UK may develop similar tools as economic pressures drive social value up the agenda.

New year, new opportunities

2021 is now upon us.

Make your procurement strategy your new year’s resolution and start winning more opportunities in the UK and internationally.

Tracker can support you with this. Chat to a member of our team today or book an appointment here.


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