How public procurement will change in 2023

Government Commercial Function outlines how public procurement will be transformed to improve the way supplies, services and works are procured for the public sector

Further to the Government’s consultation on procurement reform, a new public procurement regime will come into effect in 2023, once the new legislation has passed through both houses of parliament. The Transforming Public Procurement Programme aims to improve the ways that public procurement is regulated in order to save the taxpayer money, and to drive social, environmental and economic benefits across the UK.

Government has now published information to explain what exactly the new regime will mean, and how it will be introduced across its commercial community (via a learning and development programme).

What’s changing?

  • The 4 existing sets of public regulations (the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016, the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 and the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011) will be replaced by a single new regulatory framework.
  • There will be one joined-up procurement system so that suppliers only have to give their core credentials once, in one place.
  • More flexibility for public sector procurement professionals will enable better-designed procurement processes and the freedom to talk to suppliers much earlier and throughout the process, to share problems and reimagine innovative solutions to deliver the best possible outcomes.   

There will be at least six months to prepare before the legislation goes live; and information, guidance and training will be available to help everyone to understand it and embed the changes.

Why are the changes being made?

  • The aim of this move is to simplify procurement, reduce bureaucracy and create a fairer system that works better for buyers and suppliers alike.
  • By improving the way public procurement is regulated, government hopes to save the taxpayer money and boost productivity, spread opportunity, improve public services and empower communities.
  • A more simple, flexible procurement regime that takes greater account of social value will help communities recover from Covid-19 and support the transition to Net Zero.

How will the changes be rolled out?

Government is implementing a learning and development programme across the public sector to support those operating within the new regime, and this will be complemented by published guidance. The intention is to provide knowledge-drop webinars; self-guided e-learning; deep-dive webinars; and to set up communities of practice to support individuals by allowing them to reflect on their knowledge of the new regime and share best practice.

The key delivery arm of the Transforming Public Procurement Programme – and the primary channel for the learning and development for civil servants and the wider public sector on commercial and contract management issues – will be the Government Commercial College.

You can find out more about government’s plans to transform procurement here.

To read techUK’s response to the Transforming Public Procurement Consultation click here.

Jill Broom

Jill Broom

Programme Manager, Cyber Security, techUK

Heather Cover-Kus

Heather Cover-Kus

Head of Central Government Programme, techUK

Ellie Huckle

Ellie Huckle

Programme Manager, Central Government, techUK


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