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The Queen’s Speech, December 2019

18 December 2019 saw the delivery of the Queen’s Speech to Parliament, setting out the new Government’s agenda. Here, we take a look at some of the elements of proposed legislation that are of most relevance to BiP Solutions’ customers.

The UK’s departure from the European Union on 31 January was a priority, with a total of seven separate points of legislation covering different aspects of Brexit discussed. The proposed legislation covers areas agriculture, fisheries, combating “unfair trading practices” and aiming for stability in financial services. The Department for Exiting the EU itself will be dissolved on 31 January, with some of its functions rolled into the Department for International Trade.

Healthcare is another key area of focus, with legislation being introduced to enshrine a £33.9bn increase in NHS funding by 2023/4. The Mental Health Act will also be reformed, and a Medicines and Medical Devices Bill aims to deliver faster patient access to medical innovations, simultaneously supporting the growth of this area in the UK.

Sustainability and environmental damage are also mentioned, with an Environment Bill establishing a new Office for Environmental Protection, introducing charges for specific single-use plastics, and banning exports of plastic waste to non-OECD countries. This will necessitate the development of capacity to process this waste in the UK, meaning there will need to be investment and development of the relevant infrastructure.

Infrastructure was much discussed during the campaign for the recent election, and it receives specific attention in the Queen’s Speech too, with commitment to a National Infrastructure Strategy that will outline how investiture in public services and infrastructure will be achieved while keeping government borrowing and debt under control. There will also be a move to improve broadband provision, with legislation facilitating the installation of digital infrastructure. You can read more about the implications of the Speech for the construction industry at Construction Online.

Finally, there were many announcements made in defence and security, ranging from new legislation covering espionage to prisoner sentencing. Possibly the major announcement in this area for businesses is the commitment to spend a minimum of 2% of GDP on defence. Defence Online has covered this in more detail.

The text of the Queen’s Speech is available here while the Government’s briefing notes covering the proposed bills are here.

UK General Election 2019: What Next?

The General Election of 12 December 2019 gave the Conservative party a comfortable majority, meaning that the Government will likely find it easy to introduce the legislation and changes to public spending that they wish. Here, we review what we know so far about the pledges the Government made before the election, and the effect they are likely to have for business with the public sector.

As the situation continues to develop, the BiP Solutions news page will bring you the latest updates, and what they mean for public procurement.

Spending pledges

Incumbent Chancellor Sajid Javid has proposed revision of the rules concerning government borrowing, to allow borrowing so long as debt does not exceed 3% of GDP, rather than 2%. This allows for potentially dramatically greater spending. The Conservatives’ election manifesto pledges were costed at an increase in spending of £2.9bn a year by 2022. The NHS has also been a major source of discussion, with a proposed bill enshrining an increase in funding for the NHS, alongside the pledge to recruit thousands more nurses. Similarly, the Conservatives have pledged to recruit more police officers. Such recruitment would mean, for example, a greater requirement for uniforms, catering, facilities management, payroll and HR solutions and other services. Investment into people usually requires investment into infrastructure – for example new buildings or the renovation and re-fit of existing premises – which in turn drives a fresh cycle of investment into furniture, IT equipment and other goods.

Infrastructure is another potential major source of investment, with the Conservative manifesto allowing for up to £100bn in additional capital spending over the next five years. Of this amount, £22bn has been designated for specific projects, such as £2bn on fixing potholes and £2.2bn on a public sector carbon reduction scheme. £78bn of the infrastructure fund remains to be allocated. You can read more about the outcome of the election and what it means for the construction industry at Construction Online.

On tax, the Conservative manifesto pledges to raise the national insurance threshold to £9500 from next year, and that there will be no rises in rates of income tax, national insurance or VAT. There is also a reaffirmation of the party’s pledge to make the UK a carbon-neutral country by 2050, with the attendant spending on renewable energy and associated technology. More speculatively, there have also been discussions of reforming central government departments such as the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence. To read more about the outcomes of the election for the MoD and the defence industry, visit Defence Online.

To read more about key trends for public procurement in the wake of the general election, download our recent report, ‘The Public Sector Market in 2020 and Beyond.’ Published ahead of the election, this report includes detailed breakdown of data relating to public sector notices before and after election periods, and describes the major themes that will shape public procurement in 2020.

Brexit confirmed?

The Conservatives’ election victory also appears to reduce some of the uncertainty around Brexit. The Government will seek to implement the Withdrawal Agreement that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously negotiated with the EU, ahead of 31 January. The Conservative party has previously stated that the terms of a trade deal with the EU will be negotiated in 2020, with the aim that the UK trades outside of the EU single market and any form of customs union. The Cabinet Office has suggested a divergence of procurement rules from EU standards post-Brexit, with the aim of making it simpler for smaller firms to bid for local government contracts. Such changes may be dependent, however, on the terms of the future trading relationship with the EU, and the required alignment of terms.

During the transition period, the UK will remain aligned with EU rules. The Conservative party have previously stated that there will be no extension to the transition period beyond the end of 2020, and the Prime Minister will potentially modify the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to enshrine this in law. The date of the end of the transition period is significant as, in spite of the most recent Brexit extension up to 31 January 2020, trade regulations effectively replicating a ‘no-deal Brexit’ will remain the legal default unless a trade agreement superseding this is ratified by both the EU and the UK Parliament. This remains the case in spite of the Withdrawal Agreement previously negotiated with the EU.

For all the latest news, guidance and information relating to Brexit and public procurement, visit BiP Solutions’ dedicated Brexit resources page. Alongside guidance on how businesses can best prepare for a ‘no-deal Brexit’, our recent report ‘Brexit: Challenges and Opportunities for Public Sector Buyers’ is also available. Based on a detailed survey of public sector procurement leaders, this research report reveals what the public sector really thinks of Brexit, and how prepared the public sector is – including for a ‘no-deal’ outcome.

General Election 2019: The Manifestos

As the political parties’ campaigns for the UK General Election of 12 December continue, here we look at some of the major announcements from the parties’ manifestos, and what they mean for doing business with the public sector. All of the major parties have pledged a rise in public spending, meaning there will be an impact on business opportunities in areas with increased spending.

To learn more about what the parties’ manifesto pledges could mean for the public sector and UK business, how elections affect the number of public sector opportunities, and more about the major sources of opportunity for suppliers as we look ahead to 2020, download the latest edition of our report, ‘The Public Sector Market in 2020 and Beyond: Opportunities for Smart Suppliers to Get Ahead‘ (updated 28.11.2019). This document will continue to be updated with the latest intelligence as the situation develops.

The Conservative Party

The Conservative manifesto’s pledges are costed at an increase of £2.9bn a year by 2022. Alongside the pledge to recruit thousands more nurses for the NHS and more police officers, other policies include a £2bn fund for fixing potholes in roads. The pre-manifesto pledge to allow more borrowing for infrastructure projects has also been confirmed, with capital spend rising from £3.2bn next year to £8bn by the end of the next parliamentary session, including an aim to increase spend to make social housing more energy efficient.

The Labour Party

Labour have costed their manifesto pledges at £82.9bn. Labour have proposed a redefinition of the rules around government borrowing – considering overall ‘public sector net worth’, i.e. the value of the UK’s assets, instead of the national debt – to allow for this increased spend. For public sector workers, Labour have pledged year-on-year above-inflation pay rises, beginning with a 5% increase. Healthcare has come into focus, with the proposal of creating a new ‘National Care Service.’  Energy infrastructure and efficiency are a key area of focus, given the aim for net-zero carbon emissions by the 2030s, managed through a £250bn ‘green transformation fund.’ Labour have also announced intentions to invest in infrastructure more widely, with plans to build 150,000 social homes by the end of parliament, along with a commitment to the HS2 network, including extending it to Scotland.

The Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have also pledged a rise in public spending, costing their proposals at £63bn. Major announcements include a 1% rise in income tax, aiming to raise £7bn for the NHS and social care. The party have also announced a £130bn investment in public transport infrastructure, including a commitment to HS2, and the building of 300,000 new homes per year by 2024. Of particular interest to smaller businesses is the Liberal Democrats’ plan to replace business rates with a commercial landowner levy, applying to the overall land value of a commercial site rather than a calculation based on the buildings themselves. In addition to the previously announced ‘Skills Wallet’ of £10,000 per person for adult learning and skills training, skills shortages in the defence sector would be tackled by giving graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects one-off payments of £10,000 to become Armed Forces engineers.

Other parties

The positions of the UK’s other political parties could become particularly important if no party can form a majority government. Many flagship policies revolve around sustainability and energy efficiency. The Green Party aim to reduce the UK to ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2030, based on £100bn of public spending into infrastructure, technology and associated jobs. Plaid Cymru have announced £15bn for a ‘Welsh Green Jobs Revolution’, while The Brexit Party have proposed that the UK no longer export any waste abroad, which would necessitate an investment in waste processing plants and associated jobs.

At the time of writing, the Scottish National Party and the Democratic Unionist Party are yet to publish their manifestos. This post will be updated as the situation develops.

But what about Brexit?

The political parties’ differing stances on the way in which the UK should leave the European Union – if at all – is not only a major policy in itself, but is claimed by several of the parties as the basis of their other spending plans.  The Conservative Party would seek to implement the Withdrawal Agreement that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously negotiated with the EU. The party has stated that the terms of a trade deal with the EU will be negotiated in 2020, with the aim that the UK trades outside of the EU single market and any form of customs union. The Conservatives have also stated that there will be no extension to the transition period, during which time the UK remains aligned with EU rules, beyond the end of 2020.

Labour meanwhile have stated they would negotiate a new Withdrawal Agreement with the EU within three months of coming to power, then put this Agreement to a legally binding public referendum, with remaining in the EU as an alternative option. Labour’s Agreement would aim for alignment with the EU single market and a UK-wide customs agreement with the EU. The Liberal Democrats favour revoking Article 50 unilaterally, meaning the UK would remain in the EU under the same terms as previously, which the party claims would provide a £50bn ‘remain bonus.’

Read the updated edition of our latest report, ‘The Public Sector Market in 2020 and Beyond: Opportunities for Smart Suppliers to Get Ahead’, for more detail on how the parties’ election pledges will affect business with the UK public sector. The report also includes detailed data on how elections since 2015 have affected the number of public sector opportunities, the major trends that will shape public procurement in 2020 and beyond, and how smart suppliers can get ahead of their competitors over the coming months. Download your copy here.

UPDATED: New Report: Opportunities for Smart Suppliers in 2020

Please note that BiP Solutions will be posting an update at the start of the week of 16 December in light of the result of the General Election.

Latest updates (28.11.19) include details of manifestos of all major UK parties.

As the situation around Brexit continues to be redefined, and political parties’ campaigns for the UK General Election develop, it may seem that there are many areas of flux to consider for businesses seeking to work with the public sector. As we approach 2020, political, social, economic and technological factors look set to play a major role in defining public sector supply chain opportunities over the coming months and years.

Yet against the backdrop of apparent uncertainty, there are significant opportunities in many areas for suppliers to engage with, with the investment to match. All the major political parties have pledged a renewed focus on public spending in various areas in their election manifestos, meaning new sources of business opportunity for suppliers that seek to work with them.

Drawing on the latest intelligence and our unique insights into the shape of the public procurement market, our latest report, ‘The Public Sector Market in 2020 and Beyond: Opportunities for Smart Suppliers to Get Ahead’, outlines the ways in which suppliers can maximise their opportunities throughout the public sector supply chain, focusing on key areas of opportunity, methods for gaining a competitive edge, and the solutions to enable this. The latest edition of the report has been updated to reflect the latest political developments.

The report includes:

  • Analysis of how the major political parties’ election manifesto pledges, with a focus on public spending, will affect supply chain opportunities
  • Detailed breakdown of how pre- and post-election periods can affect the number of public sector contracts awarded, with comparisons of figures from 2015 to date
  • What suppliers need to know about the major themes driving public procurement, and how they can work best to maximise their opportunities in these areas.

Download your complimentary copy of the updated report here.

As the political situation continues to develop over the coming weeks in the period before and immediately after the General Election, this post and this report will be regularly updated to reflect the latest insight and intelligence.

The Queen’s Speech, October 2019

Yesterday saw the Queen’s Speech mark the opening of a new session of Parliament. While the UK’s departure from the EU, and precisely what the terms of this might be, are inevitably at the forefront of discussion, several other key points affecting various sectors were also addressed. The Government’s proposed measures surrounding criminal justice have generated the most headlines, but away from the newspapers, the proposed Serious Violence Bill would affect many areas of the public sector. The Bill would develop a local approach to tackling violent crime through sharing relevant data and information between organisations across local government, education, social services, healthcare and the criminal justice system. As ever, effective technology and data across the public sector would be central to this.

The Speech also included mention of several documents the Government aims to publish later in the year or in 2020, including the National Infrastructure Strategy and a whitepaper on devolution in England with the aim of stimulating regional growth. Here, we consider some of the other major announcements in the areas of most interest to BiP’s customers.

Healthcare

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeatedly stressing the importance of the NHS recently, it is unsurprising that healthcare was one of the key areas addressed in the Queen’s Speech. The Speech stressed a commitment to implementing the NHS Long Term Plan, as well as revisions to the provision of social care and mental health services. Also announced was the establishment of the Health Service Safety Investigation Body, a world-first independent tasked with investigating incidents that occur during the provision of NHS services that have, or may have, implications for the safety of patients.

You can read more about the implications of the Queen’s Speech for the healthcare sector on Health Online, our dedicated healthcare community and news site.

Technology

In addition to as-yet unspecified legislation to “roll out gigabit-capable broadband across the UK” with the aim of “boosting productivity” and “driving innovation in our public services”, the Queen’s Speech stressed the Government’s commitment to “establishing the United Kingdom as a world-leader in scientific capability and space technology.” As well as to-be-confirmed plans to boost public research and development (R&D) funding – going towards a stated aim for 2.4% of GDP to be spent on R&D by 2027 – the Government has pledged the establishment of a new National Space Council and the launch of a comprehensive UK Space Strategy. Further details about the MOD’s current planned space programme have been covered by Defence Online here and here.  The Government has also stated that a new fast-track immigration scheme for world-leading scientists and researchers will help significantly enhance the intellectual and knowledge base of the UK. How this will fit alongside the Government’s wider immigration reforms and strategy will be clarified.

Environmental impact

The proposed Environment Bill would introduce “legally-binding targets” and “mandatory biodiversity protections,” which would ensure that construction projects, including new housing, is not build at the expense of biodiversity – as demonstrated by previous projects such as Highways England’s recent A66 project and the review of the deforestation that could be caused by HS2. Further measures would include looking at air and water quality, single-use plastic and effective recycling and litter reduction. These measures further demonstrate the importance of sustainable practices throughout business.

GO Awards Scotland 2019/20 Finalists Announced

GO Awards Scotland logo

The finalists for the GO Awards Scotland have been announced.

Celebrating the best in all aspects of public procurement from across the public, private and third sectors in Scotland, the GO Awards Scotland presentation ceremony will take place at the Marriott Hotel, Glasgow in Birmingham on 29th October. The standard of entries this year was very high, so we would like to extend our congratulations to all nominees, and thank everyone who entered.

All entries will be reviewed by our judging panel comprised of experts from across Scottish procurement. You can learn more about the judges here.

The full list of finalists is as follows:

Social Value Award

sponsored by Remploy Scotland

  • Balfour Beatty
  • City of Edinburgh Council & Wildact Solutions
  • Dumfries and Galloway Council, Dumfries and Galloway LGBT Plus, Dumfries and Galloway Multicultural Association, DGVoice, LGBT Youth Scotland & Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway
  • Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd & University of Glasgow
  • National Services Scotland, for entry: Product Donation – Northern Iraq
  • National Services Scotland, for entry: National Catheter Passport
  • Nurse Directorate for NHS Scotland, Scottish Government Workforce Directorate, National Services Scotland, National Procurement, Dimensions Clothing, Haven PTS, Developing the Young Workforce, National Education Scotland (NES), NHS Scotland Health Boards
  • Perth and Kinross Council & Balfour Beatty
  • Scotland Excel & Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company
  • Scottish Procurement Alliance, Lintel Trust, Hawthorn Housing Co-Operative, Linstone Housing Association, Perth and Kinross Council, South Ayrshire Council,Wheatley Group, River Clyde Homes, Cairn Housing Association, Clyde Valley Housing Association, Paisley Housing Association, South Lanarkshire Council, Dundee City Council, Angus Council & Barrhead Housing Association
  • South Ayrshire Council
  • University of Strathclyde

Best Service Award – Micro and Small Businesses and Third Sector Organisations

sponsored by Scotland Excel

  • Carnegie Clinical Research Ltd
  • Cenefits & City of Edinburgh Council
  • Child Bereavement UK
  • Health by Science
  • H&W Forestry Services
  • Scotia Books Ltd

Best Service Award – Medium and Large Organisations

sponsored by Lyreco

  • ACL Hire
  • APS Group (Scotland) Limited
  • Hadden Group, Perth and Kinross Council at Scott Street & Perth College UHI
  • McConechy’s Tyre Services Ltd
  • Pertemps
  • Retinue Health, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Forth Valley & NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Best Environmental Impact Award

  • South Ayrshire Council
  • Scottish Government & Scottish Futures Trust
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Stirling Council, Scottish Water, Horizons & Scottish Government Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP)

Infrastructure or Capital Project of the Year

sponsored by Zscaler

  • NHS Orkney
  • Perth and Kinross Council & Balfour Beatty
  • Transport Scotland
  • University of Edinburgh

Market Development Award

sponsored by APS Group

  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • Kibble Education and Care Centre working in partnership with the Scottish Government, Strathclyde University, The Fostering Network, Who Cares? Scotland & CELCIS
  • NHS National Services Scotland, National Procurement
  • South Ayrshire Council

Procurement Project of the Year (sub-£20m value)

sponsored by Scottish Procurement Alliance (part of the LHC Group)

  • NSS National Procurement Equipping Sourcing Team, working with NSS Health Facilities Scotland Equipping Team
  • Police Scotland, for entry: Provision of a National Network for Police Scotland
  • Police Scotland, for entry: The Supply and Delivery of Body Armour, Ancillary Items and Services
  • South Ayrshire Council
  • Stirling Council

Procurement Project of the Year (above £20m value)

sponsored by ACL Hire Ltd.

  • Department for International Development
  • National Services Scotland
  • Police Scotland

Supplier Relationship Management Award

sponsored by SOTI

  • APUC Ltd
  • City of Glasgow College
  • EDF Energy & Scottish Procurement

Team of the Year

sponsored by Softcat

  • Supplier Development Programme
  • Scottish Borders Council
  • City of Glasgow College
  • Scotland Excel, Scottish Government & Hey Girls
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Scottish Government
  • University of Edinburgh
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • University of Strathclyde

GO Excellence Award

sponsored by Badenoch & Clark

Finalists will be announced on the evening of the Awards from winners of the other categories.

GO Awards Scotland lead judge Grahame Steed said of the finalists:

I’m delighted to see such a strong array of finalists in this year’s GO Awards Scotland. Each has made it through the first phase of judging and deserve recognition for their achievement. Once again, we have a diverse range of finalists from across the entire nation, demonstrating how vibrant and progressive public sector procurement is in Scotland.

To learn more about the GO Awards Scotland and secure your place at the presentation ceremony, click here.

New report – Transforming Infrastructure: Building Britain’s Future

BiP Solutions is pleased to announce the launch of its new market report - Transforming Infrastructure: building Britain’s future,

BiP Solutions is pleased to announce the launch of its new market report – Transforming Infrastructure: Building Britain’s Future, a must-read report for those working or looking to work in the infrastructure marketplace.

The infrastructure sector provides a wealth of opportunities for businesses in the know, with key supply chains currently being built up for the megaprojects scheduled to be built in Britain over the next decade. This report shows where those opportunities will become available so you can plan how to build your business strategy.

This new market report from BiP highlights the latest trends and opportunities within the sector, and follows the hugely successful UK Infrastructure Show (UKIS) hosted by BiP at the NEC in April. The show, held in conjunction with Procurex – the UK’s premier public procurement event – saw 1400 delegates enjoying over 30 free training sessions, five leading industry figures speaking in the Keynote Arena, plus network and collaboration zones and a wealth of exhibition stands.

Talking points from the show, together with results from the survey conducted by our media partner, Construction Online, into the infrastructure marketplace, have inspired deeper research into the market, to help identify opportunities for buyers and suppliers within the sector. This has resulted in our new market report, which identifies these trends.

Infrastructure has been one of the better performers for the construction industry throughout this unsettled political and economic period with the National Infrastructure Pipeline inspiring confidence in the sector that is perhaps lacking elsewhere.

The National Infrastructure Pipeline evidenced a buoyant infrastructure sector over the next decade, confirming over 700 projects which will see over £600bn worth of investment in the UK. The National Infrastructure Commission produced its own analysis of the figures and statements and responded with an assessment of how the pipeline will be delivered.

This new report considers both the pipeline and assessment and how such huge transformation can be achieved in the timescales required. As well as a copy of the key findings from Construction Online’s Infrastructure Survey, the report includes an in-depth review of UKIS 2019 and the discussions that took place.

Download the full report now to find out how BiP Solutions can help you to access the huge opportunities within this £600bn sector.

UK National GO Awards 2019/20

Celebrating the best in public procurement from across the UK, this year’s National GO Awards took place on 30th April at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham.  The event brought together winners from the GO Awards Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over the last 12 months with new entrants for a night of festivities and sharing of best practice, leadership and innovation.

The glittering black-tie event was hosted by TV presenter Sarah Heaney, and gave finalists to share their success stories and have their achievements recognised.

The event also saw an official opening address from Simon Tse, the Chief Executive of the Crown Commercial Service, who stressed the need to celebrate the sometimes under-appreciated wider importance of procurement in the UK.

This year there were 16 categories, plus the GO Excellence Award, with many categories from previous years split to recognise different types of organisation. This testifies to both the quantity and quality of entries. The judging panel, made up of experts in the field of procurement, stressed that this year’s batch of entries was among the strongest ever, with chair of the judging panel David Smith commenting that:

I believe the standard of the awards has improved greatly over the years. The winners in the categories this year are as good if not better than any other year.

See some of the highlights of the evening here:

GO Awards presentation

Although many of the evening’s winners and highly commended entrants represented previously recognised entries from the GO Awards Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there were also many winners from among the new entrants. A full list of winners and highly commended entrants is below – congratulations to them all!

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Local Authority, Consortia and Housing

Winner: Liverpool City Council
Highly Commended: Tai Tarian

Liverpool Council – clearly pleased to have won!

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Other Organisations

Winner: Department for Infrastructure, Graham Farrans Joint Venture & AECOM
Highly Commended: Scottish Government – SG Procurement, Contract Management and Capability Team

GO Best Service Award – Micro and Small Businesses and Third Sector Organisations

Winner: Ingenica Solutions & Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Highly Commended: AdviseInc Ltd.

GO Best Service Award – Medium & Large Organisations

Winner: Warmworks Scotland
Highly Commended: Hays & Birmingham City Council

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – Health and Social Care

Winner: Scan4Safety & the Department of Health and Social Care
Highly Commended: Angus Council / Angus Health and Social Care Partnership
Highly Commended: Leicestershire County Council

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – Health and Social Care (NHS Organisations)

Winner: University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust & Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
Highly Commended: NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit & NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group
Highly Commended: NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support & NHS England

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – Local Government, Central Government and Other Organisations

Winner: Kent Police & Essex Police
Highly Commended: Kirklees Council

GO Infrastructure Project of the Year

Winner: Transport Scotland – Forth Replacement Crossing

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Local Government & Other Organisations

Winner: North Yorkshire County Council
Highly Commended: Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Central Government & Healthcare Organisations

Winner: Bank of England
Highly Commended: Office of National Statistics

GO Procurement Project of the Year Award (sub-£20m value)

Winner: Renfrewshire Council
Highly Commended: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, North West Shared Infrastructure Service and others

GO Procurement Project of the year award (above £20m value) – Local Government and Consortia

Winner: North Lincolnshire Council
Highly Commended: NEPO

GO Procurement Project of the year award (above £20m value) – Other Organisations

Winner: Translink
Highly Commended: Department for International Development
Highly Commended: North of England Commissioning Support Unit & NHS England (Specialised Commissioning, North Region)

GO Emerging Procurement Talent Award

Joint Winner: Leidos Supply Limited
Joint Winner: Cardiff Council

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Health and Social Care Organisations

Winner: NHS Scotland National Procurement Equipping Sourcing Team, working with NSS Health Facilities Scotland Equipping Team
Highly Commended: Procurement and Logistics Service (a subsidiary of the Business Services Organisation) partnering with all Health and Social Care Trusts & the Department of Health

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Local Government, Central Government and Other Organisations

Winner: Kirklees Council
Highly Commended: Network Homes
Highly Commended: North Yorkshire County Council

GO Excellence Award

Unlike other awards, the GO Excellence award cannot be entered. Instead, the nominations for this award were revealed on the evening of the ceremony, comprising a list of five of the overall strongest entries from across this year’s winning entrants, as decided by the expert judging panel.

The GO Excellence Award this year went to the team from Scan4Safety & the Department for Health and Social Care. The judging panel described this entry as

a major league project for a major league organisation – delivering significant benefits in a host of areas: efficiency, safety and cost management to name just three. A project that has required huge effort to coordinate, with an impressive list of benefits achieved and evidence of sharing of best practice.

Congratulations to the Scan4Safety team!

The GO Awards – next steps

While this year’s National GO Awards presentation may be over, check the GO Awards website over the coming weeks to learn more about the fascinating and inspiring stories behind some of the winning and highly commended entries.

In addition, the GO Awards Scotland 2019/20 will take place on 29th October with the GO Awards Wales following on 7th November. The entry process will begin soon – so why not share your procurement success story?

Spring Statement 2019

Red briefcase

The Chancellor has today delivered his Spring Statement. Against the background of continued uncertainty around the UK’s departure from the EU, what will probably be seen as the main message of the Statement is that the Chancellor’s so-called ‘war chest’ of around £26.6bn is earmarked for preparations for a ‘no-deal Brexit.’

If the possibility of a ‘no deal’ exit is removed with the EU’s agreement, it will free up a significant amount of money to be spent in areas such as healthcare and education. However, as our last update noted, ‘no deal’ remains very much a possibility, in spite of this week’s parliamentary vote.

If a Brexit deal is agreed, the Chancellor has committed to a full, three-year spending review before Parliament’s summer recess, ahead of the next budget.

We look at a few other key announcements from the Statement below.

Housing & construction

The Government has made up to £3bn available to housing associations in England, through the Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme, to support delivery of around 30,000 affordable homes.

In addition, £717m is earmarked for constructing 37,000 homes in London, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and Cheshire.

The Chancellor also said that a National Infrastructure Strategy will be published along with the Autumn Budget.

For more on the implications of the Statement for the construction industry, see the latest Construction Online update.

Local areas

Alongside the above-mentioned areas for housing development, the Statement announces up to £260m for the Borderlands region, which comprises which comprises Dumfries and Galloway, the Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City. There will also be £60m of investment in ten cities and local areas across England, from the ‘Transforming Cities Fund.’

Technology & innovation

While the major news in terms of technology may be around the Government’s planned reviews of digital advertising and the dominance of ‘tech giants’, there were announcements in other areas too, with over £200m earmarked for science and innovation projects. Major funding has been granted for state-of-the-art laser technology projects in Oxfordshire, genomics research and industry in Cambridge, and £79m for a supercomputer to be developed in Edinburgh.

Skills & jobs

The last Budget included updates to apprenticeship reforms. These mean that, from 1st April, employers will see the co-investment rate they pay reduced from 10% to 5%, while levy-paying employers are “able to share more levy funds across their supply chains”, with the maximum amount rising from 10% to 25%.

The Chancellor also reiterated that the previously-announced £37bn National Productivity Investment Fund, covering areas such as roads, the rail network and full-fibre networks, will help boost productivity.

Sustainability & environment

Sustainability and efficiency are one of the major areas of focus in the Statement, with the Chancellor pledging to increase the amount of ‘green gas’ in the National Grid. Additionally, from 2025, all new homes will be ‘future-proofed’ with low carbon heating, as opposed to fossil fuel-based heating systems.

The Statement also announced a ‘call for evidence’ specifically focusing on the benefits of energy efficiency and carbon reduction for SMEs. The results of this will lead to SME-specific investment commitments.

Autumn Statement Procurement Top Tips

Autumn Statement

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s recent Autumn Statement offered new routes to leveraging business growth. Here, BiP Solutions journalist Julie Shennan gives 5 top tips for procurement actions to optimise your Autumn Statement opportunities.

With £23 billion of additional government spending pledged in Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s recent Autumn Statement via the new National Productivity Investment Fund, fresh pipelines of work have been outlined in areas such as infrastructure, housing, transport, defence, exports, R&D, oil and gas, communications and media.

Whatever your business sector, the Autumn Statement contains information that you can leverage to cut costs and open up new business opportunities. Here are 5 top tips for post-Autumn Statement good procurement practice.

1. Browse Business Breaks

Every year the Chancellor of the Exchequer gives business financial breaks via the likes of Corporation Tax cuts and business rates relief. These breaks often come with caveats that make them applicable to some businesses but not others; however, it is worth checking if your business qualifies so you can adjust your budget.

Also worth noting is that with each business break there usually comes a time frame for its implementation or a time limit on its duration. For example, in his Autumn Statement 2016 Mr Hammond pledged to cut Corporation Tax to 17% by 2020, suggesting that it may drop incrementally over the next few years.

2. Find Funding

Likewise, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement often announces funding opportunities for UK business growth, to stimulate things like innovation, local economies and overseas trade. This year the Chancellor pledged £400 million through the British Business Bank to invest in innovative small businesses with potential for growth.

Now that these funding opportunities have been announced, businesses that qualify and are interested should waste no time in contacting the British Business Bank to start their application. Fortune favours the brave, and awarding bodies will not knock on doors offering funding.

3. Utilise U-Turns

Just as suppliers should be diligent in checking the recent Autumn Statement for relevant new announcements, they should also check it for any U-turns on business breaks or funding pledged in previous years.

Each year brings new circumstances and challenges that can force policy U-turns, not least when there has been a change of government. Yet one supplier’s curse is often another supplier’s blessing as the scrapping of relief or funding in one area can lead to that assistance being rechanneled into another.

4. Pursue Pipelines

Arguably the most valuable business information in this year’s Autumn Statement is to be found in the new pipelines of work announced by the Chancellor. These pipelines vary from the rather open ‘£800 million to the Scottish Government for infrastructure projects’ to the more specific ‘£7.6 million for urgent and essential repairs to Wentworth Woodhouse heritage house in South Yorkshire’.

Now that the Autumn Statement has been announced, suppliers should research it for pipelines within their sectors and geographical areas of operation, bearing in mind that some sector pipelines – such as those in construction – have a trickle-down effect into others. For instance, a pipeline for building repairs might also bring security services opportunities to guard the building while the repairs are made.

After identifying a potential future pipeline of work, suppliers should then scan the procurement horizon for this work being put out to tender. This can be done by using a contracts finder service, checking national or local authority contract portals, monitoring news stories, or attending council meetings and networking events.

For best practice guidance on finding contracts, read The Ultimate Guide to Winning Government Contracts, Chapter 4.

5. Contact Contractors

Every now and then an Autumn Statement or Budget goes one step further, not only outlining new pipelines of work but also announcing the Tier 1 contractors who will be running them. For instance, in his Autumn Statement 2016 the Chancellor detailed that £850,000 would be awarded to a Royal Society of the Arts project to promote cultural education in schools. Once the Tier 1 contractor’s name is divulged then suppliers should strike up pre-tender conversations, to establish the scope of sub-contracts available.

Best practice guidance on pre-tender networking can be found in The Ultimate Guide to Winning Government Contracts, Chapter 9.

For more information on government opportunities, visit the BiP Solutions Resources page.