UK Public procurement is changing

04 September 2022

UK public procurement is about to face the biggest upheaval seen in a generation.

For as long as most of us can remember, all UK public procurement has been governed based on EU regulations, but from 2023 this will all change. On 10 May 2022, Her Majesty the Queen, outlined in parliament a new UK Procurement Bill which intends to reform the UK’s public procurement regime and is expected to become law next year. The Bill will tear up hundreds of complicated and bureaucratic EU rules, replacing them with a single, simple and flexible framework for securing public sector contracts. 

The scale of change to the procurement regime will be significant and far-reaching. The bill sets out a new framework for procurement, which at £300bn accounts for around a third of UK public expenditure each year. The changes will apply to all public sector bodies, including local authorities and central government departments. The impact will also be important for all companies and others selling goods and services to the public sector, and those involved will need time to prepare themselves to function effectively under the new regime. 

Though we are unsure what the final rules will look like, the draft bill is complicated and detailed legislation that will be amended as it progresses through parliament. At 122 pages long, with 116 operative provisions and 11 Schedules, there’s a lot of detail to consider. If the bill that receives Royal Assent at the end of the legislative process is mostly in line with the initial draft, it’s clear that procurement practice in this country will change enormously.