On 9 June 2020, the Cabinet Office published Procurement Policy Note 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19 (PPN 04/20). The note updates and builds on the provisions contained in PPN 02/20 and sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during the current COVID-19 outbreak.
PPN 04/20, which covers goods, services and works contracts being delivered in the UK (including PFI and PF2 contracts), suggests that contracting authorities should, among other measures:
- Review their contract portfolio, including where they are providing any contractual relief due to COVID-19 and, if appropriate, to maintain delivery of critical services, continue or commence measures in line with PPN 02/20 (see Legal update, Cabinet Office publishes PPN 02/20: Supplier relief due to COVID-19).
- Work in partnership with their suppliers and develop transition plans to exit from any relief as soon as reasonably possible. This should include agreeing contract variations if there have been significant changes to operational requirements.
- During the transition period, work in partnership with their suppliers to ensure that contracts are still sustainable and deliver value for money over the medium to long term. Contracting authorities should continue to pay suppliers as quickly as possible upon receipt of invoices or in accordance with pre-agreed contract dates, to maintain cash flow and protect jobs.
PPN 04/20 has effect from 1 July 2020 until 31 October 2020.