Procurement News April 2021

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This newsletter is for all colleagues within the Department of Health and Social Care and its ALBs who have an interest in procurement and commercial activities. You may forward to colleagues within the health family who have an interest in commercial issues.

If this newsletter was forwarded to you, you can sign up to receive future editions.

If you have anything to contribute, feedback or suggestions for future stories please get in touch.

Samuel Knights

Procurement Policy Team

Department of Health and Social Care

Procurement policy Notes (PPNs)

All Procurement Policy Notes (PPNs) are published on the government website here.

No new PPNs have been published since the last edition.

Transforming Public Procurement: Update on the Green Paper Consultation from the Procurement Policy Working Group (PPWG)

The window of response for the Green Paper closed towards the end of March. It has been recorded that there was a total of 635 responses – compared the average of 250, indicating a strong representation from all areas of procurement.

The emerging themes include:

  • Concerns around divergence of healthcare / loss of the Light Touch Regime
  • Principles of oversight unit and how this interacts with localism
  • The need to understand additional administrative burdens
  • Consideration of schools
  • Hesitation around breaking link with the subject matter of the contract
  • Appreciation that the reforms need to be matched with capability, as well as learning & development

Actions have been taken to maintain the positive cross-government collaboration to ensure the smooth delivery and transition of the bill.

Cabinet Office are hosting fortnightly drumbeat meetings to keep parties in-the-loop with progress, and tackle emerging concerns or issues. We hope to update you on the topics of discussion as they unfold.

The Government’s 2021-22 Mandate to NHS England and NHS Improvement

The government’s mandate to NHSE&I was laid in Parliament on Thursday 25th March and has since been published for public view.

The document sets out 5 Mandate Objectives that NHSE&I will be assessed upon in regard of managing public money. The objectives are as follows:

  • Objective 1: Continue to Lead the NHS response to COVVID-19.
  • Objective 2: Continue to Implement the NHS long Term Plan, focussing on transformation of services, to support NHS resilience, and continue to inspire public confidence.
  • Objective 3: With support from Government, deliver the manifesto priorities that will enhance delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.
  • Objective 4: Improving prevention of ill health and delivery of NHS public health services.
  • Objective 5: Maintain and Improve Information Sharing

The publication provides accompanying statements regarding NHSE&I funding, as well as an Annex detailing 13 underpinning metrics that will aid in measuring the progress of the NHS long-term plan and manifesto priority commitments.

Although the Government is anticipating that the metrics will be offset further by the pandemic, wide collaboration across the health and care system, and from the government itself, will aid in mapping the associating trajectories for the years to come.

For access to the full publication, please click here.

May 2021 Elections: Civil Servant’s Guidance on Conduct

Guidance for the Council, Mayoral, PPC and Devolved Elections was cascaded across government departments, non-departmental public bodies and ALBs to give an indication on the expected conduct during the forthcoming campaigns. The elections will take place on 6th May 2021.

The publication acts as a reminder for all in-scope organisations to be cautious in decision making when:

  • Public resources are not used for party political purposes, and;
  • Activities that may call into question political impartiality should not proceed.

Moreover, the following general principles should also be observed by all civil servants:

  1. Care should be taken over official support, and the use of public resources, including publicity, for government announcements that could have a bearing on matters relevant to the elections.
  2. Care should also be taken in relation to proposed visits.
  3. Special care should be taken in respect of paid publicity campaigns and to ensure that publicity is not open to the criticism that is being undertaken for party political purposes.
  4. Observe even-handedness in meeting information requests from the different political parties and campaigning groups.
  5. Officials should not be asked to provide new arguments for use in election campaign debates.


For further detail on announcements, use of public funds and other various areas of sensitive nature, please click here to view the full guidance.