January 18 2021 – The HCSA has completed a review of the UK Government Green Paper – Transforming public procurement.
We welcome and endorse the plans outlined in the paper to replace outdated procurement procedures with a new system which will allow room for greater negotiation and engagement with potential suppliers.
Proposals for giving buyers the tools to properly take account of a bidder’s past performance, and excluding them if they clearly do not have the capability to deliver, is particularly welcome as is the establishing of a new unit – supported by an independent panel of experts – to oversee public procurement with powers to review and, if necessary, intervene to improve the commercial capability of contracting authorities. Of course, we would like to understand exactly how this new unit will work, who it will be employing alongside independent experts and its overall remit and funding.
We are also pleased to see plans to modernise the current seven procurement procedures to the more concise three of Flexible – that allows for negotiation and innovation; Open – for simpler ‘off the shelf’ competitions; and Limited – for crisis and emergency situations.
In addition, given the reported difficulties with certain new suppliers during the first COVID wave, we also welcome the Central Supplier Registration system with exclusion rules to tackle unacceptable behaviour in public procurement, such as fraud, as well as exploring the introduction of a centrally managed debarment list.
The HCSA would, in due course, like to be provided with a strategic road map for delivery and implementation of the transformation, a realistic timescale and further understanding of the leadership of the project.
Overall, we believe the greater flexibility and negotiating powers promised by these new proposals is a very positive move and the HCSA will be here to support members development in accordance with the new directions.
We will continue to make the necessary investments to ensure our members are perfectly placed to take advantageous of this new landscape for healthcare procurement.
Health Care Supply Association
Note: We need any comments and views on this draft response by midday on Feb 12th 2021 please.