Why bidders need to brace for procurement changes
An intriguing aspect to the Cabinet Office ‘Transforming Public Procurement’ green paper was a new ‘Flexible Competitive Procedure’ that gives buyers freedom to negotiate and innovate. However, according to consultation respondents, this new procedure could increase procurement complexity, as it requires design and tailoring to the procurement being undertaken.
As buyers begin to implement this new procedure, bidders can expect to see a wide variance in how its interpreted, meaning they will have to be on their toes to continuously adapt to unique and creative procurement methods. In the government’s words, ‘we recognise that use of any competitive flexible procedure may require more consideration by contracting authorities at the outset of a procurement in order to decide the best manner in which to run their procedure.’
Companies that get ahead of the game and begin to evolve their bidding capability can gain an advantage over their intransigent rivals, as they will be better equipped to deal with how buyers interpret the new procedure and flex their newfound creative licence.
So, when can we expect all this to happen? The consultation says: ‘we recognise that the scale of change to the procurement regime is significant, and organisations will need time to prepare themselves to function effectively under the new regime. Although it is not yet possible to confirm when the new regime will come into force, we intend to provide six months’ notice of “go-live”, once the legislation has been concluded, in order to support effective implementation. In any event, given the timescales around the legislative process, the new regime is unlikely to come into force until 2023 at the earliest.’
Plenty of time to prepare…