The Procurement Act 2023 (formerly the Procurement Bill) received Royal Assent yesterday, 26 October 2023. It is expected to come into force in October 2024, along with various pieces of secondary legislation (currently in draft form) which are intended to implement certain elements of the Act's new procurement regime.
What do I need to know?
The Cabinet Office has indicated that it plans to bring the Act into force in October 2024, and that six months' prior notice will be given so that there is enough time for public authorities and wider public procurement markets to gear up.
The Act's landing page can be accessed here. The Government Commercial Function will be running a learning and development programme which will be rolled out between now and when the Act comes into force. The programme comprises (in this order) a series of free, on-demand knowledge drops of up to an hour each; a self-guided e-learning course ending in the opportunity to gain a Skilled Practitioner certificate of achievement; a three-day, virtual advanced course of deep dives into the Act and its key themes; and finally the launch of "Communities of Practice" – events that provide opportunities for groups to come together and foster collaborative learning by sharing best practice, innovative approaches and challenges. We can expect to hear more on the timings for the launch of these initiatives over the coming weeks and months.
Details of the Cabinet Office's learning and development programme can be found here. To complement it, we will shortly be launching our own series of insights on the changing landscape which the Act will be making to the procurement regime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Do watch this space for further commentary and analysis of how the new Act, its various secondary legislation, and the resources offering support and familiarisation around it will be shaping up over the coming months.
Please contact one of the following members of our specialist Public Procurement team if you have any questions or if you need support with navigating the latest developments – Christopher Brennan, Alison Richards, or Alexi Markham