Transforming Public Procurement: Should you respond to the consultation?

5 minute read
29 June 2023

Are you responsible for or does your organisation buy goods, services and/or works on behalf of the public sector?

Does your organisation supply and provide goods, services and/or works to the public sector?

If you've answered "yes" to either of those questions, then now is your chance to influence the new legal framework that will govern public sector procurements from October 2024[1]. Or is it?


The existing public procurement regime is under reform. The Transforming Public Procurement programme is the UK Government's initiative to improve how goods, services and works are procured for the public sector. It has three key objectives, namely to:

  1. simplify procurement processes;
  2. reduce bureaucracy; and
  3. create a fairer system.

The Procurement Bill, which introduces the new regime, is currently progressing through Parliament. Once it receives Royal Assent and becomes the Procurement Act, secondary legislation (regulations) will be required in order to implement it fully - and that is the subject of a consultation process now being undertaken by the Cabinet Office.

Consultation on draft regulations to implement the Procurement Bill

On 19 June 2023, the Cabinet Office launched Part 1 of its two-part technical consultation on the draft secondary legislation (The Procurement Act 2023 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2024). But it isn't a free-for-all consultation.

Part 1 – Lists, calculations and further definitions

Part 1 is focused on areas of the Bill that requires lists, calculations or further definitions to be used in practice. It asks specific questions to obtain views on whether the draft secondary regulations accurately implement the policy intent contained in the Bill, for eight specific topics:

  1. The scope of the "Light Touch Regime" Contracts and Reservable Light Touch Services
  2. Exempt contracts: Vertical and horizontal activities calculations
  3. Exempt contracts: Utilities intra-group turnover calculations
  4. Utility turnover and supply tests
  5. Intra-UK procurement
  6. Definitions of "Central Government Authority" and "Works" for the purposes of thresholds
  7. Disapplication of section 17 of the Local Government Act 1988
  8. Disapplication in regard to NHS procurements.

It is therefore not a consultation on the policy itself. That was already the subject of earlier consultation, culminating in the Bill.

Instead, respondents are asked to "strongly agree", "agree", "neither agree nor disagree", "disagree" or "strongly disagree" with nine questions. If a respondent "disagrees" or "strongly disagrees" to a question, then the survey asks the respondent to explain why.

So is it worth taking part, despite the somewhat limited reach of the consultation?


This is your chance to tell the Government how the draft legislation doesn't work for your organisation, or if you feel it is confusing, ambiguous, inconsistent, has gaps and/or overlaps with other parts of the Bill: and potentially help shape the right legal framework to meet your needs.

Not sure if it impacts your organisation and need a sounding board?

If you need to discuss the application of the draft regulations and potential consequences for your organisation, contact our public procurement team who can explain what the draft regulations means for you and your organisation, can act as your sounding board and guide you through responding to the consultation process.

Part 1 of the consultation closes at 11:45pm on 28 July 2023.

Part 2 of the consultation is expected to launch in July 2023.


[1] at the time of release, October 2024 is the anticipated "go-live" date of the new public procurement regime that will apply to new procurements. The existing legislation will continue to apply until the new regime goes live, and will also continue to apply to procurements that have already been launched under The Public Contracts Regulations 2015, Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016, Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 and Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011.View the latest timetable and updates.

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