Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Procurement needs to deliver change

Future Water responds to the Government Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement

Future Water has responded to the Government Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement, which sets out proposals for a National Public Procurement Policy, streamlining current regulations, including those impacting on the water sector. One of the challenges has been to ensure that procurement regulations allow enough flexibility for purchasing teams to align the buying process with the outcomes agreed with the regulators across England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, this document has the potential to set out such a framework.

In response, Future Water:

  1. Supports the Governments proposals to streamline procurement aligning them with value for money, the public good, transparency, integrity, efficiency, fair treatment of suppliers and non-discrimination.
  2. Agrees that public procurement should be a vehicle for achieving social & environmental goals;
  3. Believes that streamlining and simplifying the regulations is essential and where this related to the water sector the procurement process should be closely aligned with outcomes and performance commitments.
  4. Argues that the proposed reforms must be incorporated into the regulatory business planning process in order to support achievement of future performance commitments;
  5. Considers that transparency underpinned by the adoption of the Open Contracting Data Standard, along with the move to being completely digital – is fundamental to effective future procurement;
  6. Considers that the Most Advantageous Tender approach is critical in driving the best value procurement focused on project outcomes not price;

David Smoker, Future Water Board member and Chair of the Associations Procurement Working Group:
“This consultation represents a real opportunity to set the agenda for future procurement and ensure that sector wide performance commitments are aligned properly with buying decisions.”

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Commenting on the consultation Paul Horton, CEO of Future Water said:
The proposal to focus procurement on ‘Most Advantageous Tender’ (MAT) is a positive change and is more than just a reinforcement of the current measures. This shift will mean that the best tender in terms of value and performance against outcomes should be preferred over just the cheapest price.”

Alastair Moseley, Chair of Innovation Hub
“As we embark upon the second year of AMP7, and innovation takes centre stage with the help of the recently launched Ofwat Innovation fund, its great to see that procurement is being seen as a means to focusing on environmental, social goals alongside innovation has never been a better time to look beyond the UK horizon to water innovation.”

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