10 - 03 - 2021

featuring Alan Wright, Partner – published on 10 March 2021

BPTW’s Partner Alan Wright worked with The Housing Forum’s Procurement Working Group to draft a response to the government’s Green Paper titled: Transforming Public Procurement.

BPTW Founding Partner Alan Wright

Following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the UK ceased to be bound by EU public procurement rules. In response to this, the Cabinet Office released a Green Paper outlining proposals to shape the future of procurement processes.

The response by the Forum’s Procurement Working Group noted  that the Green Paper does not fully acknowledge the complexity of public housing construction projects, recommending a need to take further steps to assess whether the proposals will be suitable for our sector in order to achieve the goals of individual housing organisations as well as in supporting the government’s housing ambitions. Concerns were also raised over whether the approach laid out in the document can achieve true social value and carbon neutral outcomes.

The response supported the inclusion of public good in the principles of procurement. However it noted that if the definition of public good is defined only by central government, then this could be unstable when governments change. As a practice we are seeing an increased focus and contractual responsibilities to demonstrate and deliver Social Value in our regeneration with communities, something we wholeheartedly welcome.  However, as noted in the response, we feel these priorities regarding public good are best set at a community level and should support placemaking locally.

The Working Group has also welcomed contracts being awarded on the basis of the most advantageous tender. The response was critical of current DPS (Dynamic Purchasing System) processes, which, in our experience, and as was noted in the report is unsuitable for more complex contracts. The Housing Forum has previously released reports which have highlighted a need to streamline bidding processes for frameworks in order to reduce costs and place more emphasis on competence, track record and innovation in the selection process of bidding.

The Procurement Working Group also highlighted that it expected to see proportionality as an underpinning legal principle in the Green Paper and called for specification of the detail and definition of public good. The response stated that consideration should be given to the management and resolution of challenges.

To read the full response, click here.

The Housing Forum seeks to increase both the supply and quality of new homes. It is focused on delivery through partnership working across the supply chain. BPTW are long-term and active members of the Housing Forum and have contributed to many talks and events to raise the quality of housing in England.