The Procurement Bill has reached the "ping-pong" stage in Parliament and is being finalized between both houses.
On Monday, the House of Lords debated amendments to allow authorities to safeguard procurement processes against suppliers whose supply chains involve organ harvesting - in light of the human rights abuses in China against the Uyghur people. An amendment was agreed in the Lords but rejected in the Commons, on the grounds that the current discretionary exclusion criteria are wide enough to cover this concern, and a lack of evidence that any supplier to the UK public sector has been involved in forced organ harvesting.
Other topics likely to be debated include:
- Adding an obligation on government to publish information following removal of physical and surveillance technology supplied by debarred suppliers this is prompted by concerns around the Hikvision/Chinese surveillance issues;
- Adding obligations to the National Procurement Policy Statement around social value, public benefit, transparency, integrity, fair treatment, and non-discrimination; and
- Re-including the NHS in the definition of contracting authority and thence within the scope of the Act, as well as reinstating NHS England into scope.
At the time of writing dates further debates are not yet available but are expected to be published soon. You can follow the Bill's progress as we approach Royal Assent here.
On Wednesday 27 September at 10am we begin a new series of our highly regarded 5 in 25 webinars, 5 in 25 Countdown.
In this series we are looking at each stage of the procurement lifecycle and considering the changes that the Procurement Act 2023 will bring. The first session is around the procurement preparation period and pre-market engagement; click here to book your place.
We hope you can join us, but even if not do consider registering, as everyone receives a copy of the recording and the Q&A responses.