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Update: From 1 January 2021, EU law has ceased to apply to the UK but regarding procurement the Government has retained the regulatory status quo as far as possible. UK procurement rules largely continue to reflect EU public procurement rules and principles. On 15 December 2020, the Government published a green paper on transforming public procurement, where it lays out its reform proposals. Public consultation is running till 10 March 2021.

This note will be updated in due to course to take account of new developments.

Much procurement is governed by EU principles and rules, intended to ensure that the EU public procurement market is open and competitive and that suppliers are treated equally and fairly.  The UK also has its own procurement legislation, as well as guidance intended to ensure that public money is spent well.  

Public sector procurement and contract management are often in the news when a contract goes wrong or a supplier fails.  There have been various examples of problems with procurement, contract management or dependence on particular suppliers.  The government has been working to improve its commercial and contract management capabilities. 

Procurement can be used to promote wider policies – this briefing paper discusses government policies to promote value for money, small businesses, social value and local growth.

Finally, the paper looks at responding to constituent requests relating to procurement and explains how to find out more about particular contracts.


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