On 25 May 2022, the second reading of the Procurement Bill [HL] is scheduled to take place in the House of Lords.

The Procurement Bill consists of 116 clauses arranged over 13 parts. It has 11 schedules. The bill also contains a number of regulation-making powers.

The bill would reform existing rules on public procurement. These largely derive from the UK’s former membership of the EU. The government has argued these rules are complicated and restrictive and that the new legislation would be simpler and more flexible.

Key procurement principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment are included in the bill, along with four objectives: value for money, maximising public benefit, transparency and integrity. The government’s policy objectives for the reforms made under the bill are:

  • to speed up and simplify public procurement processes
  • to place value for money at their heart
  • to create greater opportunities for small businesses and social enterprises to innovate public service delivery

The bill has been introduced following the publication of a green paper by the Cabinet Office and a period of consultation. The government published its response to the consultation in December 2021.

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