Transparency Hits You! November 6, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Like it or not, the new Public Contracts Regulations 2015 are going to make a big difference to how you bid for Public Sector contracts.  Sixfold is all about how to finesse the Public Sector procurement to create a competitive edge. We have often focused on how the fundamental principles – equal treatment, proportionality and transparency – can be used as a tool to your advantage.

These principles, if anything, are strengthened by the new regulations.  This is particularly true of transparency which the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has detailed in one of its Procurement Policy Notes. It creates new opportunities and risks that will be of interest to all bid professionals.

Central Government departments have been told that after 1st September 2015 they must implement additional transparency measures.  Other Government departments have been recommended to follow suit.

Firstly, the procurement team is required to discuss and agree the information that will be made public when the contract is awarded, targeting information that has previously been withheld.  This will extend to (and beyond):

– Your contract price and any incentives.

– The contract performance metrics and how you will manage them.

– The plans for the management of any underperformance and what will be its financial impact.

– The governance arrangements, including governance through your supply chains.

– Your resource plans

– Your service improvement plans

Of course, you might be adamant that you will not agree to the release of this information.  However, ultimately it is the contracting authority who will make the final decision, irrespective of any supplier’s wishes or protestations.

Then, all this information will be uploaded to a publically available section of the department’s website and as the contract progresses, updated so it remains current.

For suppliers who are new to a contract area, this will give them a highly valuable swathe of information from which they can prepare their competitive responses.  For incumbents, this represents another challenge to their ability to retain their contract at the renewal point.  For the Government, this will, undoubtedly have the long term effect of lowering market prices and so don’t expect this requirement to lessen as time goes on!

If you want to know more about how all this may affect your next Public Sector bid and how you can take advantage of these changes, we would be delighted to discuss it with you.  Please give us a call on 01227 860375 and we will be very happy to help.