News & insights

Get ahead of the game: Procurement Reforms coming October 2024

By Samantha Sharp
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The Procurement Act 2023 is designed to modernise and streamline the procurement process, moving away from the complex and rigid framework inherited from EU regulations.

Central to this reform is the Competitive Flexible Procedure, a new and dynamic approach that grants contracting authorities freedom to negotiate directly with suppliers. This tailored method aims to foster a more competitive and efficient procurement environment, allowing for custom solutions that meet the needs of each procurement task.

The Act marks a significant departure from existing regulations that currently dictate UK procurement practices, such as the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016, among others. By consolidating over 350 different procurement regulations into a singular, cohesive regime, the Act promises a procurement process that is quicker, simpler, and more transparent.

Key reforms under the Act include changes to procurement procedures, criteria for awarding contracts, and dispute resolution mechanisms. A significant mandate of the Act is for contracting authorities to factor in the social, economic, and environmental well-being of their local areas when making procurement decisions, highlighting a commitment to sustainability and responsible procurement practices.

Transparency and accountability form the backbone of the new Act. It introduces stringent reporting requirements and oversight mechanisms, aiming to cultivate a culture of trust and integrity within the procurement process. This shift is expected to ensure that public funds are used in a responsible and effective manner.

The Act also champions inclusivity and innovation in procurement. It levels the playing field for businesses of all sizes, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as voluntary, community, and social enterprises (VCSEs). By doing so, it opens up new opportunities - encouraging competition and fostering a more vibrant and innovative procurement landscape.

As the Procurement Act 2023 gears up for its implementation, it heralds a new era for public sector procurement in the UK. With an emphasis on flexibility, transparency, and inclusivity, the Act is set to reshape the procurement field. This reform is not just a regulatory change, but a strategic move towards achieving better value for money and improved services across the UK, ensuring every pound spent goes further for the benefit of communities and public services.

Article written in collaboration with Sam Sharp, Divisional Director at SF Recruitment.  

Sam is the Divisional Director of our West Midlands Commercial & Procurement Divisions. Sam has been with SF Recruitment for over 12 years and is a much valued member of our management team. Sam runs the hugely successful commercial / procurement divisions whilst still maintaining an executive procurement & commercial recruitment desk, placing both interim and permanent candidates. Sam is widely known in the West Midlands for her insight and understanding of this sector and has proved to her client base that she will find the most suitable candidate for any vacancy she manages.

Tel: 07837 395742


Information Sources:

Procurement act summary guide:

Transforming public procurement:

Procurement bill factsheet:

Samantha Sharp
Samantha Sharp
Divisional Director, Commercial – Temporary and Permanent