Procurement Act 2023: Transparency

Transparency requirements for the Procurement Act 2023 are fundamental, broad reaching and embedded into every part of the procurement life cycle. It aims to ensure that the flexibility being afforded in the new regime is delivered in an open and accountable way. From the identification of needs, through to analysis, tendering, supplier selection, contract management and termination.

This article is a brief summary of transparency requirements under the new regime, including what they mean for both CHIC Members and suppliers. It also touches upon details of the Central Digital Platform, where all tendering information will be visible to both suppliers and Contracting Authorities.

The Act introduces some new notices throughout the procurement and contract management stages. It also includes the requirement to publish relevant data to provide commercial intelligence for the design and delivery of procurement competition. The table below consists of the noticing requirements, scope and what each means for supplier.

Type of Notices Scope What it means for suppliers 
Pipeline Notice -UK1 (M)Applicable to contracting authorities with a min of £100M per year, for contracts that are £2M and above.   The notice must be published for procurement to be carried out in the next 18months from October 2024 and 12 monthly afterwardsSuppliers can see upfront details of procurement for contracting authorities and plan ahead to participate in competitions once live.   Proactive involvement of suppliers in tendering activities. 
Preliminary Market Engagement Notice- UK 2-(M)Engagement with the market before actual procurement. It is mandatory to publish notice if anticipated. Explain in tender notice if not.Gives suppliers opportunity for robust engagement to understand contracting authority’s requirements and priorities.
Planned Procurement Notice- UK3 (N)Similar to PIN in that it is used to inform the market of intention to conduct a procurement exercise. Qualifying Planned Procurement Notice must have been published at least 40 days before Tender notice and not longer than 12 months prior to reduce tendering timeline.   Change– This notice may not be used for call for competition in the way that was permitted for sub central authorities using PIN.Provides early information to bidders for proactive engagement with contracting authorities.
Tender Notice – UK4 (M)Opportunity notice – includes notices for Open/ competitive flexible procedure/ establishing framework, awarding a contract under dynamic market & below threshold noticesThis is a formal notice detailing opportunities and includes tender packs (ITT, specification, Terms of Contract, pricing schedules etc)
Transparency Notice-UK5(M)Applies in case of emergency, where competition is not realistic and MUST be published when a contracting authority is thinking of awarding a contract without competition.Gives the supply chain the opportunity to review justifications for the intention of the Contracting authority to direct award a contract. Example of such awards occurred during an unexpected /emergency situation such as COVID -19.
Contract Award Notice- UK 6(M)Notice to inform the public of the outcome of a procurement competition (open / competitive flexible procedure) and to start the standstill period (8 working days)Keeping the supply chain informed of the outcome of a tender process, who won and why
Contract details notice -UK7(M)-For all contracts. Publication of redacted agreement for contracts that are £5Million and above is also mandatory as part of this notice. Regulated below threshold And those contracts award through direct award (UK5)Provides commercial intelligence for the completed procurement.
Other notices, including three upcoming ones that will be phased as the Act is enforced in October 2024: Contract payment notice (UK8)- quarterly publication of notice of payment for contracts with spend of £30k and above  Contract performance notice (UK 9) – publish KPI scores for contracts above £5M annually and update within 30days of supplier poor performance / breach of contract. Contracts change notice -UK10(M) – must be published prior to a qualifying modification Contract Termination Notice -UK 11(M)- to be published when a contract ends Procurement Termination Notice -UK 12(M)- to be published when a procurement is discontinued/ terminated.Dynamic Market Notices-UK13-UK 16(M)- published before establishing a dynamic market, after establishing a dynamic market, or when a dynamic market is amended or terminated. Payment compliance notice (UK17)- adherence to min payment term of 30days
Relevant notices required for commonly used routes to market.

Framework Contracts
Frameworks that are public contracts require appropriate use of the notices UK1-UK12 & UK17. However, reporting on KPIs for the Frameworks using UK8,9& 17 notices is not required, but necessary for contracts called off from the Framework.
You do not need to publish tender notices for call off contracts under the framework as this is already covered when establishing the agreement.

Dynamic Markets
Notices UK13-UK16 are mandatory when establishing a dynamic market, because an established Dynamic Market is NOT a public contract. All standard notices will apply to contracts called off via the market, including the publication of Tender notices (UK4).

Regulated Below Threshold Procurement
Covered under Sections 84-88 of the Procurement Act. These are contracts that are below the thresholds of contracts for goods & services ((i.e., below £213,477) and works i.e. £5,336,937)) and not an exempt, concession or utility contract.
Tender notice must be published on the central digital platform and a contract detail notice must be published on the conclusion of an award.

A central place for all public sector tendering opportunities – The Central Digital Platform.
The purpose of the new platform is to provide a central location for registering basic supplier details for tenders and a single place for all public sector opportunities. This is to reduce time to tender, remove duplication, reduce administrative cost of tendering for suppliers and improve accessibility of commercial data. It is anticipated that the platform will be of great benefit to SMEs, making it easier for those who may not have resources required for public tendering activities.

All aforementioned notices will be published through the platform.

CHIC eSourcing (an example eSender) can punch out information to this platform, similar to how we currently publish tender notices through eSourcing to FTS and Contract Finder. The Central Digital Platform is essentially an enhanced Find the Tender (FTS) platform and New Supplier Information System.

Note that all notices must be published on the Central Digital platform (FTS) before publishing anywhere else. Just like now you must check visibility on FTS & have a confirmation email of publication going live before publishing anywhere else. In addition, commercial tools and registers will be available on the Central Digital platform for use during the commercial lifecycle of a project. The Introduction of these features will enable the analysis of commercial data based on notices published on the Central Digital platform.
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