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Are you ready for the new Procurement Bill?

Major change is coming to the way public sector organisations buy goods and services.
And how the private sector, including small businesses can tender for contracts.

The upcoming Procurement Bill is big news! 


 The Bill will apply to contracts awarded by:

  • most central government departments and related bodies;
  • the wider public sector including local government and health authorities; and
  • utilities companies operating in the water, energy and transport sectors.

At c£300 billion, public procurement is the largest area of public spending each year.

The Bill is in its final stages - Government estimates that it will go live in October 2024.
Once announced, there will be a six-month preparation period.

Four key areas of change

  1. Speed up and simplify the procurement process and legislation.
  2. Improve value for money.
  3. Increase transparency and accountability to improve public benefit.
  4. Benefits for SMEs through innovation, including a new digital infrastructure.

Actions for internal audit – public sector

  • Learn about the change
    • Read and understand the changes today
    • Take part in planned training for different stakeholder groups (launch date tbc)
  • Assurance on the readiness programme
    • Is there a project in flight/being scoped?
    • Who is accountable? Are the right people involved?
    • Are contract registers and details up to date?
    • What does key supplier engagement look like?
  • Assurance over current processes and procedures eg
    • How good is pre-market engagement?
    • Is supplier evaluation/assessment fit for purpose?
    • Is decision making appropriately recorded?
  • Assurance/Advisory to prepare for new data requirements
    • Is there data mapping for existing systems?
    • What work might need to be done pre-transition?
  • Consider benchmarking/evaluating your organisation against relevant commercial and procurement operating standards and other comparable organisations, in line with the National Procurement Policy Statement


Actions for internal audit – private sector
If your organisation provides products or services to the public sector

  • Learn about the change
  • Are relevant stakeholders aware of the Procurement Bill and the changes to procurement practices?
  • What might the risks be - opportunity or threat - to existing practices?
  • Have they been identified - how well are they being managed?
  • From a supplier perspective the Bill will
    • reduce red tape to enable innovation and reduce cost for businesses.
    • create a central system for suppliers to register their details once so that they can be used for multiple bids
    • accelerate spending with small businesses/social enterprises.
    • require buyers to take account of national strategic priorities such as job creation, improving supplier resilience, and driving innovation.
    • enable competitions to be reserved (for contracts below certain thresholds) for suppliers located in the UK, SMEs and social enterprises. 


Procurement is a complex business area with multiple stakeholders, internal and external.

October 2024 may sound like a long way off.

But it will be here before you know it!

Now is a great time to start thinking about what your organisation and your internal audit function might need to do.


Webinar – Transformation Programme | (for those closely impacted)

Planning and preparation checklist |


Content reviewed: 27 July 2023