There was a massive change to public procurement policy in Northern Ireland recently, and it is going to require significant attention in the coming months, are you prepared?
Announced on July 5th Northern Irelands Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, announced a new policy that will bring with it mandatory scoring of social value within all public procurement contracts.
This policy is applicable throughout Northern Ireland, to be implemented by June 2022. This is following on from the restructuring of the Northern Ireland Procurement Board that occurred at the end of 2020.
The Social Value scoring is mandatory on service contracts valued above £123,000 and construction contracts valued above £4.7million, with the scoring equating to a minimum of 10% of the total award criteria. Most importantly, Living Wage is also included as a condition of contract for all applicable tenders.
When speaking on the matter, Mr Murphy had this to say:
“This new policy will help create jobs for people in deprived areas and deliver environmental benefits by requiring contracts to employ low or zero carbon practices. If we are to create a fair and cohesive society, then we will have to tackle low pay.”
This comes as a major announcement from a renewed Procurement Board that shows enthusiasm in implementing effective, top to bottom changes to public procurement.
Change is not just happening in Northern Ireland however, back In September 2020, the UK government announced a similar proposal for all Central Government Departments, Executive Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies.
Following on from that, in June 2021 a new National Procurement Policy was created, in which, all public procurement bodies should “have regard” to social value.
This “regard” included a set of conditions to try and meet within their tenders where appropriate:
While the mandatory focus Northern Ireland is implementing, it is undeniable that this renewed vigour for Social Value is quickly becoming a much more vital aspect of the procurement process throughout the UK and Northern Ireland.
From these changes, tenders will need to be carefully analysed, especially those in Northern Ireland, as to meet these new requirements. If you would like any help with this process, we have a dedicated and passionate procurement team that would be happy to help!
Contact us and find out what we can do for you.