What changes are in store for public sector procurement in 2021?

With a Brexit deal agreed, there are questions being asked about the changing purchasing behaviour of public sector organisations. At Augmentas, we can see the drive for more transparent purchasing with the public interest and speculation growing after suspected cronyism with those close to the Conservative government winning contracts. Is everything up for change in 2021 and what will be viewed as ‘necessary’ rather than ‘nice to have’ as part of future procurement projects? And will Britain leaving the EU have little or more change to add? Here is our take but if you have any questions about procurement or how tenders and bids might change in the new year, give the Augmentas team a ring on +44 (0)203 918 8550 or email us at info@augmentasgroup.com

Is the purchasing behaviour of public sector organisations changing and if so, how?

Purchasing behaviour will change a little once we officially leave the EU, but the process will be largely the same. This is because the UK was responsible for actually creating the regulations in the first place, as historically within the EU, UK businesses found that European States favoured local businesses. The new regulations opened their markets but also ours.

Other ways the public sector is changing include:

• Use of SMEs – there remains an ambition for the public sector to spend more (up to 33%), directly with SMEs. It is some way there, but this remains challenging, as the £billion spent must be placed with organisations that are able to take that level of risk in scale. Also, the cost of bidding remains disproportionately high.

• Social Value – there is guidance now in place seeking 20% weighting for new procurements encouraging suppliers to push more value back into local communities in support of the public sector and local services. 

What products and services are the public sector interested in?

Everything. The public sector buys absolutely everything – no joke. Toilet paper, pens, calculators, power stations, electricity, bus passes, printing, laptops, food, accommodation, syringes, the list goes on. Some will be procured through primary large contracts to maintain economies of scale in spend and control of specification (eg. there is no need for every type of laptop which would be a nightmare to maintain and manage). But frameworks such as Tech 2 is for smaller products with an open shopping list. We recently helped a local IT company get onto this £2Bn framework!


Are there any regulations or projects of which businesses need to be aware?

Other than legislative changes, this space has not changed significantly in the past five years. There is lots of advice on the web including Gov.uk, which is a good source of information although it is sometimes very hard to digest. (You’re much better off giving our team a call!)

What trends are on the horizon?

The focus on social value is key, but also the public sector remains fixed on the view of disaggregating large behemoth contracts in the tech space. It is a real struggle to do this and move away from the large conglomerates. More focus on SMEs is heading our way, but we are not there yet.

In terms of tech-specifically, anything that can enable Next Gen end user devices or even Bring Your Own Device to work are all in discussion.

How can Augmentas help?

We are an agile SME with expertise in making public sector and corporate clients work smarter, deliver better, win more work, save more money and become more profitable. Our specialist team offer exceptional consultancy across the entire business landscape. We have five key offerings:

• Procurement (public and commercial sectors)

• Project Management

• Tendering

• Business Performance

• People Solutions

We are extremely proud of our success rates for qualification stage for clients (100%) and success at tender stage (88%). If you want more information and advice on winning more work from the public sector, contact us on +44 (0)203 918 8550 or email info@augmentasgroup.com