Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator website

Commercial procurement

We spend approximately £144 million each year buying goods and services through our commercial procurement processes.

This helps provide facilities and services to the residents of York.

Changes in procurement legislation

Statement from Chloe Wilcox, Head of Procurement.

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the government have taken the opportunity to re-develop Procurement Legislation. The Procurement Act has gone through an extensive legislative process and Royal Assent was received 26 October 2023, and implementation of the Act will officially begin on the 1 April 2024 and come in to force 1 October 2024.

This is an important piece of legislation which will revolutionise the way the public sector buys goods and services, bringing a range of benefits, including:

  • creating a simpler and more flexible commercial system that better meets our country’s needs while remaining compliant with our international obligations
  • opening public procurement to new entrants such as small businesses and social enterprises so that they can compete for and win more public contracts
  • taking tougher action on underperforming suppliers and excluding suppliers who pose unacceptable risks
  • embedding transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle so that the spending of taxpayers’ money can be properly scrutinised

As a business which supplies goods, works, or services to organisations in the public sector, you need to know about these changes and our plans to prepare for go-live.

We expect the new regime to commence in October 2024, with at least 6 months’ advance notice. The existing rules will continue to apply for contracts that are already in progress, so the changes will not happen overnight.

For suppliers there will be new features which should make it easier to do business with contracting authorities:

  • a central digital platform for suppliers to register and store their details so that they can be used for multiple bids and see all opportunities in one place
  • simplified bidding processes to make it easier to bid, negotiate and work in partnership with the public sector - including a new ‘competitive flexible’ procedure
  • commercial frameworks will be more flexible, so prospective suppliers are not shut out for long periods of time
  • a new duty on contracting authorities to have regard to the particular barriers facing Subject Matter Experts (SME) and Voluntary, Community or Social Enterprises (VCSE), and to consider what can be done to overcome them throughout the procurement lifecycle, helping level the playing field for smaller businesses so they can compete for more contracts
  • strengthened provisions for prompt payment throughout the supply chain - enabling SMEs to benefit from 30-day payment terms on a broader range of public sector contracts
  • a stronger exclusions framework will take tougher action on underperforming suppliers

These changes will drive innovation, deliver better outcomes, and embed transparency right through the commercial lifecycle, so everyone can access procurement data and see how money is spent.

The Government Commercial Function will be providing a comprehensive training package for procurement practitioners in government departments and public bodies to ensure the benefits of the new regime are quickly realised, and working with leading business groups and trade associations to make some of this training as well as guidance and support available for the suppliers.

There is already a range of information and resources about the new regime on the Transforming Public Procurement landing page including a series of ‘Knowledge Drop’ training videos with tailored versions designed specifically for suppliers, including SME and VCSE suppliers.

Materials will continue to be added and further resources added, as we move towards go-live.

In the meantime, there are actions you can start to take to prepare:

  • familiarise yourself with the Act - check out the summary documents and videos on the Transforming Public Procurement landing page, and sign up for regular updates here
  • discuss the changes with us - we're now thinking about our forward pipelines and which procurements might benefit from the new flexible approaches and would be happy to discuss our preparations and timelines with you
  • look out for the supplier and SME dedicated official Knowledge Drops in early December, with guidance, procurement reform events and supplier communications to follow in 2024

Dedicated information for suppliers, particularly around the Procurement Review Unit and Central Digital Platform will be issued as we approach the 6 months’ preparation period. In the meantime, if you'd like to discuss any aspect of the new Act email: or email:

Also see

Procurement Team

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA