4. Future procurement activity
In line with the legislation, public bodies are required to provide summary information in their annual procurement reports about the regulated procurements they expect to commence in the next two reporting years. A key benefit of doing so is that it provides suppliers with advanced notice of upcoming opportunities and an opportunity to plan accordingly.
The evidence shows that public bodies expect the COVID-19 pandemic to have a lasting effect on their procurement activity. In their annual procurement reports, several public bodies noted that the pandemic has led to some current procurements being extended and it is expected that this may lead to a delay in some future procurements, or to a change in priorities from the time of publishing their annual procurement reports. For example, as Glasgow Kelvin College noted:
"Glasgow Kelvin College is keen to encourage competition by promoting optimal participation in its procurement process and achieve better value for money in its procurements. One method of achieving this is to give notice to suppliers of tendering opportunities that are expected to commence over the next two financial years after the period covered by this report.
In preparing this forward projection of anticipated regulated procurements, it is difficult to be precise about providing details of actual requirements as use of the College campuses continues to be limited due to COVID-19 social-distancing regulations. Over a forecast period of two years, it is very probable that circumstances and priorities will change so the list of projected individual regulated procurement exercises outlined in Annex D should be viewed with this caveat in mind."
Nevertheless, there is also case for optimism. Despite the ongoing pandemic, public bodies anticipate that they will continue to undertake procurement exercises for a wide variety of goods, works and services. Across the 97 (84%) public bodies which provided the relevant information, a total of 5,796 regulated procurements are expected to commence over the next two years. Eighty-four (73%) public bodies provided information about the value of regulated procurements expected to commence and the total estimated value of these contracts is £15.8 billion.
Across 97 public bodies, 5,796 regulated procurements are expected to commence over the next two years.
In terms of the types of future procurements anticipated, some examples of these include:
- health sector public bodies – hospital refurbishments, vehicle maintenance services and cleanroom clothing sterilisation
- local government – peer support (mental health), early years training providers and sporting facilities
- central government – application management, support services and digital skills
- Registered Social Landlords – IT hardware, asbestos inspections and landscape maintenance
- universities and colleges – graduation services, student counselling services and audio-visual equipment maintenance.
Across 84 public bodies, the total estimated value of regulated procurements expected to commence over the next two years is £15.8 billion.