Westminster Business Forum

For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us: +44 (0)1344 864796.

Next steps for public procurement policy and implementation

Morning, Friday, 26th April 2024

This conference focuses on the future of public procurement in the UK, following the Procurement Act 2023 coming into law.

It will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss priorities in preparation for the Act’s implementation, including adapting practices to comply with new legislation, and considering support that might be required.

Delegates will examine potential impact, looking at emerging issues for businesses and local authorities, including resources to support transition to provisions under the Act, as well as differing interpretations of definitions, and implications of increased flexibility.

The agenda looks at issues surrounding competition, including barriers faced by SMEs and social enterprises in procurement, such as opportunities for widening market access through digitisation and streamlining.

Delegates will also discuss how the contribution public procurement and widened participation by potential suppliers can be directed to support national policy priorities such as levelling up and the transition to net zero, and how this can work in practice.

Further sessions assess priorities for regulation, and establishing an effective framework for public procurement, including:

  • strategies for ensuring best practice requirements for transparency in procurement and contract decisions
  • priorities for a potential National Security Unit for Procurement
  • the establishment of a new Procurement Review Unit (PRU) to focus on non-compliance

We also expect delegates to examine practicalities of potential secondary legislation provisionally titled Procurement Act 2023 (Online Systems and Notices) Regulations 2024, and priorities for ensuring an effective regulatory framework. 

We are pleased to be able to include a keynote session with Lindsay Maguire, Deputy Director, Procurement Reform, Cabinet Office.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • Implementation of the Act: new application process - priorities for businesses and local authorities - support - competitive flexible procedure - shift to emphasis on sustainability
  • Issues: interpreting definitions - effective use of preparation period - resource concerns - three single procurement procedures - transparency in procurement and contract decisions
  • Regulation: potential National Security Unit for Procurement and a new Procurement Review Unit - monitoring compliance, best practice and performance - contract debarment investigations
  • SMEs: encouraging competition and opening up procurement - reducing barriers - supporting innovative solutions - digitisation and streamlining - increasing transparency and public confidence
  • Supporting wider policy goals: job creation - enhancing supplier resilience - fostering innovation - supporting economic recovery - levelling up - decarbonisation and transition to net zero

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from CCC; DBT; Defra; Department for Economy, NI; DESNZ; DLUHC; DfT; Department of Communities, NI; Department of Finance, NI; DSIT; DHSC; HM Treasury; Home Office; Homes England; IPO; MOD; NAO; NCA; NCSC; NIAO; Ofcom; and the Welsh Government; as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons.

Keynote Speaker

Lindsay Maguire

Deputy Director, Procurement Reform, Cabinet Office

Keynote Speaker

Lindsay Maguire

Deputy Director, Procurement Reform, Cabinet Office


Peter Schofield

Head of Integrated Commissioning and Procurement, Manchester City Council

Heather Buchanan

Chief Executive Officer, Bankers for Net Zero

Heather Cover-Kus

Head of Central Government Programme, Tech UK

Michelle McCann

Chief Sustainability and Innovation Officer, NHS London Procurement Partnership

Paul Wright

Owner, PAWA Consulting

Rebecca Rees

Head of Public Procurement and Partner, Trowers & Hamlims