Westminster Business Forum

The future for UK public procurement - contract management, social value and supporting competition

Morning, Wednesday, 3rd April 2019

Royal Over-Seas League, Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James’s Street, London SW1A 1LR


This conference will discuss the future for public procurement in the UK at a crucial time for the outsourcing sector.

It takes place in the wake of the collapse of Carillion, with the Government commitment to extending the Social Value Act and signalling an end to the further use of PFI and PF2 arrangements, and as the Industrial Strategy commits further resource to the Small Business Research Initiative.

Delegates will consider the future management and monitoring of public contracts and their financing going forward. 

With the Chancellor’s announcement of a centre of excellence to support NHS contract managers, they will also discuss what else is needed to ensure that public bodies have the skills and expertise they need to improve the public procurement process and avoid further failures post-Carillion.

Planned sessions will examine the implications for contractors and public bodies of plans to ensure that all government departments explicitly evaluate social value when commissioning services, as well as how to ensure the consideration of factors other than the lowest cost when awarding contracts whilst still delivering value for money - and how spending behaviour within public bodies can be developed to redirect wealth back into local economies.   

We also expect discussion on the future of the Small Business Research Initiative and what is needed to support a competitive bidding process and encourage more new entrants to tender for public contracts.

The seminar is timed as the Government takes forward a range of initiatives which aim to support businesses through the use of public procurement, including the launch of a package of measures which aim to reduce the complexity of the bidding process and as the Government considers feedback to its consultation on whether it would be appropriate to exclude suppliers from major government contracts if they fail to promptly pay their suppliers. 

Further sessions look at how businesses and public bodies can utilise new innovations to improve procurement, looking at next steps for procurement technology and automation.

Keynote Speaker

Chris White

Director, Institute for Industrial Strategy, King’s College London

Keynote Speakers

Chris White

Director, Institute for Industrial Strategy, King’s College London

Ed Green

Deputy Director, EU and Domestic Procurement Policy, Crown Commercial Service


Meg Hillier MP

Chair of the Public Accounts Committee

The Earl of Lytton

Member, House of Lords


Dr Joshua Pritchard

Researcher, Reform

John Seed

Global Advisory Services Sector Lead, Mott MacDonald

Michael Bowsher QC

Barrister, Monckton Chambers

Dr Richard Craven

Lecturer, University of Leicester

Rebecca Rees

Partner, Trowers & Hamlins

Laura Forzani

Commercial Management, KPMG

Tamar Reay

Project Lead, Making Spend Matter, Preston City Council

Jon Hazell

Innovation Lead, Small Business Research Initiative, Innovate UK

Sonali Parekh

Head of Policy, Federation of Small Businesses

Philip Chalmers

Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Rob Driscoll

Deputy Director, Business Policy & Practice, ECA