Pagabo Live

Pagabo Live – Key things to know about the changes to the Procurement Act

24 April 2024

It’s estimated that around £300 billion is spent on public sector procurement every year. Frameworks, like our own at Pagabo, support businesses to make the right choices and find the very best procurement route when allocating their budgets – all in a highly compliant manner.

The public sector is highly regulated, and for good reason, ensuring that our vital infrastructure is built to the highest standards. Regular procurement policy notes are issued by the government when relevant – but a significant change is coming with the introduction of the new Procurement Act 2023 later this year.

On 25 March, The Procurement Regulations 2024 – which is a statutory instrument (SI) and a secondary legislation – were laid in parliament, covering many of the new powers within the Procurement Act 2023, and giving an indication of further detail of the new and changing procurement guidelines.



While the new legislation is set to be transformative in many ways, still there is a lot of uncertainty about the changes and what is to come, making it the perfect topic to unpack in our latest instalment of Pagabo Live – which you can watch back here.

This time, Pagabo’s Head of Procurement, Shamayne Harris, was joined by Rosanne Edge, National Framework Director at GRAHAM and Janet Glenn, Associate Director at Mace, in a session hosted by Tom Snee of Cartwright Communications.

The uncertainty was clear with only 10% of attendees saying that they were fully aware of the upcoming changes to the Procurement Act 2023 at the start of the hour-long Q&A session. However, by the end of the session, 71% detailed feeling more or fully aware, showcasing the importance of gathering an expert panel of people in the industry to share knowledge and their different perspectives.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

What are the main changes to be aware of?

The overall objective of the changes is to create a procurement system that is simple, flexible and meets the changing needs of the country, particularly in a post-Brexit world. It aims to make it easier for new entrants, especially SMEs, to bid for public contracts and to ensure the whole process is transparent at every stage, by:

  • Creating a consolidation of current procurement regimes under a single act.
  • Terminology changes – with lots of new introductions and updates moving away from familiar EU language many are used to.
  • Updated procedures aimed at simplifying and enhancing flexibility, including the introduction of Open Frameworks and Dynamic Markets to facilitate supplier diversity and innovation.
  • Moving from ‘Most Economically Advantageous Tender’ (MEAT) to ‘Most Advantageous Tender’ (MAT) – a concept that contracting authorities must now use when awarding public contracts.
  • Introducing tougher action taken on underperforming suppliers, with a new debarment register in place to make it easier to exclude those that pose a risk.
  • Creating one single digital procurement platform launching, for all e-procurement systems to feed into.
  • Embedding transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle so that the spending of taxpayers’ money can be properly scrutinised. This will be delivered by providing access to public procurement data and spending decisions. Suppliers will be able to identify new opportunities to bid and collaborate by utilising new notices throughout the procurement process.
  • Updating the way standstill periods work – moving towards an eight-working day period.


Key changes to terms and legislation

During our webinar, we also polled what concerned our audience the most about the upcoming changes. Not surprisingly, a majority 38% cited ‘changes to terms and legislation as being their top concern, followed by uncertainty 22% and training 21% – with a whopping 71% of people being unaware of any training available.

The Procurement Act 2023 Introduces several new concepts and terminology, and also adapts new terminology for existing concepts, to help it move away from EU language and create its own unique processes.

Our Head of Procurement, Shamayne Harris, led on this topic, explaining a broader shift to more permissive language: “Some [of the terms] are familiar, but there is an attempt to relax the language to be more permissive with some subtle changes from the use of ‘may’ rather than ‘must’ throughout. This could be to allow the contracting authority to make decisions, but this could also create a greater risk of challenge.”

Some specific terminology to be aware of include new phrases such as:

  • Below threshold tender notice
  • Debarment list
  • Conflicts assessments

And changes to existing terms such as:

  • The ‘central purchasing body’ will become the ‘centralised procurement authority’
  • ‘Dynamic purchasing system’ will become ‘dynamic markets’
  • The concept of most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) is replaced with that of the most advantageous tender (MAT)


How people can prepare

On 22 April it was announced by the Cabinet Office that the ‘go live’ date for the Procurement Act changes is set for 28 October 2024. This date will be formalised in Commencement Regulations, which is expected to be made in May.

Throughout the remaining six month notice period, there is more secondary legislation and guidance yet to be published, and until that is all published there is a limit to what training can be provided. Any of the latest news and updates will be published by the government as they happen on the Transforming Public Procurement collection page, for which you are able to set up email alerts.

Until then, it’s best to prepare by reading as many online resources as possible to upskill yourself and your teams, listening to webinars – such as this Pagabo Live session – and explore the knowledge hubs and resources available.




Don’t forget, to watch the full episode of Pagabo Live, click here.

Our next Pagabo Live session will be taking place in person live at UKREiiF at 1pm on Wednesday 22 May in the Pagabo Group Pavilion. Placing a focus on ‘Driving Efficiency Through Early Developer Engagement’, our experts will be joined by Telford Council and Lovell Partnerships to discuss how this early engagement creates project efficiencies and ultimately saves costs.

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