Suppliers’ hopes and fears for The Procurement Reform Act

The Procurement Reform Act promises big changes for both procurement teams and suppliers. Susan Hilgers from Proxima has been talking to suppliers to gauge their views on the forthcoming changes

Given the vast range of government suppliers, it is not surprising that awareness and opinions differ – but some common themes we are hearing include:


  • Universal delight at a common notice/information platform. Nobody will miss the CF/FTS combination, and there is relief that a “one-time” approach to storing their key information is finally coming (remember, it was heralded in the 2015 reform but never landed). Not everyone understands however, that a single notice digital does not equate to a single eSourcing portal.
  • Most firms welcome the additional notices and promise of increased transparency. However, there are still questions about how the increased data will be used effectively - so that the investment by authorities delivers the benefits intended, such as increased competition.
  • Suppliers have questions about how The Bill will work in practice. Common questions we have heard include: How will you protect my IP when contracts are published with less redaction? Will the flexible procedure mean we have to learn a new procedure for each authority? Will my contract KPIs be published? How does disbarment work?
  • What changes? Many procurement professionals have been tracking the development of The Bill with interest, and there has been much debate within the procurement community. For many suppliers, however, there is not the same level of awareness beyond the headline narrative of “bonfire of red tape,” – so there is a lack of awareness of what the changes actually mean.   
  • Knowledge & Training? SMEs/VCSEs in particular, often do not have access to in-house professionals who can help them understand what the reform package means for them and assuage concerns about the unknown. They really would like free information and training targeting them and their concerns, especially as The Bill seeks to improve their access to opportunities and widen their participation, and increase the impact of public money.

What does this mean for buyers? The Procurement Reform Act is a change for both public bodies and the firms that supply them. It is notable that a relatively small number of firms engaged in the consultation process compared with the number in the supply chain. Such lack of engagement may mean stakeholders are not yet aware, and so have not yet started their change journey.


The clock is ticking, and the launch is less than a year away - so for a change of this scale, starting to raise awareness in such a key group must be high on the public buyer priority list. Great communication and engagement will be key to getting through the disruption caused by the change and reaping the benefits.


Link to cabinet office guidance The Procurement Act 2023: A short guide for suppliers (HTML) - GOV.UK (

The Official Transforming Public Procurement Knowledge Drops - GOV.UK (


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