Procurement reform – an update

<a href=Radhika Devesher and Natasha Barlow provide a summary of the proposed and enacted changes to the UK procurement regime post-Brexit.


In the wake of Brexit, the UK Government has been considering an overhaul of the public procurement regime. The aim is to encourage flexibility in procuring goods, services and works by introducing adaptable processes that are less rigid than those required by EU law.

The proposed overhaul of the procurement regime commenced with the Green Paper and will become the Procurement Bill at its next stage (see Sharpe Pritchard’s summary of the Green Paper).

In the meantime, the Government has introduced legislation to amend the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015) in light of new trade deals. It has also published the National Procurement Policy Statement.

As a summary, we have set out these proposed and enacted changes in the form of a timeline on the following page.


Green Paper published and consultation commenced

Cabinet Office issued consultation on the Green Paper: Transforming Public Procurement. Seeking to legislate for a more flexible and less bureaucratic procurement regime in light of Brexit and the UK no longer being tied to EU law.
MARCH 2021

Green Paper consultation deadline

Green paper consultation closed on 10 March 2021. Subject to widespread comment and the Cabinet Office will consider responses before preparing the Procurement Bill.
MAY 2021

Queen’s Speech

Procurement Bill announced. Main aim is to reform government procurement in the UK and create a single Act to cover all existing procurement legislation.
3 JUNE 2021

PPN 05/21 issued

National Procurement Policy Statement issued. Sets out the requirements for all contracting authorities to have regard to national strategic priorities for public procurement.
11 JUNE 2021

GPA amendments to PCR 2015

Public Procurement (Agreement on Government Procurement) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 came into force. Amends PCR 2015 to include the UK’s membership of the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), created by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
2 JULY 2021

International trade amendments to PCR 2015

Public Procurement (International Trade Agreements) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 came into force. Amends PCR 2015 to require contracting authorities to treat suppliers from countries where a trade deal is in place no less favourably than UK-based suppliers.

Cabinet Office issue Procurement Bill

Provided there are no new considerations raised as part of the consultation, the government has indicated that the Procurement Bill will be issued in September 2021. Draft Bill will confirm the proposed changes to the procurement regime and the responses to the consultation.

Parliament consideration of Procurement Bill

The Procurement Bill will be placed before Parliament. It will be subject to discussion before gaining Royal Assent and becoming enshrined in law.

Enactment of the Procurement Bill

Commentators anticipate that the UK will have a new procurement regime coming into force in 2022. Until then, application of PCR 2015, CCR 2016 and UCR 2016 continue and it is “business as usual” for the public sector.

Radhika Devesher is a Senior Associate and Natasha Barlow is a Trainee Solicitor at Sharpe Pritchard LLP.

For further insight and resources on local government legal issues from Sharpe Pritchard, please visit the SharpeEdge page by clicking on the banner below.

sharpe edge 600x100

This article is for general awareness only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this page was first published. If you would like further advice and assistance in relation to any issue raised in this article, please contact us by telephone or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(c) HB Editorial Services Ltd 2009-2020