Councils urged to make use of local expertise to manage risks of emergency procurement

Councils urged to make use of local expertise to manage risks of emergency procurement

Local authorities and social landlords throughout the UK are being advised to talk to their regional framework experts to get technical advice and support before entering into the emergency procurement of public works contracts such as building repairs and maintenance.

LHC, the country’s longest running framework provider, is sending information to all its local authority members, social landlords and the appointed suppliers on all of its frameworks, with updated advice on how to manage the risks arising from the current COVID-19 crisis.

This follows the publication of two policy notes from the Cabinet Office late last week, relaxing some of the rules regarding procurement in cases of extreme urgency.

John Skivington, Group Director of LHC, said: “Emergency measures obviously need to be taken to maintain supply chains and to ensure that safety-critical repairs and maintenance continue, even during the current lockdown. But local knowledge is also vital, as the risks to contracting authorities during this time of confusion could be very severe.

“The latest Cabinet Office advice allows for a relaxation of procurement rules in some specific circumstances, and encourages use of direct awards where there are genuine reasons for extreme urgency. It also keeps some very robust requirements in place and makes it clear that contracting authorities still need to achieve value for money from any direct award.

“This is where LHC can help. Direct award routes are available in all of LHC’s frameworks, and this means that the public sector can get very speedy, free access to fully vetted and pre-approved suppliers who we know can be trusted to deliver best value for money.

“Through our network of local offices we are also uniquely placed to provide region-specific reassurance and support to all local authorities, social landlords and other public sector bodies. Just pick up the phone and talk to your local framework expert — it’s at times like this that these local relationships matter most.”

Through its regional business operations LHC provides additional services to support over-stretched local authorities, including general procurement and technical advice, project-specific support and price verifications to ensure best value is achieved at all times.

Contact a local LHC office at:

Header image ©magele-picture/AdobeStock.

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