Recent political events in the UK may have distracted most of us from the forthcoming changes to the procurement legislation in England Northern Ireland and Wales. However up-to-date guidance from the centre was published on 21 October 2022 clearly indicating that this has not been forgotten and changes are on their way.
Whilst it is still too early to say exactly what the new legislation will say there is action which can be taken now to prepare the way for a smooth transition into the new regime. For those keen to understand what the legislation could look like a draft of the bill is available on the UK Parliament website https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3159. For those who are more interested in the practicalities of implementations, helpfully, the recent guidance provides a short planning and preparation checklist2 which may help you to prepare for the arrival of the legislation.
Of relevance to those procuring risk management and insurance services the checklist mentions:-
Policies and Procedures
Early market engagement is highlighted. The Insurance market for publically funded organisations is small but highly competitive when approached in the right way. Time must be taken to introduce your risk to underwriters and allow them time to develop appetite. Importantly take time to explain the process to be undertaken. Make it as straightforward as possible. If underwriters understand what is expected of them they react more positively.
Transparency and Data
The new regulation will impose greater than ever duty of transparency on Contracting Authorities. Make sure you understand what the expectations are and how your organisation intends to implement the new transparency requirements. Clarity can be gained in the document ‘Transforming Public Procurement - Our Transparency Ambition’3. Gallagher is taking external advice to ensure, where possible, our documentation, policies support our clients who are required to comply with procurement law. Experience shows that each organisation interprets legislation differently. Take time to understand the needs of your organisation and then discuss this with Gallagher. If we are able to provide information in a certain format to improve efficiency of process we will.
There is a recommendation that people skills are reviewed to improve understanding not only of procurement process but also the need for good contract governance. It’s one thing to procure correct, but what happens during the contract? There is an expectation that contractor performance will be monitored more closely. Consider what is important to you and how you will monitor that. KPI’s are all well and good but what do you want them to tell you?
Greater visibility of future contracts will be required. Gain a good understanding of when your insurance contracts next require tendering and makes sure the market is aware of that. Give the markets plenty of opportunity to see the opportunity and engage with them. Use Gallagher market position to help you achieve good market presence before any tender is considered.
Gallagher will continue to keep you up to date with any further developments of the bill and will be working with clients throughout to ensure a suitable outcome in the market as and when new rules are implemented.
The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.