Cabinet Office: Government contracts to be open to public for the first time: announces a series of concrete commitments to maintain the UK’s position as the most transparent governments ever. The UK Open Government National Action Plan 2016-18 (NAP) sets out 13 commitments on transparency, anti-corruption and open government. These include commitment to the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) for contracts administered by a central purchasing authority, the Crown Commercial Service – this means that the whole process of awarding public sector contracts will be visible to the public for the first time by October 2016. It will be piloted by HS2. (12 May 2016)

CCS: Procurement policy note (PPN) 04/16 Concession contracts threshold: informs contracting authorities and utilities that the threshold for concession contracts is £4,104,394 (€5,225,000) with effect from 18 April 2016. (17 May 2016)

NLGN: All together now – Whole systems commissioning for councils and the voluntary sector: this report examines why a new partnership between local government and the voluntary and community sector (VCS), in which the former uses its commissioning power to fund the emergence of innovative new voluntary sector responses to multiple deprivation, has generally not happened. It concludes that raising the scoring for social value in the commissioning process could have a profound effect on how local government works with its partners and on the outcomes it is able to deliver for citizens. The report sets out a different approach to joint working between the VCS and local government to tackle the challenges of severe and multiple disadvantage, that aims to reconcile the demands that councils face to demonstrate value for money, with a recognition of the factors that make the VCS special. (28 April 2016)