CCS: Model Services Contract: updated version of the model terms and conditions for major services contracts that are published for use by government departments and many other public sector organisations. The contract has been developed for services contracts with a value over £10m and replaces the ‘OGC Model ICT Contract’ version 2.3. It reflects current government priorities and recommended ways of doing business. There is also guidance and a Statement of Changes, showing what has changed, where, from the previously issued version. (26 May 2016)

NAO: Government commercial and contracting – An overview of the NAO's work: this overview of the NAO’s work on the government’s management of contracting examines subjects including the Government’s commercial capability, accountability and transparency, and its management of contracted-out service delivery. The NAO and the Public Accounts Committee have acknowledged improvements in the Government’s management of contracts in recent years. But there is much more to be done for government contracting to be effective, meet expected public service standards and provide better value for money for the taxpayer. This overview also looks at areas for improvement including greater transparency of suppliers’ performance, cost and revenue. (25 May 2016)

Social Enterprise UK: Procuring for good – How the Social Value Act is being used by local authorities: this report finds that only 24% of local authorities have a social value policy while 33% say they routinely considered social value in their procurement and commissioning. It concludes that too many councils still see the Act as a duty rather than an opportunity. The Act has been in force for more than three years but is not empowering local authorities in the way it could be. Legal enforcement is needed to ensure social value is given priority in commissioning – the Act lacks teeth and simply asking public sector bodies to consider the creation of social value when commissioning services is not enough. (31 May 2016)

CCS: Procurement Policy Note 05/16 – Open book contract management: this PPN assists in enabling open book contract management (OBCM) to be used in a fair way depending on the risk level and complexity of the contract. This will ensure it is used on those contracts where the additional cost is justified by the level of benefits and risk. It states that organisations should begin assessing their contract portfolios by no later than 24 June 2016, and mobilising resources to begin implementing OBCM by no later than 24 July 2016. There is also guidance on OBCM. (24 May 2016)

See also Government contracts to be open to public for the first time: Cabinet Office announcement of 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.

Procurement Byte: Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) 2 – Setting up a DPS: we have published the second article in our series that looks at practical issues in setting up Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS). This article looks at setting up a DPS and creating the initial list of economic operators admitted to the DPS; it also looks at the process for dealing with Requests to Participate (RTPs) from economic operators after the DPS is established. (2 June 2016)