The government has set out its plans for new requirements for public service contracts. Those plans will require:
• all key suppliers to develop ‘living wills’, to enable contingency plans to allow a supplier to fail, to be rapidly put in place, while ensuring services are still delivered;
• government departments to follow a ‘playbook’ of guidelines, rules and principles to encourage new entrants to the market and build mixed markets of suppliers;
• key performance indicators, such as response rates, on-time delivery and customer feedback, to be published (with further transparency initiatives possible in the coming months);
• high quality training for 30,000 Civil Service contract managers in the proper management of contracts and suppliers.
The government will also:
• extend the Social Value Act in central government to ensure that all major procurements explicitly evaluate social value, where appropriate, rather than just consider it;
• require all central government departments regularly to report on the social impact of new procurements;
• train all the government’s 4000 commercial buyers how to take account of social value and procure successfully from social enterprises;
• develop proposals for the government’s biggest suppliers to publish data, and provide action plans, for how they plan to address key social issues and disparities, such as ethnic minority workforce representation, the gender pay gap and what they are doing to tackle modern slavery. The outcomes of the already commissioned review of these priority areas will be announced later this year;
• apply the government’s new cyber security standard to its strategic suppliers to assess if they meet it, write this cyber security standard into new contracts and enforce full compliance;
• pilot the introduction of the cyber security equivalent of a ‘credit check’ on suppliers, allowing easy risk assessments of suppliers; and
• accelerate expansion of the world-leading Active Cyber Defence programme to better protect critical national infrastructure, including such services as hospitals and schools.