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What are the new Procurement Policy Notes (PPN)?

The Government has produced and published three new Procurement Policy Notes as a direct result of the ever changing Covid-19 environment.

PPN 01/20: Responding to COVID-19

The purpose of PPN 01/20 is to ensure that contracting authorities are able to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency, to allow them to respond to the pandemic efficiently.

This PPN provides guidance for the following circumstances:

  • Direct award due to extreme urgency (regulations 32(2)(c)) (click here to read our article regarding regulation 32)
  • Direct award due to an absence of competition or protection of exclusive rights
  • Call off from an existing framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system
  • Call for competition using a standard procedure with accelerated timescales
  • Extending or modifying a contract during its term

PPN 02/20: Supplier relief due to COVID-19

PPN 02/20 focuses predominantly on the supplier to assist in keeping supply chains open and ensuring that suppliers are kept financially sound during these unpredictable times.

This PPN provides guidance for the following circumstances:

  • Urgent reviews of contract portfolios and to update suppliers if they believe they are at risk
  • Put in place appropriate payment measure to support supplier cash flow
  • Where contract payments are based on ‘payment by results’ make payments based on previous invoices
  • Ask suppliers to act on a ‘open book’ basis and make cost data available to the contracting authority during this period
  • Ensure invoices submitted by suppliers are paid immediately on receipt

PPN 03/20: Use of Procurement Cards

The third guidance note PPN 03/20 relates to the use of procurement cards to increase efficiency and accelerate payment to suppliers.

This PPN provides the following advice and urges organisations to arrange with their procurement card provider to:

  • Increase a single transaction limit to £20,000 for key card holders
  • Raise monthly limits on spending with procurement cards to £100,000 for key card holders
  • Spend on procurement cards each month in excess of £100,000 should be permissible to meet business needs

Although the above advice has been provided, should these limits not be necessary, organisations should seek an appropriate transaction limit or monthly limit.

The PPN also advises that by 30 April 2020, in scope organisations should:

  • Ensure that a number of appropriate staff have the authority to use these cards
  • Open all relevant categories of spend to enable these cards to be used more widely