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The Well-being of Future Generations Act’s well-being goals supported by this WPPN

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  • A prosperous Wales
  • A more equal Wales
  • A Wales of more cohesive communities
  • A globally responsible Wales

Points to note

  • The information set out in this document is neither legal advice nor statutory guidance and is not intended to be exhaustive. Nor is it intended to override existing legal obligations applicable to Welsh Public Sector (WPS) contracting authorities – contracting parties should seek their own independent legal advice as appropriate. Please also note that the law is subject to constant change and advice should be sought in individual cases. This document reflects the position as at April 2022.
  • This Welsh Procurement Policy Note (WPPN) builds on, and is consistent with, the Wales Procurement Policy Statement and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/102) as amended by the Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1319).
  • This note assumes a certain level of knowledge of public procurement. It is available via the Welsh Government website GOV.WALES and any queries should be directed to CommercialProcurement.DigitalDataICT@gov.wales or via the Welsh Governments’ customer services.

1. Purpose or issue

This WPPN sets out Welsh Government’s commitment to publish information about awards over certain low value thresholds on Sell2Wales (S2W) and to promote this approach as best practice to WPS contracting authorities in Wales.

2. Dissemination and scope

This WPPN has been published to assist all WPS contracting authorities in Wales, including Welsh Government departments, NHS Wales bodies, Welsh Government sponsored bodies, local authorities and the wider public sector. This WPPN covers goods, services and works contracts being delivered in Wales.

Please circulate this WPPN across your organisation and to other relevant organisations that you are responsible for, drawing it to the specific attention of those in procurement, commercial and finance roles.

3. Background

Procurement reform will result in a step change to working practices and tools as well as the introduction of new legislation.

Transparency is key to ensuring that the WPS supports the ‘digital’ concept, which will help to improve tracking and detection of positive/negative trends throughout the procurement lifecycle.

Based on the recommendations of a review by Lord Young, Part 4 of the PCR 2015 sets out additional rules to be followed for certain below-threshold procurements with an estimated value (inclusive of VAT) of £10,000 or more (for central government authorities), or £25,000 or more (for sub-central authorities and NHS Trusts). Except for the provisions specified in Regulation 1(8A) of the PCR 2015, Part 4 of the PCR 2015 does not apply to a contracting authority if its functions are wholly or mainly Welsh devolved functions.

This guidance has been issued to support changes that are being introduced within the WPS to enable Contracting Authorities to meet upcoming transparency requirements. In addition to meeting these transparency requirements, this guidance will also support the introduction of the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) throughout the procurement lifecycle. This is consistent with the Welsh government’s decision to align itself with the UK government’s Green Paper: Transforming public procurement.

The OCDS enables disclosure of data and documents at all stages of the contracting process by defining a common data model. It was created to support organisations to increase contracting transparency, and allow deeper analysis of contracting data by a wide range of users.

In terms of advertising opportunities, WPS Contracting Authorities should refer to Welsh Procurement Policy Note WPPN 07/21: Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs)-friendly procurement which makes a commitment to advertise contracts over £25,000 in value, making best use of the Sell2Wales portal. Please note that the likelihood is that this advertising threshold will also become a transparency requirement under the upcoming Procurement Reform Bill, should the policy position change this WPPN will be updated accordingly.

4. Guidance

The following guidance should be applied to Welsh Government procurements and is deemed as best practice for WPS contracting authorities.

It is recommended that contract award notices are issued as set out below:

Welsh Central Government Bodies, including those listed in Schedule 1 of the PCR 2015

Where the contract value is at least £10,000 inclusive of VAT*

Welsh Sub Central Government Bodies, all contracting authorities which are not central government authorities

Where the contract value is at least £25,000 inclusive of VAT

* Welsh Central Government Bodies, including those listed in Schedule 1 of the PCR 2015 will implement the threshold in a phased approach, starting with the application to contracts valued at least £25,000 inclusive of VAT.

The intention of these additional policy requirements is to provide greater visibility to the public of government contracting by publishing contract award notices on Sell2Wales.

Once a contract has been awarded via any of the following methods or otherwise:

  • Open competition
  • Framework Agreement (e.g. as a result of a mini competition), or
  • Direct award without competition (e.g. where quotations have been sought, single tender action has been undertaken etc.),

as a minimum, the following information must be published on Sell2Wales:

  1. the full name of the winning contractor
  2. the date on which the contract was entered into (Award Date)
  3. the total value of the contract in pounds sterling, and
  4. an indication of whether the contractor is an SME or a VCSE (as defined in WPPN 05/21: Guidance on reserving below threshold procurements for Welsh public sector contracting authorities).

If an opportunity notice already exists on Sell2Wales, this should be updated with the award details. If no opportunity notice exists on Sell2Wales (for example if the contract was not openly competed, or is a direct award or mini competition call off from a framework agreement or via a dynamic purchasing system), then a separate awarded opportunity notice should be published.

Contract award notices must be published on Sell2Wales within 30 calendar days of the contract Award Date.

For the purpose of this guidance, ‘Award Date’ means the date on which the contract was signed by the last contracting party. The first calendar day after the contract is signed counts as day 1.

Where the deadline date for publication ends on a non-working day, the authority has until the end of the next working day to publish the award.

5. Actions required by WPS contracting authorities

WPS contracting authorities are advised to apply this guidance as best practice to meet transparency requirements in readiness for the introduction of the OCDS throughout the procurement lifecycle.

6. Legislation

  • The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015
  • The Public Contracts Regulations 2015
  • The Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

7. Timing

This WPPN is effective from the date of publication 28 April 2022 until it is superseded or cancelled.

8. Wales Procurement Policy Statement (WPPS) relevance

This WPPN aligns with the following WPPS principles:

Principle 2

We will integrate procurement into the heart of Welsh policy development and implementation.

Principle 7

We will improve the integration and user experience of our digital solutions and applications, maximising the use of our procurement data to support decision making.

9. Additional information

This WPPN supports the Digital Strategy for Wales.

Mission 4: digital economy

Procurement practices and policies support innovation and economic prosperity, allowing businesses in Wales to thrive and we support public sector in working with a responsive market of companies.

Mission 6: data and collaboration

Public sector data is made available and published openly, where it is appropriate (i.e not personal data), in formats that support transparency, re-use and accountability.

Please refer to WPPN 03/20: Post-EU Transition Public Procurement including Find a Tender Service (FTS) for further guidance on the use of Sell2Wales and the UK e-notification service.

10. Contact details

If you have any questions about this WPPN, please contact: CommercialProcurement.DigitalDataICT@gov.wales

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