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Lords examines Procurement Bill at report stage

1 December 2022

A woman signing a contract

Members of the Lords continued further examination of the Procurement Bill in report stage, on Monday 30 November.

The Procurement Bill aims to reform the UK's public procurement regime following its exit from the European Union (EU), to create a simpler and more transparent system not based on transposed EU Directives. It also seeks to ensure that the government continues to pay fair prices on single-source defence contracts while providing value for money.

Detailed scrutiny

Report stage is an extra chance for members to closely scrutinise elements of the bill and make changes.   

Proposed changes

Members speaking on day two of report stage put forward amendments (PDF) (changes) to discuss.

Lord divisions

There were three divisions (votes) on proposed changes to the bill. 

'VIP' lanes for future contracts

The first vote was on amendment 72, which ensures there is no preferential treatment on suppliers connected to or recommended by members of the House of Commons or members of the House of Lords.

Members voted 201 in favour and 220 against, so the change not was made.

Forced organ harvesting

The second vote was on amendment 91, which provides a discretionary power to exclude suppliers from being awarded a public contract who have participated in forced organ harvesting or unethical activities relating to human tissue.

Members voted 191 in favour and 169 against, so the change was made.

Removal of supplier

The final vote was on amendment 94, which creates a timeline for the removal of physical technology or surveillance equipment from the government’s procurement supply chain, where there is established evidence that a provider has been involved in modern slavery, genocide, crimes against humanity.

Members voted 178 in favour and 158 against, so the change was made.

Catch up

Explore further information

Read background on the bill in the House of Lords Library Procurement Bill [HL] briefing.

Next steps

Third reading, a chance for members to make sure the eventual law is effective, workable and without loopholes, is scheduled for Tuesday 13 December.

How to follow

What's happened so far?

Report stage day one: Monday 28 November

Report stage is an extra chance for members to closely scrutinise elements of the bill and make changes.   

Proposed changes

Two days of report stage were scheduled:

  • Monday 28 November
  • Wednesday 30 November

Members speaking on day one of report stage put forward amendments (PDF) (changes) on subjects including the NHS, a set of principles to consider in procurement and strategic priorities in the National Procurement Policy Statement, including climate change.

Lord divisions

There were three divisions (votes) on proposed changes to the bill. 

NHS public authority

The first vote was on amendment 3, which ensures that the National Health Service is included in the definition of a public authority under the new law.

Members voted 196 in favour and 183 against, so the change was made.

Procurement policy principles

The second vote was on amendment 46, which requires the government to consider a set of principles before publishing the National Procurement Policy Statement.

These principles include:

  • economic, social, environmental and public safety priorities
  • value for money, transparency and accountability for public spending
  • fair treatment of suppliers and non-discriminatory decision making.

Members voted 163 in favour and 162 against, so the change was made.

Strategic priorities

The final vote was on amendment 47, which ensures that legal requirements regarding climate change, the environment, public services, supplier innovation and abuse of public money become strategic priorities in the National Procurement Policy Statement.

Members voted 165 in favour and 150 against, so the change was made.

Catch up

Wednesday 26 October

Members speaking on the final day of committee stage put forward changes (amendments) on subjects including:

  • key performance indicators or quantifiable measures in contracts
  • conflicts of interest.

Catch up

Monday 24 October

Proposed changes

Members speaking on day six of committee stage put forward changes (amendments) on subjects including:

  • excluding suppliers for improper behaviour
  • framework agreements
  • dynamic markets.

Catch up

Monday 18 July

Members speaking on day five of committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) (changes) to the bill to be discussed.

These amendments covered a range of subjects, including:

  • small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • a central digital procurement platform
  • strengthening good practice requirements and simplifying checking processes for all contracts under the Act.

Catch up

 

Committee stage day four: Wednesday 13 July

Members speaking on day four of committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) (changes) to the bill to be discussed.

These amendments covered a range of subjects, including:

  • adding the improvement of 'economic, social and environmental well-being' to procurement objectives

  • making the health of the food system central to the legislation

  • voluntary organisations, social enterprises and charities. 

Catch up

Committee stage day three: Monday 11 July

Members speaking on day three of committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) (changes) to the bill to be discussed.

These amendments covered a range of subjects, including:

  • health and care services
  • suppliers outside the UK
  • the role of AI.

Catch up

Committee stage day two: Wednesday 6 July

Members speaking on day two of committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) (changes) to the bill to be discussed.

These amendments covered a range of subjects, including:

  • the exemption list 
  • postal services
  • contracting authorities.

Catch up

Committee stage day one: Monday 4 July

Members speaking on day one of committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) (changes) to the bill to be discussed.

These amendments covered a range of subjects, including:

  • which bodies and organisations should fall under the bill's remit, including privately-owned utilities, universities, and ARIA
  • joint projects with other countries
  • procurement by groups of local authorities.

Catch up

Catch up on Parliament TV or read a transcript in Lords Hansard.

Second reading: Wednesday 25 May

Members discussed the main issues in the bill and flagged concerns on specific areas where they believe amendments (changes) were needed during second reading. Topics included:

  • defence
  • eradicating forced labour and modern slavery from supply chains
  • equal treatment of suppliers, and fair and open competition
  • joining contracts for research and development with procurement contracts
  • support for small and medium enterprises
  • and transparency in procurement processes.

Members speaking

Lord True (Conservative), Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, opened the debate and responded on behalf of the government.

Members speaking in the debate included:

Find out more about the issues discussed: catch up on Parliament TV  or read a transcript in Lords Hansard .

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