In a speech to the Business Services Association in London, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington announced that by summer 2019, government procurements will be required to take social and economic benefits into account in certain priority areas.
Lidington said: “By reviewing and enhancing our Supplier Code of Conduct we are setting out the behaviours the public would expect of all of central government’s suppliers and also detailing what suppliers should be entitled to expect of government.
“For example, paying our suppliers promptly and placing risk with the party best able to manage it.”
He also announced that the government would require ‘living wills’ from key suppliers “to minimise the potential impact on critical national infrastructure and to ensure a smooth transition to new service providers should the need arise”.
The government is to pilot the use of these living wills with suppliers including Serco, Capita, Sopra Steria, Engie and Interserve, with others joining in weeks to come.
Lidington added that the government is committed to excluding suppliers from major government procurements if as part of their supply chain management, they cannot demonstrate good payment practice with their subcontractors and will be announcing further details of this in coming weeks.
Serco chief executive Rupert Soames welcomed the announced, commenting: “We are now beginning to see progress being made in a number of areas – transparency, standards of behaviour, risk allocation, and ‘living wills’, which are designed to improve the resilience of government contracting.”