HEPA Digest: December 2021

16 December 2021      Ashley Shelbrooke, HEPA and Project Specialist

Public Procurement Reform

I am sure you will have seen that the Cabinet Office published their response to the Transforming Public Procurement green paper earlier this month – you can read the response in full here, and the accompanying statement here.  

The Cabinet Office held an informative session earlier this week laying out the next steps for the reform programme, and there is another (repeat) webinar being held next week on 21 December at 14:00: sign up is available here.  If you missed the session this week and the reforms will apply to you I would recommend joining the webinar.

Prof. Sue Arrowsmith has also recently run two update webinars with Achilles; if you missed these sessions you can download the slides for each below:

It is important to note that as the green paper is from the Westminster jurisdiction, it will apply to England; the reforms will be covered in a new bill with supplementary rules in Wales; discussions are ongoing in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Scope 3 Tool: December 2021 HESCET Update

The HEPA Responsible Procurement Group Scope 3 sub-group is pleased to release an updated version of the Higher Education Supply Chain Emissions tool (HESCET).

This version, released in December 2021 at version 3.5, updates the DEFRA conversion factors in the tool released in February 2021 at version 3.4.  This version also maps Proc-HE code DZ to align with D.

You can download the latest tool – v3.5 – here.

Colleagues are often interested in the source of the conversion factors (which can be tricky to find on  You can download this emissions data from DEFRA here.

EMR:  Colleagues in PHES sister organisation AUDE have today released the Higher Education Estates Management Report 2021.  You can read the EMR here

Procurement Value Survey – now open

The Procurement Value Survey (PVS) is now open for your institution’s 2020/21 submission.

You can access the survey here.

If you are unable to access the PVS through this link then please let Ashley know, who will enable your access asap.

The PVS will close on 18 February 2022.  Check out the HEPA website for all of the documentation, help and support that you need to complete the PVS, including a recording of this year’s PVS webinar expertly delivered by Larissa Morrish, Head of Procurement at Lancaster University.

The Benefits Methodology is due its 3-year refresh next year in 2022.  We will form a working group to investigate this in spring.  Please do let Ashley know if you would be interested in participating in this project.

Sustainability & Climate Change – draft DfE strategy

The DfE have released a draft strategy for Sustainability & Climate Change; the strategy will apply to the DfE, its arms-length bodies and the education and children’s services systems in England (which includes Higher Education).  You can download a copy of the draft strategy here.  One of the core themes of the strategy is Operations & Supply Chains. You can read the detail and associated targets from page 21 of the strategy.

The Department are running consultations over the coming months, which representatives from BUFDG and HEPA have been invited to, alongside sector organisations such as the EAUC.  If you have any feedback on the strategy then please do not hesitate to let Ashley know.

Reminder: The HE TOMs

Continuing the responsible procurement theme with a reminder that the Social Value Portal, HEPA, UKUPC and member institutions have collaboratively launched the Higher Education Themes, Outcomes and Measures (HE TOMs).  The TOMs identify a solution which enables organisations to procure, measure, manage and maximise social value in procurement activity in a consistent way and define the benefit in £’s.  Find out more about the background to the project here, and download the HE TOMs themselves here.


Bid rigging:  A huge thank you to Georgina Laverack of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for her excellent time to talk earlier this month exploring the dangers of bid rigging.  A copy of the slides can be downloaded here.  Georgina also referenced several very useful resources:

Crooks on Campus:  You can register as a university staff member to receive access to We Fight Fraud’s academy and watch the Crooks on Campus film at your convenience – you can sign-up for these resources here.

The new EU Whistleblower Protection Directive:  find out everything you need to know in our summary here.

Purchasing Cards – resources, and a must watch for Barclays customers

You can download a copy of the Purchasing Cards time to talk slides here.  The slides contain links to further informative webinars as well as details on Barclay’s proposal for CCS.  If you did not catch the session live then you can re-watch a recording of the session here.  Many thanks to Paul Allison, Deputy Director, Financial Services, at CCS for delivering the session – Paul’s contact details are in the slides should you wish to contact him about Purchasing Cards, or the Barclays proposal for HE customers outlined in the slides and recording.

Survey results

Systems:  Together with UKUPC we are delighted to release the 2021 Systems Survey which you can download here.  The survey aims to assist the sector by building knowledge of the systems in use throughout the procurement lifecycle.

Contract Management:  Earlier this year Lifecycle conducted a survey to better understand contract management in the HE sector.  The results are very interesting; you can access the survey through this link.

Time to Talk and webinar resources

Contract Management:  You can download a copy of the Effective Contract Management handout here, including key questions to consider at each stage of the Contract Management cycle.

ESG:  Andrew Hewett, Director of Finance at Manchester Metropolitan University & HEPA Chair plus Shakespeare Martineau ran a great webinar focused on ESG: Environmental, Social, and Governance.  If you missed it, you can re-watch the session here.

Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence:  Electronics Watch are running a new webinar series focusing on Delivering Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence in Public Procurement.  You can read more about the sessions and how to register for them on the Electronics Watch website here.

Reminder: New Procurement Thresholds

We noted last month that the Government has announced new procurement thresholds for 2022.  Clyde & Co. have produced a good summary of the change, including an analysis of the practical impact.  You can read their piece here.

Round up

  • HMRC have published new guidance for individuals who are engaged through an umbrella company to evaluate whether they are involved in tax avoidance schemes. You can also read about HMRC’s ‘call for evidence’ regarding umbrella companies in Julia’s comprehensive piece here.
  • Check our Andrea’s informative round-up of the Plastics Packaging Tax here.
  • There are many tools and resources available to members of Electronics Watch; LUPC have produced a great summary of all of these tools and resources.
  • LUPC have also released a good resource which you can download here offering a series of top tips to those writing a modern slavery statement.
  • UKUPC have released guidance for SMEs Supplying the HE Sector focusing on Carbon Reduction. You can access the guidance here and use it with suppliers that sit outside of consortia frameworks.
  • EAUC have produced an interesting read detailing their reflections on COP26 which you can read here.

Don’t forget to sign up for your free place at next year’s festival, packed full of all the latest in HE procurement and finance more widely – from Modern Slavery to Procurement Reform and so much more.

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