NHS Finance

06.04.20

Cabinet Office issues procurement cards guidance to support suppliers

Suppliers to the public sector are seeing their cashflow partly consolidated in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, following publication of new guidance from the Cabinet Office surrounding the use of procurement cards.

The newly-released Procurement Policy Note (PPN) sets out information and guidance to central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies – collectively grouped and referred to as ‘in scope organisations – relating to the use of procurement cards.

Aimed at accelerating payments to suppliers to support and improve cashflow in this difficult period, the new PPN is expected to help support the economy, jobs and infrastructure across the UK and beyond.

As part of the PPN, in scope organisations are urged to immediately engage with their procurement card provider to increase single transaction limits to £20,000 and raise the monthly limit on spending with procurement cards to £100,000 for key card holders.

Provisions should also be made so that monthly spend on procurement cards in excess of £100,000 should be permissible to meet business needs, the PPN advised.

READ THE FULL CABINET OFFICE PPN HERE

By April 30, 2020 meanwhile, in scope organisations should also ensure an appropriate number of staff have the authority to use these cards and all relevant categories of spend are open to ensure they can be used as widely and efficiently as possible.

Not all card holders will require a transaction limit of £20,000 or a monthly limit of £100,000 and decisions around appropriate caps and limitations on specific cards should be worked through and agreed between in scope organisations and their card providers, with the advise of the PPN taken into consideration during discussions.

The department’s Accounting Officer or Financial Director should, as per usual controls, still be the determining and authorising individual for key card holders in any in scope organisation, according to the PPN.

The Cabinet Office’s announcement is one of a number of steps the government has taken to alleviate concerns from the supply chain as the country responds to the unprecedented challenges of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

 

To learn more about the changes to procurement policy and the public sector's current purchasing requirements submit your details and one of our specialists will be in touch.

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