An Urgent Review of Single Source Procurement During the Pandemic: Recommendations for Best Practice and Reform

Principal Investigator: Dr Luke Butler (University of Nottingham)

This project has investigated “single source” (non competitive contract awards) procurement of urgent goods and services made by public bodies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has investigated whether additional controls could improve procurement and safeguard transparency, public trust and value for money. It has developed a standard operating model on single-source awards in emergencies for use by Government Departments.

Key policy recommendations include:

  • Clarify existing laws to provide certainty for public bodies around procuring in an emergency.
  • Improve legal requirements for recording and reporting justifications and other information in order to better align with open contracting principles.
  • Improve the quality of policy guidance on processes for procurement in emergencies (eg selection, award criteria and approvals).