We’re modifying the way agencies report upcoming procurement opportunities. Future procurement opportunities (FPOs) are replacing annual procurement plans (APPs).
Work is underway to transition from annual procurement plans (APPs) to future procurement opportunities (FPOs) by 1 October 2020.
Procurement is more effective when you provide an early heads up to suppliers about upcoming opportunities. It allows businesses to understand the potential pipeline of work coming from buyers and prepare in advance.
Currently agencies report future procurement opportunities twice a year via the excel spreadsheet known as the APP.
We’ve created an online real-time solution to allow you to inform the market of upcoming procurement opportunities via a new form in the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) – the future procurement opportunity (FPO). An FPO allows you to notify suppliers of an opportunity as soon as it is identified.
An FPO is not a commitment to procure the goods and/or services, but signals to the market any intended future activity.
You can and should update your FPOs at any time as the procurement opportunity moves through the planning stages and becomes more certain.
A single FPO can result in any number of procurement opportunities. When the procurement opportunity is advertised you can link the RFx to the FPO in GETS, allowing suppliers to track the procurement throughout the process.
Suppliers can view and follow the FPO as soon as it is published in GETS. Suppliers can track the FPO and receive a notification when the RFx is advertised, and agencies can identify and engage with interested suppliers early in the process. An FPO is not a tender/opportunity. It does not result in a contract. The likely outcome would be that it results in the publication of an RFx.
Monitoring and reporting
The current APP requires agencies to submit their future opportunities to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) twice a year (March and October). FPOs should be entered into GETS as soon as practicable and would be viewable by suppliers immediately. There will be no need to submit a list to MBIE for us to publish. We will be carrying out monitoring of all agency notifications on a regular basis and looking to ask agencies to confirm their FPO is up to date when they submit their procurement capability index (PCI) report annually.
How does this impact on the Rules?
There are three rules within the Government Procurement Rules impacted by this change: Rules 21, 31 and 34, which all refer to APPs. These rules permit reduced time periods for procurement activity where such opportunities have been previously signalled by way of an APP.
For the purposes of these rules, we are treating an FPO as the equivalent of an APP and agencies would meet their obligations and be able to claim the “allowable reductions” under these rules by using FPOs instead of APPs. In particular:
- Rule 21 requires your agency’s upcoming procurement opportunities to be up to date no less than twice yearly. This obligation can be met by submitting FPOs in real time on GETS for all anticipated contract opportunities. You should create, review and update your FPOs in real time, with a minimum requirement to update FPOs at least every six months. After 1 October 2020, APPs will no longer be required.
- We note that FPOs are not required if you are carrying out a secondary procurement (purchasing from an existing panel contract, All-of-Government, syndicated or common capability contract) or doing an opt out procurement, but you can do so and may find it a useful tool to keep suppliers informed about how these procurements will proceed. You may also use the FPO to record contract opportunities that the Rules don’t apply to (e.g. those that fall under the value thresholds).
- FPOs may be relied on under rule 31 to claim allowable reductions so long as the contract opportunity was included in the FPO not less than two months and not more than eight months before the relevant notice of procurement is published on GETS.
- The time periods specified as allowable reductions for APPs in rule 34 will be unchanged and will instead apply to FPOs.