13th Nov 2020

The Public Procurement Review Service (previously the Mystery Shopper Service) investigates and addresses concerns raised about public sector procurements. Additionally, they undertake proactive investigations ‘spot checks’ of procurement processes and documentation. 

Procurements conducted by schools, academies and sixth form colleges are outside the scope of The Public Procurement Review Service, although this is not the case for further education colleges.

The latest outcomes of cases have been published on the Public Procurement Review Service results page and do include investigations undertaken into two further education colleges. The supplier complaint was not upheld in either case, however it does indicate suppliers are aware of the service and are willing to challenge procurement practices carried out by colleges.

The outcomes of the investigations do provide useful insight for common areas of concern from suppliers tendering for public sector contracts.

What to do if you are contacted by the Public Procurement Review Service (PPRS)?

A contracting authority covered by the statutory requirements must give reasonable assistance if investigated and must provide information and documents required by the PPRS within 30 calendar days. Further information on what to do if contacted by the Public Procurement Review Service can be found on the Cabinet Office website.

Should you require more information on the procurement regulations and when they apply, please contact your CPC Regional Procurement Advisor who will be happy to help.