Prince Charles outlines Bill to ‘simplify’ procurement

HRH Prince Charles outlined the government’s priorities at the State Opening of Parliament today (10 May), announcing plans to bring forward an energy bill and simplify public sector procurement.

Prince Charles stood in for the Queen after she dropped out due to health issues (picture: parliamentlive.tv)

The Prince of Wales read the Queen’s Speech after the Queen did not attend the event due to health issues.

The energy security bill focuses on “paving the way” for new, low-carbon technologies and growing the consumer market for electric heat pumps.

It will also see Ofgem appointed the new regulator for heat networks and extend the energy price cap.

During his speech, Prince Charles said: “Her Majesty’s ministers will bring forward an energy bill to deliver the transition to cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy. This will build on the success of the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year.”

The procurement bill was first announced during the Queen’s Speech in May 2021 but was not taken forward.

The bill enshrines several “objectives” of public procurement in law. These include delivering value for money, maximising public benefit, treating suppliers equally and without discrimination, and acting with integrity.

Prince Charles said: “Public sector procurement will be simplified to provide new opportunities for small businesses.”

The speech also outlined the government’s plans to establish a UK infrastructure bank in law, with clear objectives to support regional and local economic growth and deliver net zero.

Waste sector

The state opening of parliament marks the formal start of the parliamentary year and sets out the government’s agenda for the 2022-23 session, outlining proposed policies and legislation.

Today marked the first time in 59 years that the Queen had not attended the event.

While there were no direct references to waste within Prince Charles’s speech, which was written by the government, the sector will now examine the detail of the bills. However, the main focus of legislative attention for the waste and recycling sector will continue to be changes which derive from the Environment Act 2021, which became law in November 2021 (see letsrecycle.com story).

The Act gives ministers powers to introduce a range of sector reforms, including extended producer responsibility for packaging, consistency in household and business recycling in England and a deposit return scheme.

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