Considerable progress has been made in establishing the Single Source Regulations Office (SSRO) as the regulator for the new single source procurement framework. The Chair of the new body was formally appointed in May 2014 and non-executive directors were appointed in October. The SSRO held its first Board meeting on 13 October. The new body is in the process of recruiting staff, establishing its new offices in Finlaison House, and setting up its processes and IT systems. It has also been consulting closely with key stakeholders in industry and in Government over its role as the independent regulator. The SSRO issued its first newsletter in mid-November highlighting progress already made and its plans over the next few months. This is available on the gov.uk website.
The budget for the SSRO in the financial year 2014-2015 has been set at £2.9 million.
Secondary legislation to enable the new single source procurement framework is currently being considered by Parliament, having been laid at the end of October. In order to facilitate the implementation of the new framework, when it comes into force, it will initially only cover new qualifying defence contracts with a value of £500 million or more with this threshold falling to new qualifying defence contracts with a value of £5 million or more as from the end of March 2015 onwards. We therefore estimate that this higher initial threshold will only affect a handful of new contracts (and related subcontracts) signed before the end of March 2015.