Procurement strategy

Our Procurement Strategy and Rules for Contracts are the overarching principles for procurement delivery in the Council.

Procurement vision

Working together to enhance the lives within communities. Specifically the challenges ahead are to:

  • Understand future demand for service provision through engagement
  • Understand markets and identify procurement excellence that will enhance lives
  • Work with partners to enhance lives
  • Place social and economic regeneration and the environment at the heart of procurement
  • Shape markets to be able to procure from a diverse and competitive mixed economy of suppliers including minority businesses, voluntary and community sector groups, small businesses and social enterprises
  • Support Members’ leadership to embed procurement excellence into the culture of the Council
  • Innovate through the identification of appropriate service delivery options
  • Drive down procurement costs
  • Minimise exposure to risk
  • Maintain procurement as a key management activity, delivery projects through multifunctional teams
  • Equip staff with the right skills and training to deliver excellence
  • Use procurement processes and in particular digital technology to support organisational and behavioural change
  • Be customer focussed using internal consultation and involvement to support service outcomes and improve performance
  • Comply with legislation relating to procurement activity
  • Work with public partners regionally and nationally to benefit from economies of scale and shared expertise.

The full Procurement Strategy can be viewed once approved in November.

Leadership and responsibility

The Cabinet Member for Resources holds the portfolio for all contractual matters, however, where procurement is as a result of service changes then reports are taken to the relevant portfolio holder for decision; or Full Cabinet where the service is supported by more than one Directorate.

At an officer level leadership and decision making happens through the procurement board, chaired by the Chief Executive. Reports are taken to the procurement board on the proposed route to market for all expenditure over £180,000.

Procurement board also receive quarterly performance reports on procurement related issues across the Council.

Individual officers are aware of their procurement responsibilities through the rules for contracts which is summarised through the compliant procurement process.

Rules and best practice

The Local Government Act 1972 requires the Council to have standing orders with respect to the making of contracts. The Council’s rules for contracts are the standing orders required by the 1972 Act. They are part of the Council’s Constitution and are, in effect, the instructions of the Council to officers and members for making contracts on behalf of the Council.

The purpose of these rules for contracts is to set clear rules for the procurement of works, supplies and services for the Council and to ensure a system of openness, integrity and accountability, in which the probity and transparency of the Council’s procurement process will be beyond reproach.

The Council has a procurement strategy, setting out how the Council intends to go about procuring works, supplies and services. Conformity to these Rules for contracts, and the Council’s codes of conduct, will ensure that contracts are let in accordance with the procurement strategy, the compliant procurement process and associated user guides and procedures.

The Council is subject also to the United Kingdom Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the legislation which reflects the EU Public Procurement Directives.

This legislation requires contract letting procedures to be open, fair and transparent. The Rules for Contracts provide a basis for true and fair competition in contracts, by providing clear and auditable procedures, which, if followed, will give confidence that the Council has a procurement regime that is fully accountable and compliant with the legislation.