Procurement Purchasing Arrangements How the Council Buys Goods and Services

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1 Procurement Purchasing Arrangements How the Council Buys Goods and Services How to Tender for Council Supplies and Services INTRODUCTION 1 BEST VALUE 2 HOW THE COUNCIL BUYS 2 PARTNERING 3 EUROPEAN REGULATIONS 3 WHAT THE COUNCIL BUYS 3 SPECIFICATIONS 4 ADVERTISING OF CONTRACTS 4 DEADLINES FOR RESPONDING TO ADVERTS 4 APPROVED AND PREFERRED SUPPLIER LISTS 5 HOW THE TENDERING PROCESS WORKS 5 RETURNING TENDER DOCUMENTS 5 EVALUATION OF TENDERS 6 EQUALITIES 6 HEALTH AND SAFETY 6

2 ENVIRONMENTAL AND SUSTAINABILITY POLICY 7 CONTRACT MONITORING 7 (Note : A separate document entitled Business Opportunities can be downloaded from the Council s website:

3 Introduction Pendle Borough Council is the most north easterly of the Councils in Lancashire and covers some 65 square miles. The area covered by Pendle stretches from Barnoldswick in the North to Brierfield in the South, approximately 11 miles in distance. The Council has 49 elected members and employs approximately 400 members of staff. The Council s Chief Executive, Stephen Barnes, leads services that are organised into three Service Groupings. The Service Groupings cover the following areas:- Chief Executive s Policy Unit o Localities and Communities & Policy o Communications o Scrutiny Central and Regeneration Services o Accountancy o Audit and Performance o Democratic and Legal o Housing Regeneration o Engineering & Special Projects Regeneration Services o Economic and Housing Regeneration Environmental and Recreation Services o Parks and Recreation o Waste Management o Environmental Health o Community Facilities o Planning and Building Control A summary of the Council s approved organisational structure with effect from April 2013 can be viewed at _final_2013.pdf It is the Council s duty to secure value for money when procuring its services and supplies and to continually assess quality and, where possible, improve quality in everything the public sees and expects from its local authority. The Council at all times aims for non-discrimination, with fair and transparent procedures and equal treatment of all potential suppliers. With this principle in mind these guidelines have been prepared to ensure that all potential suppliers fully understand the procedures involved. Page 1

4 Finally as both a large purchaser and consumer of supplies and services, Pendle Borough Council has a significant impact on the local environment and as such is concerned with the impact that purchasing decisions may have on the local area and the sustainability of its actions. Best Value Best Value applies to all the functions of the Council. All local authorities are required to secure Best Value in the way they deliver their services. This means that the Authority must ensure that there is continuous improvement coupled with value for money throughout the procurement process. It also means that the Council is accountable to local people in its business dealings, which must be open, fair, transparent and auditable. How the Council Buys The procedure which the Council officers are required to follow is determined by the estimated value of the contract: 1-10,000- It is usual for Officers purchasing goods within this price range to carry out market testing by obtaining at least three quotes which may be verbal rather than formal. 10,001-50,000 At least three written quotes are obtained and purchase is made on a best buy basis. It should be noted there are occasions when purchases falling within these thresholds will be tendered for. Over 50,001 This involves a tendering process where not less than four suppliers will be invited where possible (CPR 12.6 refers). Tenders are evaluated in terms of value for money and quality and are the subject of a formal written contract. As mentioned above the council must not only be seen to be treating all potential suppliers alike with all transactions open, fair, and transparent but must actually be doing so. To this ends all major transactions will be processed using The Chest which is an e-tendering portal used by an increasing number of local authorities throughout the country. Any company that wishes to do business with the council must register on The Chest which can be accessed by clicking on the link below Registration is free and will enable you to identify business opportunities available from other local authorities in the North West and the rest of the country. Page 2

5 Partnering The Council has entered into Partnering arrangements and where appropriate will use this method to enter into longer term relationships with successful tenderers however this will be made clear in the Invitation to Tender documentation. European Regulations As a public body the Council is bound by European Law on tendering for services, supplies and works over fixed sums, as prescribed by the European Commission. These sums are currently (with effect from 1 January 2014): For services and supplies: 172,514 For works: 4,322,012 If the value of the service, the supplies or the works for the entire contract is above these figures, the Council is bound to follow one of the following tender routes: The Open Procedure where there is a 52 day tendering period. The Restricted Procedure where expressions of interest are first sought and potential tenderers selected from such expressions. The Negotiated Procedure Used only for items that have an extremely limited supply base. What the Council Buys The Council buys many different services and supplies. Here are just a few of the things the Council buys: Supplies Electrical Goods Cleaning Materials Print and Publicity Material Vehicles Vehicle fuels Office stationery Office furniture Protective Clothing Building materials Hand Tools Small machinery IT Hardware Utilities Services Cleaning of Buildings Window Cleaning Grounds Maintenance Vehicle Maintenance Catering Pest Control Consultancy Services (various) Refuse Collection Security Training Services & material Agency Staff Page 3

6 Works from plumbing to construction are also purchased by the Council. Specifications Before a tendering exercise is undertaken a specification will be prepared. The specification is a description of what the Council wishes to buy and what the supplier is expected to tender against and to provide. It will include performance targets or criteria for acceptance of the services, supplies or works. The specification will be included in the invitation to tender. The winning tenderer must agree with the specification which will go on to form part of the formal contract between the Council and the supplier. Advertising of Contracts All Contracts of a lesser value, normally below the thresholds as listed above are advertised in: The Nelson Leader/Times Series The Lancashire Evening Telegraph An appropriate trade journal Contracts which exceed the thresholds given above are advertised in addition to the above publications in: Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) Contrax Weekly/www.contrax.co.uk TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union. Please note that the Council will normally only tender using the Restricted Procedure for contracts that are above the threshold. It is also our intention to advertise all tenders and pending contracts on the Council s web site in the near future and The Chest - Deadlines for Responding to Adverts Deadlines for responding to opportunities / adverts will be given in the advert by a calendar date. The deadline for responding to an OJEU notice is shown below. Restricted Procedure 37 days for expressions of interest 40 days for the receipt of tenders If the contract is of lesser value and not advertised in OJEU the minimum tender return time will be 10 working days from the date of the last advert. More time is sometimes given to potential tenderers, the duration of which depends on the complexity of the contract but this will be applied to all tenderers. Such time limits will be clearly stated in the original advertisement. Page 4

7 Approved and Preferred Supplier Lists Where recurrent transactions of a similar type are likely but where such transactions need to be priced individually and cannot be easily aggregated and priced in a single tendering exercise, the Council will use an Approved List (CPR12 refers). Approved lists cannot be used where the EU procedure applies. Any company wishing to do business with the Council will be directed to The Chest as this is one mechanism by which the Council will invite applications for inclusion on Approved lists. It must be understood that registration will not automatically guarantee the award of contracts or work. When tendering using The Chest the Council will ensure that not less than four suppliers where possible (or five under the restricted procedure) are invited to tender for each contract. Should the number of potential suppliers recorded on an Approved list or registered with The Chest exceed four, companies will be selected on a rotational basis to ensure fairness, where as a minimum they meet the Council s selection criteria. How the Tendering Process Works All tendering requirements will be processed through The Chest where possible. Where appropriate, companies included on a Council Approved list or who are registered for a particular class of work will be notified automatically by that an opportunity has arisen. A timescale will be given for the completed documents and after this date all potential tenders will undergo an evaluation procedure using criteria set out in the tendering documentation. For contracts that exceed the EU threshold the Restricted Procedure for Tendering is normally followed. This is a two-stage process in which potential tenderers that have expressed an interest in bidding are evaluated first. A shortlist is then drawn up following the evaluation exercise, for the sole purpose of inviting tenders. Should the situation arise that there are no suppliers registered with The Chest for a particular category of work which is highly unlikely, all tendering requirements are advertised. Adverts will give details on how to receive the necessary documentation to be able to express an interest in being short-listed. Returning Tender Documents Tender documents must be returned by the date given as no extension of time is allowed. Any tenders received after the deadline will be declared void. This is in Page 5

8 order to ensure that the tendering process is fair and that all tender documents are opened at the same time. Clear guidance is included in the tender package provided to all potential tenderers This details the expected form of the tender and the requirements for returning the tender. Evaluation of Tenders Pendle Borough Council ensures that all tender evaluations are conducted in a comprehensive, equitable, auditable and transparent manner. Generally the contract will be awarded to the tenderer that the Council considers offers the best value for money having regard to price, quality and best value, together these qualities are referred to as the most economically advantageous. The award criteria will depend on the size and technical difficulty of the contract but could cover: Financial Viability After Sales Service Running Costs Technical Back Up Environmental Policy Sustainability Technical Merit Profitability Delivery Date Health and Safety Policy Management Policy Equalities Policy Equalities Local Authorities by their spending generate and sustain many thousands of jobs in the County of Lancashire and as such all Authorities, including Pendle, have a duty to ensure that public money is not spent on practices that lead to unfair discrimination. Pendle Borough Council is committed to Equal Opportunities and encourages, and where legally allowed, requires those who supply goods and services to the Council to practice equal opportunities. As a result, it is the Council s policy to include equality issues in the contracting process and will routinely consider an Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) when procuring goods and services. This includes a requirement to answer questions in the standard tender or pre-tender questionnaire to confirm that an equal opportunities policy is in place. The Council will seek to ensure that all contracts and specifications meet the needs of its community and will expect suppliers to demonstrate how they would comply with this. Health and Safety The Council s pre-tender/tender questionnaire will request details of the tenderer s Health and Safety procedures and policies. Each tenderer will be required to submit a copy of their Health and Safety Policy which they are required to hold by Section 2(3) of the Health and Safety at Work Act They will also need to submit any codes of safe working practices issued to employees. Page 6

9 It should be noted that there might be additional questions such as those concerning Construction Design and Management Regulations (2007) depending on the subject matter of the tender. Environmental and Sustainability Policy Tenderers should be aware that Pendle Borough Council is pro-active on all environmental and sustainability issues and will take its corporate social responsibility relating to tendering as seriously as all the other aspects of the evaluation process. Through selecting the correct contractor the Council seeks to address the environmental impact of its procurement by incorporating environmental and sustainability issues into the Contract and thereby into the tendering process. The Council believes that while these issues should be non-discriminatory in nature they should firmly ensure that where possible natural resources are not depleted with sustainable procurement considerations used for all items procured by the Council. Local Authorities are a large purchaser of both supplies and services and as such can have a significant impact on the environment through their procurement policies. Such influence can extend to the manufacture, use, and disposal of the products used by the Council. Other environmental issues which the Council will consider, where possible, in the tendering process include; Transportation issues Use of recycled materials Use of local ie. Lancashire products Use of other products such as Fair Trade Commitment by the supplier to review environmental issues throughout the contract Use of local contractors For all contracts an assessment will be made of the environmental and sustainability policy operated by the potential contractor. A minimum weighting of 5% is applied to all environmental and sustainability policies during the tender assessment process, though this may be more if the subject matter of the contract is relevant to an increase in this weighting. Contract Monitoring Potential tenderers should be aware that all contracts for the Council will be monitored to ensure compliance with the contract. All contract conditions will be strictly adhered to with the contractor required, initially, to provide an explanation as to the lack of compliance. The Council reserves the right to terminate the contract if standards are not met and maintained. This leaflet has been produced by Central and Regeneration Services. One role of the section is to give focus to the way the Council deals with Procurement issues as well as a strategic way to move forward with its commitment to achieving best value and best practice from all its contracted services and supplies. Page 7

10 If you require more detailed information on the business opportunities available within the individual Service Areas please obtain a copy of the Business Opportunities Information leaflet which lists key office contacts, which can be downloaded from the Council s website Should you wish to comment on this leaflet please contact: Central and Regeneration Services Pendle Borough Council Room 211 Elliott House Market Square Nelson BB9 0LX The contact telephone number is: The contact fax number is: E mail Issue eight June 2014 Page 8

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