Brentwood Borough Council

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1 Brentwood Borough Council Strategy March 2014 Page 1 of 11

2 Index 1. Foreword Introduction The Purpose of The Current Situation Our Vision for Our Definition of Value for Money Key Strategic Drivers Strategic Priorities The Buy to SAVE Strategy Our Sustainable Aims Our E- Principles Actions to Deliver the Strategy Where do we Want to Be? How do we Get There? Summary Page 2 of 11

3 1. Foreword As local government finances are squeezed during difficult economic times, tough decisions are required about how to make best use of resources to meet priorities for local people. Against this background, this document sets out the Council s strategic approach to how goods, works and services are to be procured and aims to build upon the progress made since the previous Strategy and assist in the delivery of the objectives contained within the Council s Corporate Plan. It is not intended as a procurement manual, but the principles contained in this strategy should empower staff in service areas undertaking procurement activities to make decisions and take actions in a strategically informed, effective and professional way. It is recognised that procurement of goods, works and services by the Council can have a major impact on many aspects of life in Brentwood. As such, this strategy sets the framework in which the Council will ensure that procurement delivers value for money across all services and directly contributes to the achievement of the Council s priorities for the borough. In particular, the Council will use all efforts to ensure procurement helps: deliver value for public money; drive local social and economic growth and regeneration; and provide inclusive services through a diverse supplier base. Leader of Brentwood Borough Council Director of Strategy and Corporate Services Page 3 of 11

4 2. Introduction 2.1 The Purpose of is the process of acquiring goods, works and services, covering acquisition from both third parties and in-house providers. The process spans the whole cycle from identification of need through to the expiry of a contract for services or the end of an asset s useful life. As such, procurement involves option appraisal and the decisions which may result in the provision of services on an in house basis, under appropriate circumstances. 2.2 The Current Situation is undertaken predominantly on a devolved basis, with service departments operating the process in accordance with the Council s Standing Orders and Financial Regulations and supported by a central. The Council currently spends in excess of 18 million per annum (both revenue and capital) on the external provision of goods, works and services. Service departments are able to use the Council s electronic financial management system to directly raise purchase orders. A Contracts Register is maintained by the and is available on the Council s website for external review. The Council is actively working on making all tendering and quotation opportunities with an estimated value exceeding 10,000 available to as many potential suppliers as possible by advertising them appropriately on the Council s website and/or e- tendering portal. Key achievements since the inception of a centralised procurement function in 2010 have included: Implementation of an electronic tendering system Implementation of an electronic financial management system Increased control and visibility of expenditure Closer collaborative working with other public sector organisations Increase in profile of procurement within the Council Making the Council more transparent to the public regarding tendering opportunities Page 4 of 11

5 2.3 Our Vision for The Council s overall vision for procurement is: To ensure that all procurement decisions made by the Council help deliver our priorities by demonstrating value for money and the effective use of resources, and by ensuring that procurement spend is used to deliver quality services and sustainable benefits for our borough. This Strategy also aims to assist in the delivery of some of the objectives contained within the Council s Corporate Plan particularly with regard to: The delivery of services in partnership with other local councils The William Hunter Way development scheme Improving service delivery and reducing the back office costs and unnecessary bureaucracy The Town Hall development project Undertaking a procurement review 2.4 Our Definition of Value for Money Value for money is a key component of the Council s vision for procurement. It is defined as the maximum benefit over time with the resources available, achieving the best balance between economy, efficiency and effectiveness; spending less and spending wisely to achieve priorities for local people. 3. Key Strategic Drivers All Councils are facing unprecedented financial pressures. The need to balance budgets at the same time as supporting local communities is a key challenge for all local authorities. The Efficiency Review of Government Spending undertaken by Sir Philip Green in October 2010 identified a need for each part of the public sector to: Increase commercial leverage, whilst safeguarding local control Improve spend data Remove duplication and inconsistency Manage down demand Proactively manage supplier relationships. Page 5 of 11

6 4. Strategic Priorities 4.1 The Buy to SAVE Strategy activities undertaken by the Council will be designed around a strategy of buy to SAVE : Buy to S Sustainable that supports sustainable growth A Affordable that is focused on prioritised use of resources V Value for Money that ensures value for money for local people E Efficient that utilises modernised, low-cost processes 4.2 Our Sustainable Aims has a vital role in furthering sustainable development. In pursuing the buy to SAVE strategy, the Council will also strive to: Educate, train and encourage staff to review their consumption of goods and services, reduce usage and adopt more environmentally-friendly products Communicate our sustainability objectives to all staff, suppliers and stakeholders Promote and embed best practice for sustainable procurement Ensure local and small suppliers have equal access to procurement opportunities Consider the costs and benefits of environmentally-friendly goods, works and services including minimising transportation associated with bringing products, materials and contractors to the borough Ensure that where appropriate and permissible, sustainability criteria form part of the evaluation process used in the award of contracts. 4.3 Our E- Principles The Council recognises the importance of electronic procurement (e-procurement) in delivering lower transaction costs for both the Council and our suppliers. Whilst all suppliers will be encouraged to work with the Council electronically, it is recognised that some suppliers may not have the capabilities at this time to adopt e- procurement. The Council shall ensure that such suppliers are not disadvantaged in the procurement process. Purchasing cards will be used to reduce transaction costs, particularly for high volume, low value and ad hoc purchases. Page 6 of 11

7 5. Actions to Deliver the Strategy 5.1 Where do we Want to Be? It is recognised that efficiencies in procurement will make a vital contribution toward the Council s overall savings targets. Leveraging savings can be achieved by pursuing the overall strategy of buy to SAVE. 5.2 How do we Get There? The Council has successfully devolved procurement activities to frontline service departments and therefore operates with a minimal and thus low cost central procurement function. However, this can bring with it issues around the efficient control of procurement activities. In order to address these issues it is intended that a collaborative approach is implemented, whereby the procurement knowledge, experience and expertise already within the Council is pooled across the organisation supported by the specialist knowledge of the central. Any gaps in local knowledge, experience and expertise should be filled by collaborative arrangements with other public sector organisations. On this basis, the following is the Action Plan for implementing the Council s Strategy: Page 7 of 11

8 PROCUREMENT ACTION PLAN Task Objective By Whom A. Adopt the updated Strategy Approval of the Council s Strategy. B. Update the Contracts Register Ensure that the Contracts Register provides a realistic picture of the contracts held by the Council and their expiry dates. C. Review and update procurement documents: Ensure that procurement C.1 Review and update all procurement documents guidance is up-to-date and is and Toolkit practical for operation in a C.2 Review and update procurement card usage devolved and inclusive guidelines. procurement setting. C.3 Review and update Standing Orders for Contracts C.4 Implement new terms and conditions for the purchase of goods and services C.5 Review and update procurement section on Council s website To ensure that procurement best practice is implemented within the Council. Mitigate risk of using supplier terms and conditions. Increase profile of procurement within the Council and ensuring transparency with the public. Performance & Resource Committee Deadline for Completion March 2014 Ongoing on a quarterly basis Completed Jan 2014 Ongoing on an annual basis Full Council April 2014 / Legal Services Completed Nov 2013 Completed Jan 2014 & to be reviewed on a yearly basis Page 8 of 11

9 Task Objective By Whom C.6 Ensure new EU Directives, due to be published in early 2014, are implemented within the Council. To ensure the Council is compliant with the new procedures D. Disseminate updated procurement guidance: Ensure that updated D.1 Re-issue procurement guidance to service areas D.2 Provide training workshops to front-line staff procurement guidance is available to all and that it is understood by front-line staff involved in procurement activities. / Corporate Communications involved in procurement. E. Collect data on current procurement activities: Identify the scale and value of E.1 Establish reporting processes to gather data on procurement activity procurement activity levels undertaken by the Council and E.2 Reconcile procurement activity data to the use such activity to analyse updated Contracts Register to ensure procurement into different completeness categories to which specific, E.3 Utilise the procurement activity data to categorise relevant procurement procurement activity by type. approaches can be applied. Financial Services F. Develop a Forward Plan: Utilise the updated Contracts F.1 F.2 Identify forthcoming contract updates / renewals Establish a plan for addressing each of the forthcoming contract updates / renewals, with focus on key spend areas. Register and categorised procurement types to form a plan for the forthcoming procurement activities that can operate on a rolling annual basis. Collaborative Network G. Implement the e-procurement module in the Council s financial systems: Ensure that efficiencies offered by e-procurement can be achieved by the implementation Deadline for Completion Dec 2014 Completed Jan 2014 Sep 2014 Completed Jan 2014 Ongoing on a quarterly basis May 2014 (annually thereafter) Ongoing on a monthly basis May 2014 (annually thereafter) Page 9 of 11

10 Task Objective By Whom G.1 Ensure system training and access for designated users G.2 Develop catalogue arrangements for the and roll-out of this module as part of the Council s replacement financial systems. Financial Services Financial standardised procurement of routine items. Services H. Enhance business access to information and advice Ensure that there is fair and on Council procurements: open access to the H.1 Review best practice from other local authorities procurement activities being undertaken by the Council, H.2 Enhance access to information and advice including advance notice of regarding procurement opportunities with a value forthcoming procurements and exceeding 10,000 via the Council s website. advice on how to participate. I. Develop a system for capturing & recording procurement savings: Ensure that all savings are reported accurately Deadline for Completion June 2014 June 2014 Ongoing September 2014 April 2014 Page 10 of 11

11 6. Summary can have a major impact on many aspects of life in Brentwood and any efficiency that can be achieved in the procurement processes could make a vital contribution to the Council s overall savings targets and delivery of the objectives contained within the Council s Corporate Plan. This strategy has therefore been established to ensure that procurement delivers value for money across all services and directly contributes to the achievement of the Council s priorities for the borough. The Council has successfully devolved its procurement activities to frontline service departments, supported by a cost-effective, minimal central procurement function. The Council needs to ensure that it is maximising opportunities for commercial leverage, with duplication of procurement effort and inconsistency in the application of purchasing controls removed. It is anticipated that the Action Plan will deliver this. Page 11 of 11

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