Procurement Strategy

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1 Procurement Strategy Version 1.0 final Latest revision: 12 th May 2009

2 Contents Section Page Contacting Us 6 Foreword 7 1 Introduction 9 2 Application 10 3 What is Procurement? 10 4 Why Procurement Matters 11 5 What is a Procurement Strategy and why do we need one? 11 6 What does this Strategy mean for Service Areas? 12 7 Aims of the Strategy 12 8 Critical Success Factors 13 9 Strategic Context 13 Local Strategic Context The Public Sector Procurement Reform Programme in Scotland 10 Our Vision for Procurement Principles for Effective Procurement Procurement Organisation and Governance 18 Procurement Organisational Design and Structure The Role of the Procurement Function The Role of the Corporate Procurement Group The Role of the Corporate Procurement Team (CPT) The Role of Service Area Procurement Networks The Role of Procurement Officers The Role of the End User Procurement Skills Governance and Audit 13 The Strategic Framework for Procurement 25 The Legal Framework Financial Regulations Contract Standing Orders Scottish Procurement Policy Handbook 14 Value for Money Competition Working Effectively Across Public Procurement Sectors and 29 Organisations Commodity Categories Procurement Centres of Expertise 17 Strategic Partnerships Working with Suppliers 33 Suppliers Charter Making Procurement Accessible The Council as a Preferred Customer The Supplier Development Programme Standards Expected of Suppliers Ethical Standards Gifts and Hospitality Handling Complaints Single Point of Enquiry 19 Sustainable Procurement 35 Encouraging a Diverse Base of Suppliers Promoting Fair Employment Practices Promoting Workforce Welfare Meeting Labour Needs and Enabling Training Opportunities 2

3 Community Benefits Ethical Sourcing Practices Promoting Greater Environmental Sustainability 20 Equality and Public Sector Equality Duties Health and Safety Freedom of Information Innovation Business Processes 40 Purchasing Authority Separation of Duties Ordering and Payment Procedures 25 Key Procedural Elements of Procurement 41 Prioritise and Plan Define the Business Need Prepare the Business Case Develop the Procurement Strategy Supplier Selection and Tendering Post Tender Clarification Standstill Period Contract Award and Debriefing Implement and Monitor Contract 26 Doing Business Electronically (e-procurement) 45 Sourcing and Tendering Catalogue Management Ordering Goods Receipt and Delivery Notes Invoice Processing Payment Purchase Cards Resource Arrangements 27 Procurement Improvement and Best Practice 48 Management Information Working with Others Procurement Toolkit Category Management Information and Communication 28 Gateway Type Process Measuring Our Improvement Governance, Monitoring and Review of this Strategy 51 Appendices: A Where does the money go? 52 B Corporate Procurement Team Structure 54 C Strategic Fit to National and Council Objectives 55 D Portfolio Analysis 56 E National Context to Sustainable Procurement 58 F Collaborative Plan 62 G Procurement Savings Plan 63 H Centres of Expertise 65 I Public Procurement Reform Programme Structure 66 J National Best Practice Indicators 67 K Strategic Research 68 L Useful Publications 70 M Useful Websites 71 3

4 Contacting Us Please contact us if you have any questions or comments about this strategy. Telephone: Write to: North Lanarkshire Council Corporate Procurement Finance and Customer Services Dalziel Building 7 Scott Street Motherwell ML1 1SX Website: Procurement Portal: For more copies of the strategy Write to: North Lanarkshire Council Corporate Procurement Finance and Customer Services Dalziel Building 7 Scott Street Motherwell ML1 1SX View our current tender opportunities at This information can be made available in a range of languages and formats, including large print, Braille, audio, electronic and accessible formats. 4

5 Foreword We are pleased to present our second procurement strategy. This strategy outlines our priorities for the four year period and shows how procurement will contribute to achieving the aims and objectives set out in our corporate and community plan. We understand that excellence in procurement is at the heart of our ability to deliver good quality, value for money services to the residents of North Lanarkshire. We continue to recognise that the procurement of goods, works and services has a major impact on many aspects of life in North Lanarkshire, including the environment, social factors and economic regeneration, this is reflected in our procurement policy, practice and improvement outcomes. The Council spends in excess of 365 million per year on the procurement of goods, services and works and we have a duty to make sure that this spending represents value for money. This strategy provides an ambitious framework in which we will work to deliver two clear priorities: delivering year on year efficiencies, whilst sourcing goods and services which meet our customer needs, and developing and embracing sustainable procurement that delivers value for money, engaging with local and regional suppliers to promote the local economy and taking account of the social and environmental impact of our spending decisions. Balancing these two priorities will require us to adopt a mixed economy approach, to evaluate tenders on the basis of whole life costs, and to break down the barriers to procurement opportunities. This will require us to develop new and innovative ways in which to procure goods, services and works and to work in partnership with our suppliers to drive down costs and increase service quality. This strategy takes greater account of the Scottish Government agenda for public procurement reform and incorporates the improvement recommendations detailed in the Review of Public Procurement in Scotland Report (the McClelland report) published in March We are also pleased to be partners in the local authority Centre of Procurement Expertise Scotland Excel, and the national Centre of Expertise - Procurement Scotland promoting the collaborative opportunities that can produce greater efficiencies and quality outcomes than can be achieved by working alone. This strategy demonstrates our commitment and determination to transform our procurement activities and to do things differently to secure tangible savings that will benefit the residents of North Lanarkshire. This commitment is translated into an ambitious strategy that needs to be delivered with enthusiasm and pace if we are to achieve the demanding efficiency targets expected by the Government and set out in our Service and People First change programme. Delivery of the strategy requires high level commitment, action and buy-in from members, staff and our suppliers. We will keep the Strategy under review to ensure that it reflects the progress we are making and takes account of emerging best practice across the country as well as changes in the challenges we face. The Council spends in excess of 365 million per year on the procurement of goods, 5

6 services and works a substantial proportion of our annual revenue budget. It is vital that we obtain value for money from this expenditure, thereby releasing the maximum amount of resources to deliver front line services. Around 260 million of our annual external spend can be influenced by our procurement policy, strategy and practice. In order to get the very best from our procurement activity, we recognise that we need a comprehensive procurement strategy which will provide a framework and roadmap underpinning the delivery of an effective and efficient procurement function. A high performing, efficient and effective procurement function will support the organisation by contributing directly to the transformation of services to meet our residents expectations and by enabling the Council s mission to put Service and People First. Alistair Crichton Executive Director of Finance and Customer Services Cllr John Pentland Convener Policy and Resources (Finance and Customer Services) Sub Committee 6

7 1 Introduction North Lanarkshire Council is Scotland s fourth largest local authority serving a population of approximately 324,000. Our vision is to provide high quality, efficient and effective services for everyone and make North Lanarkshire an inclusive, prosperous and attractive area. This will be achieved through a system of streamlining and modernising to provide local services that will work in partnership with the community and all those committed to making North Lanarkshire a better place to live. North Lanarkshire is Scotland s 4th largest local authority and we intend to deliver the best public services in Scotland CORPORATE PLAN We spend in excess of 365 million per year on the procurement of goods, services and works a substantial proportion of our annual revenue budget. It is vital that we obtain value for money from this expenditure, thereby releasing the maximum amount of resources to deliver front line services. Around 260 million of our annual external spend can be influenced by our procurement policy, strategy and practice. In order to get the very best from our procurement activity, we recognise that we need a comprehensive procurement strategy which will provide a framework and roadmap underpinning the delivery of an effective and efficient procurement function. A high performing, efficient and effective procurement function will support the organisation by contributing directly to the transformation of services to meet our residents expectations and by enabling the Council s mission to put Service and People First. This strategy will promote effective procurement across the Council to strike a balance between the need for a detailed blue-print for procurement with specific targets, and a flexible planning framework within which the procurement function can develop further. Flexibility is essential if we are to respond to the rapidly changing environment of public sector procurement. The strategy also emphasises the importance of sustainable procurement, assessing whole life costs and social, environmental and economic impact. We will base our approach to sustainable procurement on national and sectoral drivers, best practice and the recommendations made by the UK Governments Sustainable Procurement Task Force. Value for money and efficiency targets will not be achieved if we fail to approach competition positively, taking full account of the opportunities for innovation and genuine partnerships which are available from working with others in the public, private and voluntary sectors. This document sets out our strategic approach to procurement, it is not intended to be a procurement manual; however, the principles contained within this strategy will be applied to all procurement activity. 7

8 2 Application This strategy outlines the principles that will be applied to all of our procurement activity. Compliance with the principles set out in this strategy is mandatory except in exceptional circumstances. Where we employ private sector agents to undertake procurement on our behalf, they will adopt the principles in this strategy and procure these as formal public contracts under ec law where appropriate. 3 What is Procurement? Public procurement can be defined as the acquisition, whether under formal contract or otherwise, of goods, services and works from third parties by contracting authorities. The scope of public procurement ranges from the purchase of routine supplies or services, to formal tendering and placing contracts for large infrastructure projects by a wide and diverse range of contracting authorities. "Procurement" is the process of acquiring goods, works and services, covering both acquisitions from third parties and from in-house providers. The process spans the whole cycle from identification of needs, through to the end of a services contract or the end of the useful life of an asset. It involves option appraisal and the critical "make or buy" decision which may result in the provision of services in-house in appropriate circumstances" UK National Procurement Strategy 23rd October

9 4 Why Procurement Matters Getting procurement right is important. It is about improving the delivery and cost effectiveness of quality public services to our residents. This strategy will help us realise the potential of effective and innovative procurement to improve service delivery. It will help us to realise savings and other benefits from working together in partnership. We recognise the importance of procurement in delivering our wider policy objectives. This strategy illustrates how we will use innovative ways to procure, work in partnership with others, and manage services that will: better achieve our corporate and community plan objectives; deliver consistently high quality services that meet our users needs, with a range of partners from other sectors; provide savings and better value for money, thereby improving our cost effectiveness; build social cohesion and promote equality of opportunity for service users, businesses and our staff; be sustainable for the communities and areas we serve and benefit local residents; support delivery of our e-government agenda; allow us to operate within a complex regulatory framework which must be adhered to; enable us to manage an area of potentially high risks; with impact on service, financial and legal issues and on our reputation; develop our role as a community leader particularly in relation to sustainability and local economic regeneration; provide a mechanism for delivering our key policy objectives, including sustainability, partnership working, equality and economic regeneration; enable us to manage and assess risks in the market place; and be delivered through different structures and in new forms. 5. What is a Procurement Strategy and why do we need one? This procurement strategy is an agreed statement explaining how we will realise the maximum value from procurement expenditure, realise savings where possible and use our buying power to help promote the achievement of our wider strategic objectives. This strategy describes our vision for the future and how we will get there. This strategy provides a framework and direction of travel for every aspect of the procurement function, and how it fits with other corporate strategies to meet our corporate objectives. This is our second procurement strategy. This strategy covers the period , builds upon our significant progress to date and sets out our priorities for procurement and draws together a number of influencing elements, including; the strategic outcomes and aims of our single outcome agreement; the strategic outcomes and aims of our corporate and community plans; Scottish Governments current and developing agenda for public sector procurement reform; the recommendations and targets flowing from the Review of Public Procurement in Scotland Report (the McClelland Report); 9

10 the Scottish Procurement Policy Handbook; the need to increase public sector efficiency; our Service and People First change programme; the post implementation review of e-procurement; electronic governments targets; and issues arising from audit reports 6. What does this Strategy mean for Services? Services will continue to be responsible for procurement activity in their own areas. However, this strategy will see the introduction of a stronger corporate approach in order to support devolved decision making but also to ensure we capture strategic opportunities, across the Council and in collaboration with others, where these bring benefits. We recognise there are some shifts required to the prevalent organisational culture in order to embed this strategy. We believe the mechanisms in this strategy, combined with the enhanced profile of procurement, will achieve the changes in attitude necessary. It will be a key role of the Head of Revenue Services and the Corporate Procurement Group to assess and drive progress in this area. 7. Aims of the Strategy This strategy is aimed at promoting effective procurement across the Council. It strikes a balance between setting out a detailed plan for reforming procurement, with specific targets and a flexible planning framework. We need to be flexible to be able to respond to the rapidly changing environment around public sector procurement and to learn from our own experience and the experiences of others. The overarching purpose of this strategy is: To provide an efficient and effective procurement service that delivers financial savings. It is a primary aim of the procurement function to ensure that public money is spent wisely, ensuring value for money when purchasing goods, works or services that address our needs and the needs of the wider Scottish society. To provide quality advice and contracts which deliver quality products and services The need to deliver financial savings will be balanced against the continuing requirement to ensure the timely delivery of quality goods and services that are fit for their intended purpose. To ensure that the drive to achieve savings does not lead to an unacceptable drop in quality, we will have an excellent understanding of our customer s needs, providing good customer service and assistance where required, and will remain open to feedback from our customers and stakeholders. We will strive to continuously improve all aspects of our service delivery. To procure goods and services in a lawful and ethical manner which encourages participation and sustainable economic growth It is a fundamental duty of the procurement function to ensure that public money is spent legally, through open and transparent contracting procedures and, where possible, taking account of prevailing economic, social and environmental polices. Our public spending will also contribute to the growth of a wealthier North Lanarkshire and Scotland, and aims to engage all parts of the third and private sectors (including SMEs). We will be qualified to provide services that offer value for money, and in a sustainable way taking account of best practice and EU procurement legislation. 10

11 This strategy provides an ambitious framework in which we will work to deliver two clear priorities: delivering year on year efficiencies, but not at the expense of quality; developing and embracing sustainable procurement that delivers value for money, engaging with local and regional suppliers to promote the local economy and taking account of the social and environmental impact of our spending decisions. Balancing these two priorities will require us to adopt a mixed economy approach, to evaluate tenders on the basis of whole life costs, and to break down the remaining barriers to our procurement opportunities. This will require us to develop new and innovative ways in which to procure goods, services and works and to work in partnership with suppliers to drive down costs and to deliver services at the right quality. 8. Critical Success Factors The successful delivery of this strategy will depend on the following factors: continued executive management and elected member support; robust governance arrangements; the projected level of efficiencies from Scotland Excel and Procurement Scotland is delivered; support and participation from individual services; buy in from our strategic partners and suppliers; socio/political/market conditions; our ability to attract and retain procurement talent; and our procurement framework and delivery model. 9. Strategic Context As all of our service areas depend on external organisations to provide goods, works and services, it is important that we maintain a clear strategy for selecting, receiving and managing these resources. Even where services are currently provided in-house, a range of other goods, works and services are provided externally to support service delivery. In order to develop this strategy it is important to understand the evolving local government landscape and factors that will have an influence on the future direction of our procurement decision making process. Like all organisations we are affected by international, national and local influences. Climate change, the world economy, international trade, economic agreements and Scottish, United Kingdom and European laws all impact on our efforts to deliver services and meet local needs. The strategic context for this procurement strategy is defined by two major drivers: 1 The Local Strategic Context our corporate plan; our corporate mission, vision and values; our service and people first change management programme; the single outcome agreement; and other service specific procurement/commissioning strategies 11

12 2 The Public Sector Procurement Reform Programme in Scotland Building a Better Scotland, Efficient Government - Securing Efficiency and Effectiveness; the Review of Public Procurement in Scotland Report; the Public Procurement Reform Programme (PPRP); the Modernising Government Review; and sustainable procurement The Local Strategic Context Our Corporate Plan Our single outcome agreement and corporate plan outlines our vision for North Lanarkshire and sets out what we expect to achieve in the next four years. Our single outcome agreement and corporate plan is fundamental to the planning and delivery of all services. We have linked our key themes to the national objectives set out by the Scottish Government. We will work with our partners to achieve the objectives set out in the corporate plan by focusing on five priority areas. These are: Health and Well Being Environment Lifelong Learning Regeneration Developing the organisation Our Corporate Mission, Vision and Values Our mission is: To put Service and People First to maximise the benefits of North Lanarkshire s location creating prosperity, achieving social justice and meeting local needs by providing best value quality services. Our vision is: To provide high quality, efficient and effective services for everyone and make North Lanarkshire an inclusive, prosperous and attractive area. This will be achieved through a system of streamlining and modernising to provide local services that will work in partnership with the community and all those committed to making North Lanarkshire a better place to live. Whilst aiming for continuity in our core values, we will continually reconsider how we apply these values to our procurement activities. Our core values are: serve and involve our communities; plan ahead and lead the way in working with our partners; promote equal opportunities and inclusion; make the most of opportunities for economic and environmental improvements; provide best value services; work to the highest standards and be open and accountable; value people, treat them with dignity, respect and meet their needs: and be forward thinking and aim to be the best in all we do Our single outcome agreement, corporate plan and strategic vision acts as the focus for all our activities including procurement. It is therefore vital that procurement activity can be seen in the context of the contribution it can make to this vision. 12

13 The diagram below shows the arrangements in place in order to secure this objective. Our Service and People First Change Management Programme We began implementing this major corporate change management programme in April 2007 with the intention of placing our customers and service delivery at the forefront of the Council. The programme has a number of actions which will be delivered over the next five years under the following headings: efficiency measures; workforce development; and organisational culture. Procurement will contribute cashable savings of a minimum of 1.5 million each year making a significant contribution to the overall efficiencies target of 50 million. The Single Outcome Agreement The Concordat between the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) sets out the terms of a new relationship between the Scottish Government and local government, based on mutual respect and partnership. It underpins the funding to be provided to local government over the period A key milestone is the creation of a Single Outcome Agreement (SOA) between each Council and the Scottish Government, based on 15 key national outcomes agreed in the Concordat. These national outcomes reflect the Scottish Governments National Performance Framework, but they also broadly reflect established corporate and community plan commitments across Scotland s Councils and community planning partnerships. 13

14 The Public Sector Procurement Reform Programme in Scotland The Scottish procurement landscape within which local government organisations operate, is constantly changing. The rate of change has never been greater than in recent years culminating with the establishment of the Public Procurement Reform Programme (PPRP) and a number of key reports which have focused on procurement in Scotland. These reports include: Building a Better Scotland, Efficient Government - Securing Efficiency and Effectiveness. Published by the Scottish Government in November 2004, detailing a commitment to conduct a review of public procurement in Scotland in The Review of Public Procurement in Scotland - Report and Recommendations Known as the McClelland Review, this report was written by John F McClelland CBE and published on 15 March 2006, following his detailed review of public sector procurement in Scotland. The report made some 82 recommendations relating to weaknesses in the current procurement practice across the public sector, in particular, issues on governance, lack of resources and skills and the need to adopt advanced and best practice procurement strategies. The clear recommendation of the McClelland Report was that there was potential for significant gains (both cash saving and time releasing) to be made from better procurement practices and by collaborating with other public sector partners to maximize purchasing power. The Public Procurement Reform Programme (PPRP) Chaired by John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, this programme was initiated in response to the McClelland Review. Its aims are to support the implementation of new structures, capability and processes delivering continual improvement in procurement across the Scottish Public Sector and supporting delivery of Value for Money improvements and increased efficiency. The structure of the Public Procurement Reform Programme is detailed in Appendix I. The Modernising Government Review The Modernising Government Review identified procurement as one of the most important areas for efficiency gains. We are expected to show efficiency gains through improved improvement practices and to report on efficiencies made annually. Sustainable Procurement The publication of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy Securing the Future, March 2005 sets out four key priority areas for action: sustainable consumption and production; climate change and energy; protecting natural resources; creating sustainable communities and a fairer world. A subsequent report in June 2006 by the Sustainable Procurement Task Force Procuring the Future, sets out the strategic framework action plan for delivery. The strategic interaction between this strategy and the local and national influences/drivers identified above can be seen at Appendix C. 14

15 10 Our Vision for Procurement The role of procurement in underpinning and delivering effective and efficient services is critical. However procurement is no longer just about supporting the ongoing delivery of Council services, it is also well positioned to help services promote change and transformation. In recognition of the wider impact that our procurement strategy, policy and practice has on service delivery, our suppliers and the communities within North Lanarkshire, we will ensure that: We will work to deliver effective and efficient procurement for the benefit of the organisation and all its stakeholders In doing so, we will become best in class by adopting excellent procurement practices and techniques. 11. Principles for Effective Procurement We wish to demonstrate economy, efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. Procurement decisions such as whether to continue to provide the goods, services or works, and whether to provide them internally or externally are central to this requirement. The following principles will form the basis of all our procurement activity in order to achieve value for money results: procuring services will support improved service delivery through the freeing up of resources and improving the quality of goods, services and works; procuring services will ensure that the we obtain value for money in the acquisition and management of our resources, balancing quality, whole life costs and our wider well being objectives; we will undertake all procurement activity within a corporate framework to enable authorised officers to obtain goods, services and works to the required quality in the most efficient manner; we will ensure that our procurement activity is undertaken in the most effective and appropriate manner, considering all options including (the following is not exclusive); o develop and promote use of corporate contracts; o undertake supplier and contract management; o use approved collaborative contracts (for example those arranged by the Centres of Expertise or the Office of Government Commerce); o use approved e-procurement solutions; o develop strategic partnerships, particularly where these will deliver significant service improvement and/or efficiencies; o the capability of the small and medium sized enterprises to bid for our requirements in accordance with the national suppliers charter and of the capability of the third sector to tender for our contracts; o utilising our partners/suppliers supply chains to open up opportunities for SMEs and the third sector; o collaborative procurement with other Councils and organizations; and o value innovation and creativity procurement activity will support, promote and be driven by our policies and priorities, including equality and diversity objectives, sustainability and economic regeneration; procurement activity will be transparent (and fully compliant with the Freedom of 15

16 Information (Scotland) Act 2002, fair, and consistent and be undertaken to the high standards of probity and accountability; we will coordinate procurement through the Corporate Procurement Team. This service is not a central buying unit. It is a corporate resource, which leads on letting corporate contracts and supporting projects, whilst allowing the procuring services (who have best knowledge of local service requirements) to procure locally within a clear corporate framework. It will provide support wherever required to procuring services, and monitor procurement activity across the Council; the choice of procurement method will look to ensure simple or routine transactions can be carried out in the most efficient manner. Be dependent on the strategic importance, the value of the goods, services or works, and the potential risk associated with each procurement option; different procurement options will be suitable for different goods, services and works and will involve undertaking different practical steps to achieve the desired outcome. We will develop our overall management of procurement by modeling our requirement on a risk / value matrix, illustrated at Appendix D; where appropriate services will make use of the national procurement competency framework to assess the procurement training and development needs of all officers for whom buying on behalf of the Council is a significant part of their job role. The Corporate Procurement Team will also maintain a list of all officers that have formally delegated authority to buy for the Council and will ensure that they are informed of new corporate contracts and developments in procurement; performance indicators and targets (based on both quality and cost) will be established, measured and reported. Performance indicators for procurement are contained in Appendix J; procedures to manage contractual arrangements will be established with performance measured and reported, including benchmarking arrangements; procurement procedures and processes will be developed and regularly reviewed; the management of risk will be an integral part of the procurement process, and; we will invest in procurement and contract management training and systems to support the procurement process. 12 Procurement Organisation and Governance Procurement Organisational Design and Structure We will continue to operate a centre led action network model for all of our procurement activity, the model: allows decentralised and collaborative procurement to operate within the framework of our objectives and governance arrangements; supports our service needs and procuring service areas through flexible but controlled processes and systems for procurement; promotes and encourages the sharing of procurement knowledge and expertise; and; allows decisions to be taken within procuring service areas by those directly responsible for service delivery. 16

17 Centre led action network Chief Executive Corporate Management Team Exec Dir Finance Individual Service Areas Corporate Procurement Group Corporate Procurement Service Procurement Networks Devolved Contracting Contract Management Procurement Efficiencies Business Change Supplier Engagement Engagement in and response to corporate procurement initiatives Policy/Direction/Strategy Standards Procedures and Processes Documentation Tools and Systems Performance Measurement Best Practice Training and Development Strategic Contracting Procurement Efficiencies Advice, Guidance, Support Change Agents Internal/External Collaboration Initiatives The Role of the Procurement Function The high level role of the procurement function across the Council is to: provide professional, qualified procurement expertise, advice and services; provide strategic procurement advice; ensure that business needs are met through our procurement of goods, services and works; contribute to Councils the aims and objectives as detailed in our corporate plan; pro-actively manage and develop the supplier base, including small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) and third sector and voluntary sector organisations, identifying and managing any supply risks or value add opportunities; ensure that value for money is achieved, including through implementation of collaborative contracts; advise, guide and support the development of and adherence to procurement policy, best practice and in consultation with Legal Services where required; develop, promote and implement appropriate procurement strategies and procedures; assess procurement competencies across the Council, using tools such as the Scottish Procurement Competency Framework; address training needs, utilising national/sectoral training contracts where appropriate; support sustainable policies through procurement processes; comply with and, where appropriate, promote equalities legislation and policy; and 17

18 promote and engage in the implementation of relevant technology solutions, including e-procurement, to minimise purchase to pay costs. The Role of the Corporate Procurement Group The corporate procurement group represents individual service areas and is responsible for corporate leadership of procurement activity and performance. This group provides a key element of the overall governance of our procurement arrangements, act as the main steering group, and ensure all the interests of individual procuring services are represented. The Terms of Reference for this group are as follows: inform strategic direction; develop procurement practice across all service areas; report and continuously improve on performance; to help develop and oversee a uniform approach to processes and practice; support knowledge and information sharing; promote a long term strategic approach to procurement; identify and realise service led procurement efficiencies; to receive and sign off the annual procurement work plan; to receive and sign off changes to the annual procurement work plan; actively participate in work to increase the co-ordination and effectiveness of procurement activity and share best practice across the Council; act as procurement ambassadors ; to ensure that efforts are prioritised to achieve maximum return on investment and measurable improvements; and group members develop a client side role within their own service. This includes managing the change process; The group shall meet quarterly. The Corporate Procurement Group will report directly to the Corporate Management Team and the Policy and Resources Committee (Finance and Customer Services) via the Head of Revenue Services. The Role of the Corporate Procurement Team (CPT) We will coordinate strategic procurement through the Corporate Procurement Team (CPT). The CPT is not a central processing unit. It is a resource which leads on policy and strategy, acts as an interface with the Centres of Expertise, lets corporate contracts and offers support for major projects, whilst allowing procuring service areas to let service specific contracts and to place orders locally within a clear corporate framework. It provides support wherever required, and monitors procurement activity across the Council. The CPT comprises a team of skilled and experienced staff. The role of the CPT is to support procuring services in the effective and efficient delivery of Council services by: gathering together the various issues facing public sector procurement and develop and deliver a strategy that will help us respond positively to the national agenda; putting in place corporate arrangements for the purchase of common use goods and services on behalf of all procuring services; providing a procurement support and review service to individual procuring service areas in support of individual strategic/complex contracts; developing procurement strategy, policies and procedures; ensuring co-ordination and consistency within the procurement process; delivering appropriate e-procurement solutions; fostering internal cross service collaboration and collaboration with other public bodies; 18

19 engage effectively with the Centres of Expertise and the Scottish Procurement Directorate in relation to issues of policy, practice, information sharing and collaboration assisting procuring services to identify and maximise procurement efficiencies; measure and report procurement performance, including the national Best Practice Indicators; developing a standard set of procurement documents, templates and toolkits; identifying, organising and monitoring compliance with corporate contracts; providing general procurement advice; assisting with the building of procurement capacity and skills; maintaining a contract register; monitoring spend on corporate contracts; undertaking a spend and portfolio analysis; supporting Best Value and audit reviews; regularly reviewing Contract Standing Orders; completing annual procurement statistical returns; and fostering best practice and continuous improvement. Each individual service area is allocated a procurement officer from the CPT who is available to work with the designated procuring service for up to two days a week. When not working with their designated procuring service area, the procurement officers manage and contribute to a number of the work streams identified in the annual Procurement Action Plan. The diagram below illustrates the relationship between the CPT and procuring services; The Role of Procuring Service Areas Procuring service areas are responsible for. devolved contracting contract management procurement efficiencies business change supplier engagement engagement in and response to corporate procurement initiatives All procurement activity will be conducted in accordance with the Strategic Framework set out in section 13 and the principles of this strategy. 19

20 The Role of Procurement Officers The term procurement officer is used within this document to describe any member of staff who is formally authorised to procure goods, services and works (i.e. to place contracts on behalf of the Council). The term procurement officer is not restricted to those working in the CPT, as procurement is devolved across the Council the term procurement officer is applicable to the entire network of procurement officers including staff for which procurement forms part of their overall job role. Officers to whom procurement authority is delegated are subject to the same professional standards, responsibility and accountability as those operating in the CPT. The key elements of the procurement officer s role are to provide support and guidance to the end user/customer in: market analysis and engaging in initial market dialogue, where appropriate; challenging end users requirements for cost-effectiveness and need, taking account of whole life costs and corporate social responsibility/sustainability issues; identifying and engaging other subject matter experts as required (e.g. end user, legal, finance etc.); developing an appropriate output-based specification which is fashioned to attract market interest and stimulate competition and innovation; developing a procurement strategy for the procurement which requires consideration of existing and/or collaborative contracts; the use of approved tender documentation; ensuring that all procurement processes are compliant with relevant legal and policy obligations, advertising through the national portal where appropriate; publicising procurement contact points and making available as much information as suppliers reasonably need to respond to the bidding process; understanding and complying with relevant legal obligations relating to the goods, services or works to be purchased, e.g. environmental/health and safety legislation; ensuring that procurement decisions take account of wider policy requirements; ensuring that procurement decisions are aligned against Council objectives; ensuring that our policies on corporate social responsibility/sustainability are adhered to; managing the procurement procedure; supporting partnership working arrangements; conducting any procurement clarification required prior to contract award; finalising the contractual agreement and formal contract documentation; establishing a clear audit trail (including recording the contract on the corporate contract register); notifying the outcome of bids promptly and, within the bounds of commercial confidentiality, debriefing winners and losers on the outcome of the bidding process to facilitate better performance on future occasions; ensuring that adequate contract and supplier management arrangements are in place, supporting supplier management as appropriate; sharing knowledge to develop best practice: and handling Freedom of Information requests on procurement matters in accordance with our corporate procedures. The Role of the End User The term end user is used within this document to describe the individual with responsibility for formulating the requirement, i.e. the goods, services or works required and/or the budget from which the requirement will be purchased. The key elements of the end user s role in the procurement process are to: 20

21 adequately define the user s needs, identifying minimum and desirable elements and ensuring that there is adequate consultation with users and their representative bodies (where necessary); ensure that the requirement takes account of our policy requirements, including our corporate social responsibility/sustainability policies, and is aligned against Council objectives; ensure compliance with relevant legal obligations relating to the goods, services or works to be purchased, e.g. environmental/health and safety legislation; where appropriate, prepare a business case; ensure that funding is in place; contribute to drafting the tender specification; contribute to development of the procurement strategy; be involved throughout the life cycle of the procurement exercise implementation, review, ongoing intelligence groups; provide technical expertise and input to support the bid assessment processes; prepare the technical recommendation in any bid assessment report; and approve key review stages throughout the procurement process. End users will not deal directly with bidders or potential bidders during the procurement process without the full involvement of and/or approval by the designated procurement officer. Procurement Skills It is important that our procurement activity is undertaken by officers who are competent to do so. Every procurement exercise will be managed and led by a procurement officer with skills appropriate to the value and risk associated with that arrangement; The Review of Public Procurement in Scotland recommended that skill levels of procurement staff should be continuously improved through programmes of professional training and development. It should be noted that the skills are applicable to all staff where procurement activity is an integral part of their role, not only staff employed in the Corporate Procurement Team. A Scottish Procurement Competency Framework has been developed which will support the development of procurement staff using a consistent and measurable approach across the Scottish Public Sector. We will use the Competency Framework to assess, at regular intervals, procurement skills and our Council wide procurement capability and develop training and development plans which ensure that our procurement activity is both compliant with legislation and obtaining value for money. The diversity of the work involved in procurement necessitates that procurement officers are required to be competent in a wide variety of generic procurement skills in addition to the specific technical skills and knowledge required when procuring different commodities. We will look to the Centres of Expertise to establish professional training and development programmes, both nationally and sectorally to support our ongoing training requirements. Over time, we will incorporate the Competency Framework, skills assessment and any training requirements arising into our corporate performance review and staff development framework. Governance and Audit We are responsible for establishing arrangements for ensuring the proper conduct of our affairs, including conformance to standards of good governance and accountability with regard to procurement. 21

22 Internal Audit will provide an independent and continuing appraisal of our internal control systems and continuing assurance that our internal control systems are adequate and effective. Internal Audit will certify annually that the following minimum standards have been covered and reported for procurement: minimum accountability and governance conformance; appropriate structure, organization and staffing including authorized procurement officer structure; existence of adequate systems and performance reports; conduct of basic practices and processes including compliance with ec legislation; compliance with Financial Regulations, Contract Standing Orders and this Strategy; External Audit provide an opinion on our financial statements and the regularity of transactions. As part of the wider scope of public audit, each year they review and report on our corporate governance arrangements, including arrangements to achieve value for money in the use of resources and may seek assurances on our compliance with public procurement law. Progress towards improved procurement including strategies, other action plans and Best Value savings achievements is planned to be consistently reviewed by Audit Scotland. Audit recommendations on procurement will be implemented promptly and progress monitored as part of our wider system of performance management. 13 The Strategic Framework for Procurement Our procurement activity will operate within a strategic framework consisting of: the legal framework our Financial Regulations; our Contract Standing Orders; the Scottish Procurement Policy Handbook; procurement best practice guidance; and this strategy Compliance with this strategic framework is mandatory. The Legal Framework The legal framework for public procurement includes: EU Treaty obligations; EU Procurement Directives, as implemented in national legislation; and European Court of Justice and national case law. EU Treaty The principles of the EU Treaty apply to all public procurement activity regardless of value, including contracts below the thresholds at which advertising in the Official Journal of the European Union is required and including contracts which are exempt from application of the EU Procurement Directives. Fundamental principles flowing from the Treaty include: transparency contract procedures must be transparent and contract opportunities should generally be publicised; 22

23 equal treatment and non-discrimination potential suppliers must be treated equally; proportionality procurement procedures and decisions must be proportionate; and mutual recognition giving equal validity to qualifications and standards from other Member States, where appropriate. EU Procurement Directives and implementing Scottish Regulations EU Procurement Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC set out detailed procedural rules which are based on the principles outlined in the EU Treaty and which are intended to support the single market by harmonising procedures for higher value contracts, ensuring that they are advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union in a standard format. These Directives are given effect in Scots law by The Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006 No 1) which came into force on the 31 January European Court of Justice and national caselaw Decisions of the European Court of Justice and the national courts provide interpretation of the requirements of the EU Treaty and the EU Procurement Directives and can establish precedents which must be observed. Caselaw, by its nature, is constantly evolving and can have significant effects. Meeting legal obligations The legal framework is not static; it evolves through new/amended legislation, through European Commission decisions/guidelines and through Court judgments. We will ensure that we have appropriate arrangements in place to ensure that our staff involved in procurement activity are kept up to date with developments in the legal framework and are equipped to meet our legal obligations. Where appropriate, the Scottish Procurement Directorate will issue guidance on changes to the legal framework via Scottish Procurement Policy Notes or Action Notes. We will adopt this guidance promptly and where appropriate embed in or procedures and practice. We will seek guidance on any legal issues we may have from the Executive Director of Corporate Services. Where appropriate we may also notify the Scottish Procurement Directorate and the relevant Centre of Expertise. This will allow the Scottish Procurement Directorate to determine if wider dissemination across the procurement community is appropriate. Formal challenges/complaints Regulation 47 of the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2006 allows suppliers to bring proceedings in the Sheriff Court or Court of Session against us if we have infringed our obligations to comply with the Regulations, or any other enforceable European Community law provision which may be relevant to awarding a public contract. Any individual may bring an alleged breach of the ec Procurement Directives to the attention of the European Commission. In the event of proceedings by the Commission against a Scottish contracting authority, the Scottish Procurement Directorate will coordinate the UK response. Financial Regulations Every large organisation needs a financial framework which provides the necessary control on financial matters whilst at the same time encouraging "best value" and promoting local accountability. Our financial regulations outline the approved system of corporate financial control to secure the proper administration of the Council's financial affairs, as required by the Local Government in Scotland Act

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