How and what do we buy?

What does the Council buy?

In the year 2015/16 we spent just over £400m with third parties. This is mostly with commercial companies but also with not for profit companies and other public sector organisations. About £160m of our spend is with businesses and other organisations operating from a base in the Bradford district.

The image below shows what we spent during 2015/16. The top five categories of spend were: Adult Services, Education Services, Construction and Maintenance, Public Health and Children’s Care.

More information and data on what we buy can be found in the Open Data pages under ‘our datasets

How does the Council buy?

We are committed to increasing business interest in working with us and aim to be a preferred client of suppliers who can deliver the best value to the Council and the District. Wherever possible within the rules and regulations that we have to follow we will support the economic regeneration of the District by buying directly and indirectly from local suppliers wherever this gives best value.

A summary of the rules and regulations that we must follow are described below:

Council rules

There are set clear rules called Contracts Standing Orders which must be followed by all members of staff who are buying on behalf of the Council. Depending on how much is being spent (total contract value) there are different rules that we must follow:

Total Contract Value

Procurement Options

Where we will Advertise

£0 - £24,999

  • Minimal competition requirement but must demonstrate value for money
  • Must use in-house or corporate contract where available.
  • Must use local supplier if available
  • Consider using purchasing card for low value, low risk purchases
  • Invite one or more quotes if appropriate
  • Council department invites quotations from suppliers with all quotes in writing
  • All invitations to quote over £5,000 will be placed on the YORtender Website

£25,000 - £99,999

  • Must use in-house or corporate contract where available.
  • Consider availability of an existing suitable framework or DPS arrangement (call-off)
  • Minimum of four quotes inviting at least two local suppliers if available
  • Formal tender process
  • Council department invites quotations from suppliers with all Quotes in writing
  • All invitations to quote will be placed on the YORtender Website
  • Adverts may also be placed in local press and trade journals

£100,000 – EU threshold

  • Must use in-house or corporate contract where available.
  • Consider availability of an existing suitable framework or DPS arrangement (call-off)
  • Formal tender process following Contract Standing Orders
  • All invitations to quote and tenders will be placed on the YORtender website
  • Adverts may also be placed in local press and trade journals

Above Appropriate  EU threshold

  • Must use in-house or corporate contract where available.
  • Consider availability of an existing suitable framework or DPS arrangement (call-off)
  • Full EU tender process with advert published in OJEU

Notes:

 ‘DPS or Dynamic Purchasing System’ is an electronic process for commonly used purchases that are generally available and is open throughout the contract period to any new supplier that meets the selection criteria.

‘Framework Agreement’ an agreement which sets out the terms and conditions under which the Council can make specific purchases  (“call-off”) from a Contractor(s) to provide services, goods or works at agreed standards and prices.  If the Council calls off services, goods or works from the Contractor then a binding contract comes into place.

European Union Procurement Directives

As the Council is a public sector body we have to comply with European Union (EU) Procurement Directives which set out a legal framework for public procurement, which in England & Wales means complying with the requirements set out in The Public Contracts Regulations 2015. The overriding principles are to ensure openness, transparency, fairness and equality of treatment.

We apply EU principles to all our buying and must follow European Union procurement rules when the amount to be spent is over a certain value (threshold):

The current thresholds (from 1 January 2016) are:

Goods

£164,176

Services*

£164,176

Light Touch Services*

£589,148

Works

£4,104,394

 

*There are some services which are referred to as ‘Light touch regime’ and applies to social, health and some other services as listed in Schedule 3 of the Public Contracts Regulations. Here a higher threshold applies and the Council has more freedom on the procurement procedures to apply providing they are sufficient to comply with the principles of transparency and equal treatment of suppliers.

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