Agenda item

Procurement Strategy - 2023-2026

To seek member views on a new Procurement Strategy for 2023-2026 (report of the Head of Procurement and Contracts (PSPS) enclosed).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Procurements and Contracts (PSPS) which sought members’ views on a new Procurement Strategy.

 

The Head of Procurement and Contracts (PSPS) presented the report to the Panel by relaying the following points:

 

  • The draft Procurement Strategy 2023-2026 was detailed within the report at Appendix 1;
  • Two minor amendments were recommended by members of Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council as part of the scrutiny process;
  • The Procurement Strategy documented how the Council delivered its procurement function and provided a clear direction on procurement activity for the following three years. The strategy could be reviewed;
  • The reasons for the adoption of a Procurement Strategy were outlined, which included that:
    • best practice for local authorities was followed; this included the adoption and implementation of a Procurement Strategy;
    • The new strategy would ensure that the Council had a clear Procurement Strategy in place for the next three years;
    • An agreed approach to procurement existed which maximised savings opportunities for the Council;
    • Compliance with audit requirements; SHDC had received an audit recommendation to update its procurement strategies; and
    • Key Council priorities were supported; that local suppliers were sourced and procurement was both sustainable and ethical.
  • The proposed Procurement Strategy focussed on the following key themes from the National Procurement Strategy:
    • ‘Showing leadership’;
    • ‘Behaving Commercially’; and
    • ‘Achieving Community Benefits’.
  • The themes were further divided into sections which served to improve and enhance the procurement service, which included:
    • The development and rollout of a basic procurement training programme for members which assisted with the understanding of the procurement process; and
    • That efficient and effective information be provided to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-businesses who were interested in supplying goods and services to the Council.
  • The interpretation of ‘local’ had been split into the following three areas:
    • The first represented the boundary of each respective Council;
    • The second represented the boundary of the Partnership; and
    • The third represented the boundary of Lincolnshire, or 60 miles from the boundary of one of the Councils.

 

The Head of Procurement and Contracts (PSPS) outlined the following two minor amendments that had been recommended by Boston and East Lindsey scrutiny Panels:

  • In respect of point 3.3 Managing Strategic Risk; the wording ‘Carrying out due diligence checks (financial, insurances, and H&S (where relevant)) on preferred providers prior to Contracts being entered into’, was replaced by ‘Following a procurement process, we shall carry out due diligence checks (financial, insurances, and H&S (where relevant)) on the supplier that we intend to award the contract to.’ The amend clarified that the Council did not have preferred providers and that due diligence checks were undertaken following a procurement process; and
  • In respect of point 4.1 Creating Social Value; the wording ‘Reviewing the possibility of using the Social Value Portal..’, was replaced with ‘Reviewing the possibility of using a social value IT system..

 

Members considered the report and made the following comments:

 

  • Members asked whether the strategy included the capacity for urgent procurement decisions.
    • The Head of Procurement and Contracts (PSPS) referred members to the Contract Procedure Rules which included an exemption process for urgent decisions.

 

  • Members queried the value at which a formal tender process was required.
    • The Head of Procurement and Contracts (PSPS) outlined the following stipulations as stated in the Contract Procedure Rules:
      • £0 to £5000 required one written quote;
      • £5000 to £10000 required two written quotes;
      • £10000 to £40000 required three written quotes, of which two must be sought;
      • £40000 to £85000 required five written quotes. The Procurement Contracts Team would be involved from this level/value as part of a formal process which included a ‘Request for Quotation’;
      • £85000 and above, to the respective relevant threshold, deferred to an open tender process. Frameworks also guided processes.
      • a link to the Contract Procedure Rules would be circulated to members after the meeting.

 

  • Members asked whether procurement decisions were guided by monetary or best value factors.
    • The Head of Procurement and Contracts (PSPS) confirmed that the factors involved were assessed on a project-by-project basis and were usually based on a quality/price mix; and
    • The quality assessment was dependent on each project but included factors such as: previous experience, key personnel, and social value.

 

  • Members praised the three-tiered approach to ‘local’ procurement and asked how the council actively encouraged engagement from local suppliers/businesses.
    • The Head of Procurement and Contracts (PSPS) responded that council led ‘Meet the Buyer’ events offered guidance to potential suppliers;
    • A new monthly/bi-monthly initiative had been proposed for officers to offer their services to local businesses which aimed to demystify local authority procurement processes; and
    • The Team were continuously looking to simplify project documentation to improve the process for suppliers.

 

  • Members agreed that the Procurement Strategy 2023-2026 be reviewed by the Policy Development Panel one year from adoption.

 

AGREED:

 

a)    That after consideration of the Procurement Strategy 2023-2026 by the Policy Development Panel, the comments of the Panel be noted; and

 

b)    That the Procurement Strategy 2023-2023 be reviewed by the Policy Development Panel one year from adoption.

 

Supporting documents: