We use the term ’Procurement’ to cover all activities that involve buying, contracting, purchasing, sourcing or tendering. The following is a definition from the Government Procurement Service. See http://gps.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/
This definition is also used across Local Government.
"Procurement means the whole process of acquisition from third parties (including logistical aspects) and covers goods, services and construction projects.
This process spans the whole life cycle from initial concept and definition of business needs through to the end of the useful life of an asset or end of a service contract."
In other words, procurement:
- means the whole process of purchasing from suppliers or contractors
- covers goods, services, works and turnkey solutions
- spans complete 'cradle to grave' life cycle
Good Procurement does not mean to simply buy the cheapest possible option but rather to seek to achieve Value for Money (VFM), which is often defined as:
"The optimum combination of whole life costs and quality to meet the user’s requirement"
In addition to seeking to achieve Value for Money the way Arun District Council procures its required supplies, services and works is also crucial. In 1997 the then Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions set out five principles that authorities should observe to avoid charges of anti-competitive behaviour (DETR Circular 16/97). These are:
- ensuring that the competition process is undertaken, and is seen to be undertaken, in an open and transparent manner;
- consulting service users, and potential service providers, on the level and standard of services to be provided;
- securing services that are economic, effective, and efficient, in which considerations of price and quality are properly balanced;
- seeing that all competing bids are objectively evaluated; and
- acting fairly between potential contractors to ensure that tendering practice does not advantage any one potential supplier or group of suppliers.
Return to the Procurement Home Page