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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 25 February 2013

 

Report of the Leader     

 

Use of Public Sector Consortia in the Procurement Process

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To seek delegated authority for the use of contractual arrangements established by public sector consortia and other buying groups where the Council can obtain an economic benefit and value for money.

Recommendations

1.         That delegated authority be given to the Council's Managing Director, Head of Financial Services and Head of Accountancy and Resource Management, in consultation with the Cabinet member for Finance and Head of Legal Services, to utilise contractual arrangements established by public sector consortia and other buying groups where the Council can obtain economic benefit and demonstrate value for money from doing so.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To enable the Council to benefit from various value for money opportunities available from collaborative purchasing and to negate the requirement to seek Cabinet approval on each occasion such opportunities arise.

Background

2.         The Council currently spends approximately £90 million per annum on goods, services and works.  Such items are invariably purchased via competition where the Council directly engages with the market and invites organisations to submit offers via competitive quotation or tender.

3.         The Council is a member of the Welsh Purchasing Consortium ("WPC").  The WPC comprises sixteen councils in Mid and South Wales and its aim is to achieve economies of scale and financial savings that would not be available to single and smaller procurement organisations.  The Council utilises WPC procurement agreements where it can gain an economic benefit from doing so.

4.         Similarly, the Council also uses procurement agreements established by Value Wales and the Government Procurement Service.  Value Wales is a Welsh Government organisation established to support efficient and effective procurement throughout the whole of Wales.  The Government Procurement Service is a central government organisation established to support efficient and effective procurement on a nationwide basis. 

5.         In addition, the Welsh Government is planning to establish a National Procurement Service ("NPS") in 2013 to establish contracts for items that constitute common and repetitive spend.  All Welsh public sector bodies will be expected to use such contracts.  The Cabinet meeting of 19th November 2012 agreed that the Council will join the NPS for an initial period of five years (Minute No. C1905).

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         The Council's Contract Standing Orders govern procurement in excess of £100,000.  Clause 6.2 of Contract Standing Orders allows the Council to make use of agreements established by the WPC, Value Wales or any other body of which the Council is a member. 

7.         There are, however, a number of other public sector organisations which establish procurement agreements that are available for the Council to use and from which the Council can gain an economic benefit.  For example, the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation has established an agreement for the provision of washroom services which offers prices considerably more favourable than the Council currently enjoys. 

8.         However, Contract Standing Orders make no reference to other public sector agreements from which the Council can benefit without the requirement for membership.  Consequently, in such circumstances Cabinet approval or the use of urgency powers would be required.

9.         Endorsement and delegated authority for the use of such contractual arrangements where the Council can obtain an economic benefit and value for money would negate the need to obtain Cabinet approval on each occasion such opportunities arise.  This would be on the proviso that such use would not result in a change in Council policy (e.g. the current commitment to use contracts negotiated by the NPS).

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      Failure to consider collaborative opportunities through the use of consortia or buying group arrangements may result in the Council failing to achieve maximum value for money.

11.      The use of agreements established by consortia and other buying groups will also avoid the administrative costs associated with undertaking independent procurement processes which are unlikely to match the economic benefits available from collaboration.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.      Sustainability is a key consideration in the Council's procurement process.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.      There are no direct legal implications to this report. 

Crime and Disorder Implications

14.      There are no direct crime and disorder implications to this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.      An equal opportunities impact assessment would be completed as part of any specific tendering and contract award activity.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.      The use of consortia and buying group arrangements to achieve better value for money will contribute to the Council's corporate priority of Corporate Resources.

Policy Framework and Budget

17.      This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18.      No consultation has taken place as the subject matter of this report is not ward specific.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Contract Standing Orders

Procurement Policy and Strategy

 

Contact Officer

Rosalie Malcolm, Policy Officer (Procurement)

Tel: 01446 709767

 

Officers Consulted

Head of Accountancy and Resource Management

Operational Manager, Legal Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Managing Director